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Change of Status - Frequently Asked Questions


Who may not apply for Change of Status?

You may not change your nonimmigrant status if you have entered into the U.S. under the following visa categories:

VWPP-Visa Waiver Pilot Program (or the Guam Visa Waiver Program)
D-As a crewman
C-As an alien in transit or in transit without a visa
K-As a fiance or spouse of a U.S. citizen or dependent of a fiance or spouse
S-As an informant (and accompanying family) on terrorism or organized crime

Working, Living And Studying In USA: 127 Different Visas

Insider's visa guide to working, investing or moving to U.S. for an extended period of time


Why do I need to change status to a new nonimmigrant category?

As a nonimmigrant you temporarily enter into the U.S. for a specific purpose such as business, study, temporary employment or pleasure. When you enter into the U.S., a U.S. official assigns you a nonimmigrant category according to the purpose of your visit. If you want to change the purpose of your visit while you are in the U.S. then you or, in some cases, your employer must ask the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to change your nonimmigrant status.

Note: For instance, if you arrived in the U.S. as a tourist, but want to become a student, you must submit an application to change your status with the USCIS. If you do not apply to change your nonimmigrant status, you will be violating U.S. immigration laws.

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