A foreign national can change status while in the US without leavening the US. How to change status (not visa) in the US? This can be done by filing Form I-539. The filing fee to the Department of Homeland Security is $290. There are several issues that must be addressed before filing such petition:
One of them is maintaining a valid status prior to filing. Only a valid status can be changed. If a foreign national violated the conditions of his/her current status, the change of status petition will not be approved.
One of the most common violation is an overstay. There are could be others as well. F
Before filing you have to know what status you want to change to:
If you spouse is an H-1B, you can change your status to H-4 without leaving the US. In this situation the spouse must maintain a valid H-1 status in order to have an H-4 dependent.
If someone was in school full-time as an F-1 student, he can apply for an OPT to get an employment authorization document. Anytime before or after OPT a foreign national can change his or her status to a different nonimmigrant status, such as Tourist. An extensive explanation must be made what the student indents to do as a tourist, and, most importantly, the availability of funds to cover the tourist activities must be shown.
Almost any status can be changed to another status. There is a common misconception that an immigrant must leave the US and go to a US embassy again to enter under a different visa. Well, this is not necessarily the case. An experienced immigration lawyers can easily spot the best visas/statuses to change to. Some visas/status are more difficult to obtain than others. Certain statuses are hard to get rid of or “relinquish” as the law puts it. For example, diplomatic status (A-1, A-1 visas) or employees of inter national organizations (G-4 visas) are very tricky to deal with. Others are hard to get (H-1B, L-1, O-1 categories).
One important note: before applying for a new status, an applicant must be eligible to it. The the petition must not be “frivolous”. Some applicants request a change of status to dodge the inadmissibility bar and to “win” more time. Usually, it is not a good idea.
Download Skylex and talk with an
Immigration Lawyer now!
Simply download Skylex, verify your phone number, navigate to the Support tab and ask your legal question. Our professional legal assistants will connect you with an immigration lawyer specializing in your kind of case.