Changes to “I-539” Application to Extend/Change Non-Immigrant Status-What to Look Out For

On March 08, 2019,  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) issued a “significantly revised” I-539 Application to Extend/Change Non-Immigrant Status. Many people are familiar with the I-539 as it is the application used to extend anything from a tourist visa to an H-1B visa.  Significant changes involved in USCIS’ revision to the I-539 include: (1) paying an additional filing fee of $85 for a biometrics appointment; (2) requiring applicants to attend a biometrics appointment, which will be scheduled after filing; and (3) in the past, for premium processing,, whereas I-539s could be submitted with a principal petition and adjudicated alongside that principal petition, they will now be adjudicated separately once biometrics are complete. It is forecasted that these changes will result in longer wait times for a decision on an I-539 application. It is important to keep these changes in mind so that you consider all your options when looking to renew an applicable visa. The older version of the I-539 will be accepted until March 21, 2019.

If you are interested in learning more about this change, or about how some of these changes might affect a pending or past application or petition, feel free to contact our office at 713-589-2085 or email us at[email protected] to set up a consultation. For more information, contact our asylum lawyers and immigration lawyers today.

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