U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a new policy regarding applications for change of status to F-1 status. The new policy eliminates the need for a person who has applied for a change of status to F-1 status to continuously apply to extend his or her nonimmigrant status while the application is pending.
Old Change of Status Policy
Under the old policy, if a person entered the U.S. on a B-2 visitor visa and subsequently applied to change status to an F-1 student, the applicant also had to apply to extend his or her B-2 visitor status every six months. If the applicant failed to timely apply to extend his or her visitor status, the applicant would be ineligible to obtain F-1 student status.
New Change of Status Policy
On July 20, 2021, USCIS announced it will no longer require an applicant for change of status to F-1 to submit subsequent applications to extend his or her nonimmigrant status. As a result, a B-2 visitor in the U.S. who timely applies to change status to an F-1 student does not need to submit subsequent applications to extend his or her B-2 visitor status.
This new policy does not change the requirement that the applicant must have been in lawful status at the time he or she submitted an application to change status to F-1. Similarly, this new policy does not change the requirement that the applicant may not do anything to violate the terms of his or her nonimmigrant visa. Specifically, the applicant may not work in the U.S. without proper authorization.
What is an F-1 Visa?
An F-1 visa allows a person to enter the U.S. as a full-time student at an accredited university, college, high school, or language training program. To receive approval for an F-1 visa, the applicant must be enrolled in a course of study or program that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate, and the school the applicant seeks to attend must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.
ImmiFree.Law is The Harrison Law Firm P.C.’s online platform to make the family immigration and naturalization process more efficient, accurate, and affordable. Baya Harrison, Esq. is an attorney licensed in New York, Florida, and California. Attorney Harrison has helped numerous individuals and families navigate the U.S. immigration process, specifically family-based petitions and naturalization.