A Simpler Path to F-1 Student Visa
On July 20, 2021, USCIS issued a new policy that eliminates the need for individuals who have applied for an F-1 student visa to apply for extensions of their current visa while waiting for the adjudication of their F-1.
The Old Policy
Under the previous policy, applicants had to maintain status up to 30 days before their school start date listed on Form I-20, which required them to file extensions (usually a B-2 tourist visa extension), or an initial change of status and subsequent extensions ensuring that they would not have a “gap” in status.
The New Policy
To prevent a “gap” in status, USCIS will now grant the change of status to F–1 effective the day they approve an applicant’s Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. If USCIS approves an application more than 30 days before the student’s start date, the student must ensure they do not violate their F–1 status during that time. An example of a violation would be working without authorization, including on-campus employment.
The new policy will reduce the workload and costs for both the applicants and USCIS. USCIS is in the process of revising the Form I-539 instructions to reflect these changes.
For more information, see the policy alert and the Changing to a Nonimmigrant F or M Student Status page.
Purdy Law is Committed to your Success
We will continue to monitor any changes to this new policy and how it affects your plans for study in the U.S. Call us today to schedule your consultation with our Student Visa attorney.