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OIS NEWS – 2/19/2019

Significant Changes to Form I-539 to be Implemented Beginning March 11, 2019

On February 11, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that beginning Monday, March 11, 2019, significant changes will go into effect specifically relating to Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. The changes include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

  • Required use of only revised Form I-539 with an edition date of 02/04/19;
  • Replacement of Supplement A (provided within the existing version of Form I-539) with new Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Every co-applicant listed within the primary applicant’s Form I-539 will be required to submit and sign a separate Form I-539A; (legal guardians may sign on behalf of children under 14);
  • In addition to the base filing fee of $370 of Form I-539, every applicant and co-applicant listed within the form must also include an $85 biometric services fee; (limited exceptions apply)
  • Regardless of age, every applicant and co-applicant listed within Form I-539 will receive a biometric services appointment notice after filing Form I-539 with USCIS. The notice will instruct the applicant or co-applicant to attend a biometric services appointment at an Applicant Support Center (ASC) closest to the primary applicant’s listed address on Form I-539.

The purpose of Form I-539 is to permit certain qualifying foreign nationals in the U.S. to request a change to another nonimmigrant status (e.g. F-1, J-1, H-4), to extend their existing nonimmigrant status, or to apply for reinstatement in the case of F-1 students who are among the groups required to use the form.

 

As the announcement makes clear, the new edition date of Form I-539 and new Form I-539A will be published on the USCIS website on March 11, 2019. As such, OIS strongly encourages any international student, employee, or visitor who plans to file Form I-539 and/or I-539A in the upcoming weeks to be mindful of these significant changes taking effect March 11, 2019. Failure to follow these changes will result in USCIS rejecting Form I-539, including those omitting Form I-539A (if applicable), required signature(s), or biometrics fees. For UIC students and dependents in F nonimmigrant status who plan to file Form I-539 in the upcoming weeks, please contact our office if you have specific questions. For all other nonimmigrant classifications who plan to file Form I-539, we encourage you to seek personal legal advice from a qualified immigration attorney if you have questions.

 

OIS will continue to monitor these changes to filing Form I-539 and will update the UIC international community accordingly. As always, if there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at ois@uic.edu or (312) 996-3121..