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When a person’s goals change during a U.S. visit

There are many different goals people who come to the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa may have for their visit. Sometimes, these goals might change over time. For example, a person who came to the U.S. for tourism might, over the course of their visit, decide they would like to study or work in the United States. When a nonimmigrant visa holder wishes to change what their visit to the U.S. is aimed towards, it can be important for them to understand if the change would raise any immigration issues.

One of the pieces of information it can be important for such a person to have is whether the nonimmigrant status they currently have covers the new goal they wish to pursue. Each nonimmigrant visa has specific rules regarding what sorts of purposes it allows a person to pursue in America. Immigration attorneys can provide nonimmigrant visa holders with explanations on what types of activities their visa authorizes them, and does not authorize them, to pursue.

If a nonimmigrant wishes to change the purpose of their visit to the U.S. to a purpose not covered by their current visa, it can be important for them to understand their available options for addressing the situation. One option they may have available is to apply to be changed to a nonimmigrant status that does cover their new goal. There are legal processes here in the U.S. for changing to a different nonimmigrant status. Immigration lawyers can help nonimmigrants look into what options related to changing nonimmigrant status they would have.

Many things could have implications on a person’s options regarding such status changes, including:

  • Whether they meet the personal eligibility requirements for requesting a status change.
  • Whether the current nonimmigrant status they have allows for status changes. There are a few statuses that do not.
  • Which other nonimmigrant statuses they would qualify for.
  • What nonimmigrant statuses are available that would allow for the new goal they wish to pursue.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Change My Nonimmigrant Status,” Accessed May 23, 2017

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