Some nonimmigrant visa status holders are prohibited by immigration law to change status within the U.S.


Not all nonimmigrants in the U.S. are allowed to change their nonimmigrant status.   If you were admitted in any of the following nonimmigrant categories, you will not be able to change your nonimmigrant status.   You cannot request a change of status in the United States and must depart prior to the expiration date of your I-94.


If you are a holder of the below visas, you are not allowed to change their nonimmigrant status:


  • C- Alien in Transit
  • D- Crewman
  • K-1 or K-2- Fiancé(e) or Dependent of Fiancé(e)
  • S- Witness or Informant
  • TWOV- Transit without Visa
  • Visa Waiver Program- WT or WB status

Some nonimmigrant visa statuses are restricted from changing to another visa status


If you were admitted in any of the following nonimmigrant categories, there may be certain restrictions concerning the ability to request a change in nonimmigrant status.

If you are a vocational student (M-1), you may not apply to change your status to a(n):


  • Academic student (F-1)
  • Any H status (Temporary worker), if the training you received as a vocational student in the United States provided the qualifications for the temporary worker position you seek.

If you are an international exchange visitor (J-1), you may not change your nonimmigrant status if:

  • You were admitted to the United States to receive graduate medical training, unless you receive a special waiver.
  • You are an exchange visitor and are required to meet the foreign residence requirement, unless you receive a waiver.
    • If you do not receive a waiver, you may only apply to change to a diplomatic and other government officials (A visa) or representatives to international organizations (G visa)


Please note that if you are present in the United States in any of the above categories, you must depart the United States on or before the date your I-94 expires.  If you have any questions or concerns about your I-94, visa status, visa application, or change of status, call or email us for a free initial consultation.  [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]

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