If you have entered the United States in legal nonimmigrant status and would like to change the purpose of your stay, you can apply for a change of status with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). For example:
• You entered the United States as a student and have received a job offer from your employer.
• You entered the United States with nonimmigrant work status and would like to change to another work status (i.e., TN to H1B, H1B to L1, etc…).
• You entered the United States as a student and want to become a tourist.
• You entered the United States as a visitor and want to work in the United States.
Requests to change status must be filed before your current status in the United States expires. We suggest that you submit your application for a change of status with USCIS as soon as possible in order to preserve your legal immigration status and receive your new desired status in a timely manner. Once your change of status application has been filed you must wait until USCIS has approved the application before you begin your new desired activity.
For example, if you entered as a student you cannot begin working in H1B status until you receive approval of the petition. Failure to maintain your immigration status while in the United States could result in your removal from the United States and potential long term bars on returning. You can find your current status and authorized period of stay by referring to Form I-94 (Small white card) that was stapled inside your passport when you entered the United States. You may be eligible to change your nonimmigrant status if you entered the United States lawfully, your status remains valid and you have not done anything to otherwise violate your lawful immigration status.
If you are a student with a job offer, a student seeking to become a tourist, or are changing from one work status to another, we can help. Contact our office today for a free assessment of your immigration matter with Mr. Richards.
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