Change of Status FAQs

One common question that millions of immigrants have per year is “can I change my status?” and the answer to this question depends of a variety of things.

  • You’re in the United States legally after getting your non-immigrant Visa.
  • Your Visa is still valid in the United States.
  • You haven’t committed any crimes and are working hard.

Who Qualifies For Change Of Status?

There are a wide variety of immigrants who qualify for change of status:

  • Visitors who are staying in the country temporarily.
  • Parents who have children in the country that were granted immigrant status.
  • Temporary workers.

Who Doesn’t Qualify For Change Of Status?

  • Illegal aliens.
  • Fiancé or spouse of a United States citizen.
  • Informants who reported on organized crime.

Why Should You Change Your Status?

If you’re visiting the United States for pleasure and decide to stay in the country to study or work, you should change your status because, you risk violating U.S. laws and getting deported back to your home country.

What Forms Are Necessary For Change of Status

Employers should fill out form I-129 to change their immigrant employee’s status. Immigrants who are visiting the country and wish to change their status should fill out form I-539 to change their status.

How Soon Should You File Change Of Status?

The answer to this question is immediately. It’s never a good idea to let your current immigration status expire before you file change of status because you will have to supply proof of why you waited so long to file. You will be asked to provide proof that:

  • The delay was out of your control.
  • You haven’t done other things to violate your previous immigration status in the country.
  • You want to maintain citizenship with your country of origin.
  • Show that you’re not in the process of being deported back to your country.

What Happens If Change Of Status Is Denied?

If your change of status is denied, it’s not the end of the world. You can appeal the USCIS decision by filing a motion to re-open or a motion to reconsider with the office that denied your change of status.

  • Motion to re-open – This motion must state any new relevant facts that should be considered for re-opening your case and you will be asked to supply documentation like affidavits or other potential documentary evidence.
  • Motion to reconsider – With this motion you must establish that the offices decision was based on incorrect information on your application or evidence that was in your file at the time.

Who Is Exempt From Change Of Status?

The only immigrants that are exempt from change of status are: diplomats, representative from other governments and immigrants who are not Visa holders and are in this country less than 30 days.

Filing for change of status is an important step for any immigrant’s future within the United States. This process can take thirty days or longer from when the paperwork is filed. Before submitting paperwork, every immigrant should make sure that all of their documents are properly filled out and completed just to insure that there won’t be any errors or delays.