Change of Status

The term Change of Status (COS) is the name given to the process through which a person can change from one temporary status (nonimmigrant) to another temporary status without having to leave the United States. Typical examples of this process are changing from a student visa status to H-1B. Usually, a successful COS is evidenced by the USCIS issuing you a new I-94.

Changing status from a temporary visa to a green card within the United States is also a change of status, but it is technically referred to as Adjustment of Status (AOS). 

Specific Issues in Change of Status

  1. Certain categories of nonimmigrant visas are not allowed to change status (J-1 with HRR to another status).
     
  2. Change of status must be timely filed.  That is, the USCIS must receive a complete application before the current status expires. Otherwise, you run the serious risk of accruing unlawful presence.
     
  3. While a COS is pending, another COS may not be allowed.
     
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  5. (I am still working on it)

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