Extension of Status or Consular Processing
Foreign nationals must return to their home country upon expiration of their authorized stay in the United States. But foreign nationals wanting to stay in the United States by changing or extending their present status must apply for either a “change of status” or an “extension of status” to maintain their valid status.
Change of Status
Nonimmigrants can change their status to different a nonimmigrant visa category. The spouses and children of nonimmigrants can also change their status with respect to the status of the principal applicants. However, some nonimmigrants cannot change their status in the United States because of their visa category such as C (transit), D (crewman), K (fiancée) and J (if subject to the 2-year foreign residency requirement). Nonimmigrants who have also overstayed their authorized stay cannot change status. Moreover, nonimmigrants admitted to the United States based on a visa waiver program cannot change status. M-1 students cannot change their status to F-1.
Nonimmigrants cannot appeal denial of change of status application. However, a motion to reopen or to reconsider can be filed with the Service Director where the application was filed for further consideration or reversal of the previously issued decision.
Extension of Status
All nonimmigrant are eligible to apply for extension of their status except for the following:
- Applicants entered on a visa waiver program
- K-1 and K-2 applicants
- C-1, C-2, C-3 applicants
- D-1, D-2 applicants, and
- D/S applicants subject to some exceptions.
Extension of status applications are usually filed on form I-539 except nonimmigrant temporary workers must apply for extension of their status on form I-129. An application for extension of status may be filed anytime before the present expiration of status. Like in the case of change of status applications, extension of status denials cannot be appealed but could be reviewed or reversed upon filing a motion to reopen or reconsider with the USCIS.
Contact our immigration lawyers for a free consultation to learn more about changing or extending your nonimmigrant status. Payment plans are available.