As any qualified immigration lawyer Connecticut can tell you, every non-immigrant visa has a specific purpose. However, what happens if you want to change the purpose of your visit in the United States? Perhaps you came as a tourist but decide that you want to attend college. Speaking to a qualified immigration attorney Connecticut may help you navigate the change of status procedure.
What are the eligibility requirements?
In order to be able to change a non-immigrant visa, you must submit an application to change this status. This will need to be done with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, there are several requirements someone needs to adhere to before he or she is eligible for a change in status. These requirements include:
- The applicant must be in the United States legally and have a valid visa
- Must meet the requirements for the new nonimmigrant category
- Possess a passport that is valid for the duration of the new non-immigrant status
- Apply for the change of status prior to his or her expiration of status
- Follow all conditions for holding the visa (for example, not working without proper authorization)
- Currently hold a visa that is eligible for change in status
In the event that the applicant meets those requirements, it does not guarantee that a request is going to be accepted. Having a visa immigration lawyer evaluate your case will guarantee that you not only increase your odds of being accepted, but will also help you file for a change in status early enough. Because the processing times are lengthy, the recommended time to start filing for a change in status is at least 60 days before the expiration of status date. It is possible to apply for a change in status as much as six months prior to the expiration date.
Can you change to permanent resident status?
If someone comes into the country on a non-immigrant visa and decides that he or she wants to stay permanently, that leads to many different challenges. When applying for a non-immigrant visa, it means offering evidence for intent to return home at the conclusion of their time in the United States and attachment to their homeland. Deportation is possible for those who misrepresented their purpose for coming to the United States
However, both the Department of State and USCIS recognize the dual intent doctrine. This means someone might have intended to return home initially and developed the intent to remain in the United States later during their stay. However, it may be difficult to prove dual intent. If it is your goal to remain in the country, having a Stamford immigration lawyer represent you is in your best interest.
How can we help?
We have experience in helping people change their non-immigrant status. Whether you want to become a permanent resident or work in the United States temporarily, we are able to help you explain your options in a swift manner. Call our immigration law office CT today for a free case consultation.