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USCIS: Certain F and M Students May Apply Online to Extend Their Stay in the United States

May 30, 2019

In this blog post, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s government partner, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), explains the new online filing process for eligible F and M students for the Form I-539, “Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.”

USCIS announced on May 22, 2019 that certain F and M students may use an online version of the Form I-539 to apply for an extension of their stay in the United States.

Visit USCIS.gov/I539Online to see if you can apply online and begin your application.

Currently, filing the Form I-539 online is ideal if you are a vocational student applying as a single applicant with M status. Academic students with F status are unlikely to need to apply to extend their stay because they do not have an expiration date on their status. If you are applying with co-applicants or with an attorney, you must use the paper Form I-539.

Applying online is not mandatory, but it is more convenient. When you apply online, you can:

  • Get your application into our processing queue faster than sending it by mail;
  • Get updates to your case instantly in your online account;
  • Communicate with USCIS using your online account, and;
  • Apply using a computer or mobile device.

Applicants who file the Form I-539 online will continue to receive a paper Form I-797, “Notice of Action,” and Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure record,” by mail, when approved.

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