Change My Nonimmigrant Status
To change your status while in the United States, you (or in some cases, your employer) must file a request with USCIS on the appropriate form before your authorized period of stay expires.
Generally, you may apply to change your nonimmigrant status if:
- You are currently in the United States with a nonimmigrant visa;
- Your nonimmigrant status remains valid;
- You have not violated the conditions of your status; and
- You have not committed any crimes that would make you ineligible.
Until you receive approval from us, do not assume we have approved your request for a change in your nonimmigrant status. For example, if you came to the U.S. to work in a university, you cannot change your job until we have approved your Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. If you do, you might violate your current nonimmigrant status.
You can find your authorized status and the date your authorized period of stay in the United States expires in the lower right corner of your Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.
For more information on eligibility and exceptions that may apply, see the Form I-539 Instructions.
How to File
Applying for a change of status application depends on your nonimmigrant status. For a complete list of categories, read the Form I-539 Instructions.
You may file your Form I-539 online or by paper.
Create a USCIS online account to file online and:
- Submit evidence and pay fees electronically;
- Receive notices from us electronically;
- Receive case status updates about your case and see complete case history;
- Communicate with us securely and directly; and
- Respond to requests for evidence.
If you already have a USCIS online account, simply sign into your account to get started.
File by Paper
- Read the instructions for Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status;
- Complete and sign your Form I-539;
- Pay the filing fee and biometrics fees, if applicable; and
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation.
After You File
Once we receive your Form I-539, you will receive a:
- Receipt notice confirming we received your application;
- Biometric services notice, if applicable;
- Notice to appear for an interview, if required; and
- Notice of our decision.