Should I Change My Nonimmigrant Status In The U.S.A?

For every foreigner entering the United States of America, the requirement is a conditional authorization that is granted by the USA. This is commonly known as a visa.

Individuals who are recipients of nonimmigrant visas usually come into the country for specific purposes. This can be for school, work, medicals, vacation, or something else.

America’s immigration system makes it possible to change your purpose for entering the country when you arrive.

If you are in this situation, you may need to get a different visa. This should be in the category that defines the change.

There are various ways of getting a new nonimmigrant status in the US. Each change offers benefits and some drawbacks. This should be considered before making a decision.

Travel Re-Entry

The travel re-entry option is possible in some situations. For example, it is applicable when you are not in the US.

In that situation, you need to go to the US consulate or embassy to get a new visa. This automatically allows you to re-enter the country.

For you to achieve re-entry into the US, you should make sure to have the required documents. This usually includes your visa.

Change Your Status in The U.S

For this option, you can submit your change of nonimmigrant status application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

This provision allows individuals to make changes to their nonimmigrant status from the U.S. You will obtain a new status. However, no new visa will be issued.

To make a good decision when changing your immigration status, You need to weigh the pros and cons.

Pros of Changing Your Nonimmigrant Status in The United State of America

  • The applicant is allowed to stay in the United States during the processing period.
  • Family members are usually allowed to change their nonimmigrant status along with the primary visa applicant.
  • The primary applicant can avoid the hassle that comes with a visa application.
  • Changing your nonimmigrant status allows you to pursue a different path either as a student, a skilled worker, or any other available nonimmigrant status.
  • Cons of Changing Your Nonimmigrant Status in The United States of America
  • During the processing time, you must stay in the United States. If you leave the United States, your application gets canceled.
  • Leaving the US during the process of application can be dangerous. You might need to apply for a new visa.
  • There is a possibility that your application might be denied. If that happens, you can be required to leave the US
  • If you must travel outside of the country, you must obtain a matching visa stamp. The only exception is when you are traveling for less than 30 days to Mexico and Canada.

So Should You Change your Nonimmigrant Status in the US?

This decision is dependent on the Eligibility and requirements.

  • The primary applicant has to be in the US at the time of application.
  • Your immigration status during the period of the application period must be valid.
  • The change can only take place if you meet the requirement of the new nonimmigrant status.
  • Remember that not all non-immigrant visas permit you to make such changes to your immigration status.
  • If you entered the country on a visa waiver program, you will not be able to change your immigration status.


The visa categories available for nonimmigrants are over 40. Each of these categories have different limits and requirements. New doors might open up for those who decide to change their immigration status in the US.
You need to consider the processing time and expiration dates before changing your nonimmigrant status. When you do this, you should be able to make the best decision.