Change of Status from one Visa Category to Another
Clients frequently ask our immigration attorneys about Change of Status. Every day thousands of non immigrants temporarily enter the United States for a specific purpose such as business (for example, B1 visa), study (F1, J1, M1 visas), or pleasure (for example, B2 visa). The first immigration document that a non immigrant receives at the border or other point of entry is I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record). When a you entered the United States, U.S. immigration inspector should have examined your passport and visa and then given you an USCIS Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record). This record should tell you (in the lower right-hand corner) when you must leave the United States. As non-immigrant you can prove that you did not violate U.S. laws by turning in your INS Form I-94 to the proper authorities when you leaves the country.
If you want to extend your stay in the United States, then you must ask for permission from the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (USCIS) before your authorized stay expires. Proof that you are willing to follow U.S. immigration laws will be important if you want to travel to the United States as an immigrant or non immigrant in the future. If you break immigration laws, you may also become subject to removal (deportation).
I-94 form serves as a proof of lawful admission to the United States. To apply to change non immigrant status you must have a proof that you were lawfully admitted into the United States with a nonimmigrant visa, your non immigrant status must remain valid, and you have not committed any crimes that would make you ineligible. To learn more about the type of your nonimmigrant visa see Nonimmigrant Visa