I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
The following groups use this form:
- Certain nonimmigrants extending their stay or changing to another nonimmigrant status;
- Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) residents applying for an initial grant of status;
- F and M nonimmigrants applying for reinstatement; and,
- Persons seeking V nonimmigrant status or an extension of stay as a V nonimmigrant.
You must carefully review the Form I-539 filing instructions (PDF, 894.19 KB) before submitting your request to ensure you are filing your request for an extension or change of status using the proper form.
Requests for extension of stay in, or change of status to, certain employment-based classifications must be filed using Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, rather than Form I-539.
You must NOT file Form I-539 to request an extension of stay in, or change of status to, any of the following classifications:
- E-1 principal treaty traders and E-1 principal employees of a treaty trader
- E-2 principal treaty investors and E-2 principal employees of a treaty investor
- E-2 CNMI principal investors
- E-3 principal specialty occupation workers from Australia
[NOTE: Eligible dependents of family members of E principal nonimmigrants must file the Form I-539 to extend their stay or change their status unless they are seeking to change to a status listed here, in which case, they may NOT use the Form I-539.]
- H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, and H-3 nonimmigrants
- L-1 nonimmigrants
- O-1 and O-2 nonimmigrants
- P-1, P-2, P-3, P-1S, P-2S, or P-3S nonimmigrants
- Q-1 nonimmigrants
- R-1 nonimmigrants
- TN-1 and TN-2 nonimmigrants
IMPORTANT NOTE: Filing your request on the wrong form may result in the rejection or denial of your case. USCIS will not refund your filing fees if your case is denied.
05/31/22. We will also accept the 12/08/21 edition. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.
Dates are listed in mm/dd/yy format.
If you complete and print this form to mail it, make sure that the form edition date and page numbers are visible at the bottom of all pages and that all pages are from the same form edition. If any of the form’s pages are missing or are from a different form edition, we may reject your form.
If you need help downloading and printing forms, read our instructions.
For a complete list of mailing addresses, visit our Form I-539 Direct Filing Addresses page.
Nonimmigrant visas are issued to foreign nationals who intend to remain in the United States for a temporary (less than permanent) period. The period varies for different nonimmigrant categories. We understand that plans can change. If your original reason for coming to the United States changes, you may be eligible to extend your status or you may be required to change your nonimmigrant status to a different one before you lawfully begin to engage in the activities you want to pursue.
You may apply to extend or change your status in the United States if you:
- Were lawfully admitted into the United States as a nonimmigrant;
- You have not committed any act that would make you ineligible to receive an immigration benefit;
- There is no other factor that requires you to depart the United States prior to making a reentry based on a different classification (for example, a USCIS officer may determine that you should obtain a new visa prior to being readmitted into the United States); and
- You submit your Form I-539 application for an extension or change of status by mail or you can file online before the expiration date as shown on the admission stamp in your travel document on your Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record. (There are certain very limited circumstances under which USCIS will excuse a late submission.)
Please note that some nonimmigrant visa categories are not eligible to extend or change status (C, D, K-1, K-2, S, TWOV, WT, and WB) and some can only change or extend status subject to certain restrictions (J-1 and M-1). For further guidance, please refer to the filing instructions for Form I-539.
If you are eligible to file an I-539 application, you must apply for extension of stay or change of status before your current authorized stay expires. Even if you are approved for another status in the future, you will be required to file a Form I-539 to “bridge” any gap that might arise between the expiration of your current status and validity of your future status. Therefore, we suggest you file at least 45 days before your stay expires or as soon as you determine your need to change or extend status. Failure to file before the expiration date may be excused if you demonstrate when you file the application that:
- The delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control;
- The length of the delay was reasonable;
- You have not otherwise violated your status;
- You are still a bona fide nonimmigrant; and
- You are not in removal proceedings.
Your passport must be valid for your entire requested period of stay in the new nonimmigrant classification in the United States.
If your status expired before you filed Form I-539 with USCIS to change or extend your status, or if you have otherwise violated the terms of your status (such as by working without authorization), then you are “out of status.” If you fall out of status, we cannot change your status except in certain limited circumstances beyond your control. Staying longer than the period for which you were granted admission may also negatively affect your ability to obtain other benefits or to return to the United States later. If you fall out of status, we recommend that you leave the United States to limit the possible impact on your ability to come back to the United States in the future.
Starting Oct. 1, 2023, USCIS has exempted the biometric services fee for all Form I-539 applicants. Read more here: USCIS Exempts Biometric Services Fee for All Form I-539 Applicants.
- Individuals changing into or out of A-1, A-2, A-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, G-5, B-1 Observer Mission, NATO-1, NATO-2, NATO-3, NATO-4, NATO-5, or NATO-6 status are not required to submit the filing fee.
You can pay the fee with a money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or pay by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. If you pay by check, you must make your check payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
When you send a payment, you agree to pay for a government service. Filing and biometric services fees are final and non-refundable, regardless of any action we take on your application, petition, or request, or if you withdraw your request. Use our Fee Calculator to help determine your fee.
View the checklist of required initial evidence.
Filing Tips for Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
Complete all sections of the form. We will reject the form if these fields are missing:
- Part 1 – Information About You
- Family Name
- Mailing Address
- Date of Birth
- Current nonimmigrant status
- Part 2 – Application Type
- I am applying for (1., 2., or 3.a.)
- The status I am requesting (3.b or 3.c)
- Total number of People Included in This Application.
Filing Tips for Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
- Part 1 – Information About the Person filing Form I-539A
- Family Name
Filing Tips: Review our Tips for Filing Forms by Mail page for information on how to ensure we will accept your form.
Don’t forget to sign your form. We will reject any unsigned form.
|Nonimmigrant Type||Additional Instructions|
Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) residents
|B nonimmigrant extension|
|B-1 or B-2 nonimmigrants|
E-Notification: If you want to receive an e-mail and/or text message that we have accepted your form at a USCIS lockbox, complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, and clip it to the first page of your form.