UPDATE FOR B-1/B-2 VISITORS WHO WANT TO CHANGE THEIR STATUS TO F-1 IN THE U.S.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has made a new update for people who want to change their status from B-1 and B-2 (i.e., visitors who are in the United States for business and pleasure purposes) to F-1 status during their stay in the United States.
Per the federal regulations, Before enrolling in a course of study, individuals who are in B-1 or B-2 status must first acquire F-1 (academic student) or M-1 (vocational student) status. Enrolling in a course of study while in B-1/B-2 status will result in a status violation. Individuals in B-1 or B-2 status, who have violated their nonimmigrant status by enrolling in a course of study, are not eligible to extend their B status or change to F-1 or M-1 status. These regulations provide no exceptions.
To change the nonimmigrant status from B-1 or B-2 to F-1 or M-1, you must file a change of status with USCIS. And most importantly, you must maintain their B-1 or B-2 status while your Form I-539 is pending.
You will need to file a second petition with USCIS, with a separate fee, to request an extension of your B-1 or B-2 status if:
1- Your current status will expire more than 30 days before the initial F-1 or M-1 program start date. USCIS may approve your change of status request only if you are maintaining your B-1/B-2 status up to 30 days before your program’s initial start date. If your status will expire more than 30 days before your F-1 or M-1 program’s initial start date, you must file a second petition requesting to extend your B-1 or B-2 status. If you do not file this extension request on time, USCIS will deny your request to change to F-1 or M-1 status. Please check our processing times to determine if you need to file a request to extend your B-1/B-2 status.
2- Your F-1 or M-1 program start date is deferred to the following academic term or semester because USCIS did not make a decision on your petition change of status application before your originally intended F-1 program start date. You must file a second petition in order to bridge the gap in time between when your current status expires and the 30 day period before your new F-1 program start date.
Because extending your current stay in B-1 or B-2 status and changing from B-1 or B-2 to F-1 or M-1 status are two distinct benefits, you must pay a separate filing fee for each request.
For further info you may see the User Fee Statute, 31 U.S.C. 9701.