On July 20, 2021, USCIS announced a new policy that will bring relief to those who file change of status applications to F-1 status. Under the new policy, approved F-1 change of status applications will be effective the day USCIS approves the application. Prior to this policy, individuals were required to maintain valid status up to 30 days before the program start date listed on the I-20. Due to the lengthy processing times for F-1 change of status petitions, an individual’s current nonimmigrant status would often expire while the F-1 was pending. To ensure individuals complied with the regulation, they would be required to file a change of status petition (often to B-2 status) or an extension of their current nonimmigrant status to bridge the gap between the end date of their current nonimmigrant visa and the program start date listed on the I-20. This new policy eliminates the need to file additional applications to bridge the gap between the end date of their current nonimmigrant status and the beginning of their F-1 status. Under the new guidance, F-1 students must ensure they do not violate their F-1 status if their F-1 status is approved before their program start date.
This new policy will greatly help foreign students to study in the U.S. Prospective F-1 students must still file their change of status applications before their legal non-immigrant status expires. It is also required that they must ensure that they continue to be eligible for the new status requested.
Should you have any further questions relating to this posting, please contact us at Younossi Law.