Change of Status
Under present immigration laws there over 40 non-immigrant visa classifications. While certainly a lot, each one of these classification is designed for a rather specific activity in the U.S. and each one states specifically what can and what cannot be done while in the U.S. Whether you are authorized to engage in employment activities under you visa classification, for example an O-1 visa, should you decide to change your employer or the nature of your employment, a change of your status, or petitioner may be required. An example may be a person entering the U.S. as a tourist, under B1/B2 classification and then deciding to engage in employment in the U.S. because of an employment offer. Depending on the type of employment, the alien must apply for a change of status to a visa classification that allows employment. Same goes for students, exchange visitors and all non-immigrants.
Engaging in the wrong activity under a present immigration status, may not only jeopardize the alien’s present visa status, but also present other impediment for future visa applications or entries to the U.S.
The first ever and most important condition to qualifying for a change of status is by all means the “legal entry” requirement. This means that an alien cannot enter the U.S. without inspection and later apply for a change of status. This is because the person applying for a change of status must already have a valid visa status before he or she may apply to change it.
Therefore, there should you plans change in the U.S. it is not only advisable to change your status, but also required. Contact us today to find out if you qualify and for a free consultation with an immigration attorney.