I initially entered the U.S. in B-2 status as a visitor. I recently filed an application to change status (form I-539) to F-1 student for a program of study starting next month. …

… My B-2 expires in a few days. I know I should not start my program of study until the USCIS approves my request for change of status to F-1. If the USCIS does not approve my F-1 status by the start of my program of study, should I be concerned about it?


Generally, an application for change of status to F-1 will be considered timely if it is filed during the validity period of the previous status and there will be no more than 30 days between the end of the previous status and the program start date. In situations where USCIS does not approve the requested change of status from B-2 to F-1 by the time the program is scheduled to start, the DSO should defer the program start date to the next available term. Because this would result in a status gap of more than 30 days, you may need to apply for the extension of your B-2 status. A decision whether to apply for the B-2 extension should be discussed with a knowledgeable immigration attorney based on your individual circumstances. (27.Jan.2017)

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