If I’m already in the US under a J1 visa and want to change it to student status and my current visa expires in the meantime, will I become illegal?

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If I’m already in the US under a J1 visa and want to change it to student status and my current visa expires in the meantime, will I become illegal?

Asked on July 7, 2014 under Immigration Law, California

Answers:

SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you are in J-1 status, your I-94 probably does not have a definitive expiration date but indicates D/S for duration of status.  That means that you are permitted to remain in the US for as long as you maintain valid J-1 status.  The visa itself is of no consequence for purposes of determining your authorized period of stay in the US; it is for entry purposes only and the I-94 determines the authorized period of stay.  As long as you apply to change your status to F-1 student while you are in valid J-1 status, you should be all right.


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