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Form I-539 e-File Fact Sheet

Q1: Who can e-file Form I-539 in USCIS ELIS?
A1: Certain individuals can file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Please see the chart below to determine if you can e-File in USCIS ELIS.

You can e-File in USCIS ELIS if:

You want to…

 and you…


Extend status

Are currently a…
B-1, B-2, F-1, M-1 or M-2

  • Students in the F-1 classification who received a date-specific visa that requires completion of a given course of study within a specific time can extend status, if eligible for an extension.
  • Other F-1s are admitted for duration of status and should contact their designated school official to extend status.

Change status

Want to become a…
B-1, B-2, F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2, M-1 or M-2

  • M-1 vocational students who are seeking to transfer to another school are considered to be seeking an extension of status.
  • An M-1 student may not change status to an F-1 student.

Reinstate status

Previously were a…
F-1, F-2, M-1 or M-2

  • The spouse or child of a person in F-1 or M-1 status may also be included in the principal applicant’s Form I-539.


Q2: I can’t fit my full name in the name field of my online Form I-539 application. What should I do?
A2: There is a 40-character limit for each name field in USCIS ELIS. If your name is longer than 40 characters, please include your full name in the “Additional Information” field found on the bottom of most pages. If you overfill a name field with more than 40 characters, the system may not be able to process the information and the data could be lost.

Q3: Should I use USCIS ELIS to file my Form I-539 if I can’t scan and upload my supporting documents?
A3: No. If you cannot scan and upload your supporting documents, you should apply for an extension of stay or change of status using the current paper application process.

Q4: What documentation do I need to upload with my Form I-539? Do I have to include a document from every category, even if some of them don’t apply to my case?
A4: You must provide all documents that establish your eligibility for an immigration benefit. Not all of the documents listed on the USCIS ELIS screen are required. We recommend you follow the instructions carefully to determine which documents you must submit to support your case. If you do not provide the necessary documents, we may deny your case.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 07/25/2014