A Step-By-Step Guide To Switching Immigration Status

When it comes to switching immigration status in the United States of America, the process can be a little complex. There are basically two options for a non-citizen to enter this country; they can enter as immigrants or non-immigrants, which will depend upon an array of factors that include their visa status at the time of the entry. Sometimes, after entering the country, you may want to extend your stay, which may require you to get your immigration status changed. For this, you need to send an application form to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. You can do this on your own or with the help of an attorney, but in either case, you must have at least the basic understanding about the forms to fill up and the procedures to follow. Following is a brief rundown on how to go about it.

Have No Confusion About Your Current Status

Switching immigration status is a difficult process, and any mistake, no matter how minor it is, can prove to be very costly. For example, the process may become more time consuming or more expensive. Therefore, make sure that you have no confusion about your current status. Check your current immigration papers and confirm the same. You must have a clear idea whether you are living in the US as an immigrant or a non-immigrant. For example, if you have a visitor visa, you are residing here as a non-immigrant. On the other hand, if you are an immediate family member of a US citizen (even though he/she is an immigrant) or are entering the country as a fiancé or spouse of a US citizen with an immigrant Visa, your status is immigrant.

Check The Official Website Of The United States Citizenship And Immigration Services

For a detailed review of the procedures for switching immigration status, you can visit the official website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you are already an immigrant, you may like to check the sections for citizenship and/or green card. Non-immigrants can check the section for changing the non-immigration status.

Complete And Submit Proper Forms

At the official website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, you can find a detailed list of the necessary forms that you need to fill up. You can even download those forms for free. Fill out those forms thoroughly and double check it before submitting the same.

Co-Operate With The Procedure

The procedure for switching immigration status may require you to go through medical examinations or fingerprinting. You must co-operate with the authorities conducting the same. A thorough background check will also be made. You may receive phone calls from immigration authorities or a personal visit by them or you may be requested to come to their office for a personal interview; so, get ready for all this.

Pay The Filing Fees

You will be required to pay a certain amount of money as filing fees. The fees change from time to time. Therefore, you are recommended to get the current list from the official website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

If you are unable to handle the process for switching immigration status yourself, it may be a wise idea to consult a qualified and experienced US immigration lawyer for assistance.