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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 105669
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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I entered the U.S. on a B2 visa, 5 months later I applied

Customer Question

I entered the U.S. on a B2 visa, 5 months later I applied for an extension. It has been 5 months and the extension is still pending. New I 94 expiration date should be September 9th. I want to apply for change of status to F1. Can I while B2 extension is still pending? And besides the I-20, I 539 from school and supporting documents, what other documents do I need to submit (different than what I would submit if I had the new I-94)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for requesting me. Has UScis said what the delay is? You have to get an approval before they can approve an F-1 change of status. When do your classes start?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Classes start September 14th, but does it really matter since it will take 5 to 8 months for the F1 approval anyway? USCIS has not said anything about the delay, Ive heard from friends about other people that are still waiting (more than 5 months) for their B2 extensions. I saw that you answered a similar question that I can request a change of status while the B2 is still pending. I need to know what documents are different than if the B2 was already approved?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
If you could provide me with the link to my previous answer I would appreciate it. USCIS will not approve change of status until your current extension is approved. You may have to leave the US for stamping outside.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
http://my.justanswer.com/question/guest/218437ccfd3b410686d474cb408cb97a
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Ok. I looked at it. Why do you think your case is different? You need the extension approved before they will accept your F-1.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't understand. In the question previously posted it says that the B1 is still pending and you say
"Technically, you can do this, but if the B-1 I-539 is denied, you have no "bridge" between the B-1 and the F-1 and you would have to leave the U.S. Your extension would have to be approved before your F-1 could be approved unless you filed for the F-1 before your first stay expired."When you say you can. How exactly do you do it? Do you have to include anything differenet else in the documents ?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Ok. It's not too complicated. What do you think will happen if you file the change of status to F-1 now and the extension of your B is denied?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If that happens it will all be denied. But what happens if B2 is approved, thats the answer I am interested in? And can I actually file? It's a really simple question I am not sure why we have been wiring back and forth and I am not getting an answer.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

If the extension is approved, then you MUST file the I-539 change of status to F-1 before your stay on B expires and that cannot normally be longer than 1 full year. So if your one full year is September 9th, then you need to file the I-539 change of status to F-1 before that date and unfortunately, you cannot be changed into F-1 earlier than 30 days before the start of classes. So let's say that your 1 full year is September 9th and you file the change of status before then, but your classes start January 5th (as an example), then you will most likely have to leave the U.S. to go for stamping. The timing is just not good in your case, it seems. I am truly sorry. I wish I had better news for you.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions and there is no additional charge. Also, should you need to chat on the phone, private email or need help reviewing documentation, I am happy to do so for a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested in these – I am happy to give you more details! When we are done, if you would be so kind as to leave a positive rating for my service, I would sincerely ***** ***** You can even ask additional questions without additional charge even after leaving a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for all your help. But I still feel confused. Can we ignore all the ifs and just explain to me how can I file for the F1 while the B2 is pending. Because I know there is a way to file while the extension is pending I just don't know the exact steps for it. That is all I am asking for. Thank you!
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Forget about what you think you know. To keep yourself out of trouble, focus on what an attorney that has focused for more than 13 years on immigration law tells you. There is no easy way for you to do what you are planning to do. Yes, you can FILE, but NO, you cannot get an approval UNLESS your B extension is approved first. So yes, you can file the F-1 change of status now, but the F-1 change of status cannot be approved until your B extension is approved. There is no convenient way for you. U.S. immigration law is almost never convenient. The best thing for you is to stay in the U.S. and change from B to F. I understand that, but you won't be able to do it UNLESS your extension request is approved first. Had you filed your change of status before the date on your I-94 expired, then you would be ok, but since you filed the EXTENSION of status before your I-94 expired and are not planning to file the CHANGE of status after your I-94 expired, you NEED the extension approved before your change can be approved. If your extension is not approved, you have nothing to bridge the time between when your I-94 expired and then you filed the change of status. I hope that clears things up for you.

Let me know if you need anything else, but please do not forget to rate me positively. Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand everything you just said. But my question is still how to submit my documents ( do I need to write anything specific on the cover letter? ) and what would be different from if I were filing knowing my B2 was approved.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

You fill out the change of status from B-2 to F-1 like normal and you file it before September 9th and that will start being processed, but if they deny the extension of the B-2, they will not approve the change of status to F-1 because at that point you would have no status to change from. You cannot be out of status to change status to something. That's why you need the extension of B-2 approved. Let me know if you need anything else, but please do not forget to rate me positively. As I do not receive a salary, it is the only way that I get credit for my service to you. You are NOT charged again and we do NOT finish just because it says, "Rate to finish" or something like that. I will not abandon you after you rate me positively if you have additional questions. Thank you for your understanding!

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello. I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No it didn't, in fact I feel like this experience was a total rip off.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Why would you say that? Don't you think it would be easier for me to tell you what you want to hear even though it is wrong and/or could get you into trouble? And then you would go away happy and leave a positive rating and I would be compensated? But instead, I do the right thing, telling you the truth, to help keep you out of trouble, hoping that you would value my service, truthfulness and care and then you tell me that you feel you have been ripped off. You can get a 100% refund, but I don't get my time or effort back that I spent to help you. I don't think you are the one that got ripped off. I hope you re-consider because that's not fair that you have said that to me.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have contacted a local lawyer that's told me how to proceed in this delicate situation. Please let me know how can I proceed and get my refund.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Do me a favor. If your extension is denied and they don't approve your F-1 change of status because the bridge between the B-2 and F-1 collapses and you find out that I was correct and the attorney you hired just told you what you wanted to hear so that they could charge you to do the case, then please come back and tell me. Of course, if the extension is approved, it won't matter. I was still correct, but you better hope you get that extension request approved. Good luck!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was clear to me from the very beginning that if the B2 doesn't get approved I am screwed. That was not the question that I was looking an answer to.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I understand that and I answered that. I clearly stated that you can file the F-1 change of status but that you need the B-2 extension to bridge the gap between the B-2 and the F-1.

Let's go one by one:

Can I while B2 extension is still pending?

YES. You just file another I-539 with the I-20 asking for a change of status from B-2 to F-1, but they will see that your original I-94 expired and that you have another I-539 filed asking to extend the B-2 status.

And besides the I-20, I 539 from school and supporting documents, what other documents do I need to submit (different than what I would submit if I had the new I-94)

Really just the new I-539, the I-20, copy of the old I-94 and copy of the old I-539 extension request receipt.

So it isn't that complicated. I just don't want you to get into any trouble. That's my concern. I don't need to sugar-coat anything because my purpose is not to upsell you on my service or anything like that. Someone else may tell you something different because they want you to hire them. I just want to keep you out of trouble. I hope you can understand that.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I appreciate that but you are JUST answering my question about what documents I need to send. And I can decide if I want to risk it and still file the extention. I just needed the information so I can make a decision based on that.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

It isn't a big risk because even if you are not approved for the extension, that just means that you would need to leave the U.S. to get F-1 visa stamping outside of the U.S. and as long as you leave the U.S. quickly after an extension denial, it should not be difficult to convince a visa officer that your overstay was brief, reasonable, won't happen again, and that you still have non-immigrant intent.

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