Friday, October 1, 2010

Extend or Change Non Immigrant Visa Status

Nonimmigrant status is one that is temporary in nature, whereas an immigrant status is permanent. B-1/B-2 visa status falls under non immigrant status. Work visas holders also fall under non immigrant status. B-1 visa is issued to one who enters U.S. temporarily for business whereas B-2 visa is issued to person who enter as a tourist, or as the dependent of a B-1 visa holder or other non immigrant visa holder.

Having a visa allows you to travel to the US port-of entry and there the permission to enter the US is decided. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials are the authority who can permit or deny admission to the United States. At the port of entry, if granted entry to the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security, US immigration inspector will provide Form I-94, the arrival-departure record in your passport. Per US immigration laws, you need to leave the United States if your I-94 contains a specific date. You can extend your visa status to stay longer than the date on your I-94 in the US if you were lawfully admitted into the United States with a nonimmigrant visa,

At times, persons who entered the US through a visitor visa might want to extend B-1/B-2 status or switch to B-1/B-2 status from another status. In such cases, the applicant must be able to show that the extended stay is temporary, and that he/she intends to return to his/her home country as soon as the status expires.

After the applicant entered on a valid mom immigrant visa, the application to extend or change to B-1/B-2 status is made through I-539 immigration form. The reason for requesting this extension should be justified. If the applicant is a tourist, then he/she needs to detail the places he/she will visit and the activities that are planned. If the applicant is a business visitor, he/she should furnish a letter from the host business detailing the reason for extension or change of status.

Ensure you file this application before your authorized stay expires. Certain cases might be excused if the delay in filing was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control and you need to prove this.

Why should I change my status ?

If you entered the United States as a tourist, but want to become a student, you need to get your visa status changed by submitting an application to the USCIS. You will be going against the US immigration ins laws if you do not apply to change your nonimmigrant visa status. You may also be removed/deported if you break U.S. immigration laws.

While filing I-539 immigration form for your extension, you can also include your spouse and your unmarried children under the age of 21 in your application. But all have to be in same non immigrant visa category. You can also include them in your I-539 immigration form if your spouse and children were given derivative non immigrant status. Derivative nonimmigrant status means based on your non immigrant status, your spouse and children were given nonimmigrant visas.

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