The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a government agency. They supervise and regulate the immigration process of all applicants around the globe. As well as, those who want to apply for an F-1 student visa to pursue their education in the United States can apply for a change of status and watch this space for further updates.
Initially, individuals had to wait for 30-days. To receive approval after applying for a change of status (COS) to an F1 student. They had to apply for COS to change their immigrant status, while their application was still pending.
The students applying for the change of status needed to maintain their nonimmigrant status for about 30 days before the educational program started. Applicants will receive the Certificate for Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student form. Applicants need to file extensions to ensure that there will not be any gap in their status.
Now that the new policy has surfaced, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has stated that an applicant will no longer have to wait for 30 days for the approval of their application. The change of status will be applicable on the day of the application’s approval, granted that they do not abuse their position and status before the program. They need to adhere to the terms and conditions to manage their status. And they will not tolerate violations.
In addition, the previous application guidelines made sure that the students will have their COS with no violations. The new policy surfaced, ensuring to bridge the gap between the date of the change of status to the date when the program starts.
What are the F-1 Student Violations?
Once granted the change of status (COS) students must use their status only for educational purposes. They can only use the status to qualify for the program they enrolled in. They strictly prohibit the usage of status for any other purpose.
The violations of the F-1 student status can be in various forms. The students will not engage in on-campus employment as a visiting faculty. Or, as a permanent staff member. They cannot apply for employment in any other sectors for the tenure of their program. This restriction is only limited from the issue date of the F-1 status to the applicant until the program starts.
The Impact of the New USCIS Change
Additional applications, file extensions, subsequent extensions, and initial COS call for additional paperwork. The workload is insane for both the applicants and the USCIS. Not to mention the mounting costs of these forms and applications that most immigrants found hard to pay. In fact, with the introduction of the new policy, the workloads for both parties reduced. And the additional costs from applications will also reduce. The terms are being revised, and new changes are being made to promptly reflect the guidelines.
Enrollment Instructions for the Non-Immigrant
Every status has its own set of instructions for non-immigrants. Some statuses permit the students to enroll in a new program, while others restrict the applicants from enrolling in school. The non-immigrant needs to acquire an F-1 status that entails that the applicant can enroll as an academic student. Those who have violated the non-immigrant status won’t be eligible to qualify for the change of status or extension of status.
How to Change Your Non-Immigrant Status to F-1 Status
Every individual having a valid non-immigrant status who wishes to enroll in a school can acquire F-1 status to enroll in a program. However, the applicant should meet the following criteria:
- Be a law-abiding citizen of the United States.
- Should have a valid non-immigrant status.
- The applicant should not have involvement in any criminal activity.
- They should not violate the regulations and conditions of the change of status.
- They should not have involvement in any such activity that will disqualify them for the change of status (COS).
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you should take the necessary steps to ensure that your application gets its due approval from the USCIS. These steps involve:
- Sending and receiving an application of approval from the United States Student and Exchange Visitor Program.
- Obtaining an I-20 form, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, from the United States Student and Exchange Visitor Program.
- Paying the I-901 SEVIS Fee.
The next step is to send an application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service for the change of status (COS) or extension of status. If your application is approved, you will receive a notice of approval. If you don’t receive one, your application is still pending.
Be mindful that every applicant with a non-immigrant status cannot qualify for the change of status to an academic student. Certain applications of non-immigrant classifications are withheld on various grounds. To make sure that you are eligible for the category you are applying for, read the instructions on the form carefully.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service has revised the guideline of the change of status where the applicants will no longer have to wait for a period of 30 days to bridge the gap. This is to ensure that the mounting costs and workload are reduced, and the process can move along swiftly.