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Change Your Status (I-539)

Do you want to extend your stay in the United States or change your visa status? You can apply for these changes by completing the I-539 form online. You can also use the form to apply for reinstatement of your F or M status.

I-539 is not for extending F/J status.

Do not use the I-539 form to extend your F or J visa status. If you're an F-1 or J-1 student, find out how to extend your end date. If you're a J-1 scholar, work with a human resources representative in your college, school, or department to file the appropriate request form. F and J extensions are processed by the Office of Global Learning International Services. 

You also don't need to file the I-539 form if you are planning to travel outside the U.S. in order to apply for a new entry visa.

Apply to Change Your Status

Before you apply, be sure to carefully review all information on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) I-539 webpage.

You Manage Your Own Application

The I-539 form is not an employer petition, so International Services can't legally review or provide advice on your application. We can't answer questions about the required filing fees, filing out the form, or visa status issues. If you have any questions about your I-539, you must direct them to an immigration attorney. Don't hesitate to contact us if you need help finding a local immigration attorney.

Students and Exchange Visitors

If you are an incoming F-1 student, M-1 student, or J-1 exchange visitor (in any category), you may file the I-539 form to change your status within the U.S. While this process can take a long time, it is possible to expedite your application. For more information, please see the USCIS instructions on how to request premium processing. Premium processing is also available for dependent family members seeking F-2, M-2, or J-2 status.

If you need your F-1, J-1, or M-1 status reinstated, be aware that reinstatements are very rare. Please contact us before filing a reinstatement petition using I-539.

Other Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff on H-1B, O-1, TN, or E-3 visas typically have an I-129 form filed with USCIS through a petition process sponsored by Cornell. Dependents are not included on your I-129 form. If Cornell applies for an extension or change status for you, your spouse must file an I-539 for him or herself, and include any dependent children on separate I-539As. At this time, premium processing is not available for dependents of individuals in H-1B, O-1, TN, or E-3 status filing the I-539 form.

Most TN and E-3 visa holders do not have I-129 forms and apply for TN or E-3 status at a U.S. port of entry.