USCIS Announces New Policy Guidance on Change of Status Applications to F-1 Student Status
On July 20, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced new policy guidance that eliminates the need for individuals who have applied for a change of status (COS) to F-1 student to submit an additional “Bridge petition” while their initial F-1 COS application is pending.
Under the previous policy, applicants needed to maintain status up to 30 days before the program start date listed on their Form I-20, Certificate for Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, which required them to file extensions ensuring that they would not have a “gap” in between the previous status until the F-1 status was approved. This was especially confusing when a Change of Status application was pending for an extended period.
To prevent a “gap” in status, USCIS will now grant the change of status to F-1 effective the day the application is approved.
Please read the full Policy Alert announcement here.
If you are a student with a current Change of Status to F-1 application pending with USCIS, please contact your ISO Advisor and consult your immigration attorney who has been assisting you with your Change of Status application.