Can I change my visa status?
Before we start anything, I have a question:
What is this Status? How is it different from a visa?
- In the US, a visa means permission to enter the United States, while the status determines the duration of your stay.Advertisement
- Therefore, we can say that the visa only lets you enter the US
- And that’s the officer in the port of entry who will decide your status, or how long you can stay there.Advertisement
Now that we hopefully understand the difference, let’s get to the point,
What is a “change of status”? Can I do it? Can I change my status after I’ve entered the United States?
Yes, You can.
Well, it completely depends on you and your conditions,
- First, you have to do a little research about different types of visa statuses,Advertisement
As a reminder:
Visas in the US are mostly divided into 2 categories, immigrant visas, and non-immigrant visas. Immigrant visas, or Green Cards let you stay there permanently while non-immigrant ones are temporary. (you can learn all about the different kinds of visas through our website)
- Second, you should define your conditions,
- Third, you should choose the best one based on your conditions
- And at last, you should act accordingly, based on your choice.
The process would be different for each visa but in general, to change your status you should complete the relevant form at USCIS before your current visa expires.
Many student visa holders change their status for a non-immigrant worker visa or H-1B. In this case, the employer must become your sponsor and then you should apply for a worker visa.
In this case, you should act ASAP!