How to Change Your Non-Immigrant Status

Immigrants entering the United States are required to have a visa. You must apply for the category of visa that suits your needs. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services department (USCIS), offers a large variety of visas. The visa that you choose should be based on your specific needs at the time. Many immigrants find, however, that they need to change their status or request a different type of visa. There are a number of things you need to know regarding how to change your non immigrant status with the USCIS.

Why Your Status May Need to Change

Non-immigrants are those who are in the United States on a temporary basis. Some types of visas allow people to work, study, or tour the country for a limited time. Sometimes, the reason for your non-immigrant visa may change over time. Your status must reflect the actual reason for being in the U.S. Your original reason for being in the country may have been misclassified, or your needs may simply have changed. If so, you must change your status.

Eligibility to Change Non-Immigrant Status

Only those who meet the eligibility requirements are allowed to be considered for a change in status. There are some types of visa holders who are not eligible for a status change. In order to be eligible you must have a current non-immigrant visa and must meet all of the requirements for the type of visa you are seeking. If your current visa expires, you are considered out of status and are therefore not eligible to make a change.

Filing for Non-Immigrant Status Change

If you meet the requirements for the visa you are seeking, you may submit an application. It is recommended that you file your petition as early as possible because the process may take some time. In general, you may be able to apply for a status change within six months of the expiration of your non-immigrant visa.

Improve Your Chances of Change Approval

Not all non-immigrant visa change requests are granted. It is important that you carefully read the requirements of the visa, and provide all requested documentation. If you fail to provide the necessary information, your application may be delayed or denied. Remember that even if you provide all the requested paperwork, your request may not be approved. Be sure to file on time and be certain that you meet the requirements.

It can be helpful to get assistance in filling out and submitting your application with assistance from a qualified immigration attorney. Call the skilled lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Change Your Non Immigrant Status, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.