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"TO PANIC OR NOT TO PANIC" - When Your University Program Start Date is Approaching but still no Word from U.S. Immigration

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This short article focuses on Business and Personal temporary visitors (B-1/B-2) to the United States, who seek to adjust status within the United States to a Student F-1 visa. Often temporary visitors who come to the United States are looking to find a college or university program to attend. Once successful, an I-20 is issued by the school of choice. The next critical step is to retain legal counsel to change your legal U.S. status from a B-1/B-2 visitor to a F-1 student visa in a timely manner.

Often a time conflict arises threatening a temporary visitor's status in the United States as explained here:

Say your B-1/B-2 visitor visa is set to expire and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is backlogged and will not get your visa approved in time for you to begin school what should you do?

If you find yourself in this 'catch 22' immigration status where the semester is ready to begin and you still have a pending visa application with the government;

  1. Ask your lawyer to request an expedite from USCIS; or
  2. If that does not work, your lawyer will need to file a second I-539 change of status to keep you 'live' and in the system to preserve your legal status.

When filing the second I-539, a savy immigration attorney will ask for both of your I-539s to be consolidated to ensure the fastest processing time so you may begin your program.

We hope this tip will reduce anxiety, and was helpful to future education pursuits in the United States. If you would like to contact us, you may write us at [email protected] or you may contact one of our offices listed on our website.

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