USCIS immigration Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status is used by nonimmigrants in the United States who wish to either extend their stay or change their status to another nonimmigrant category.
There are certain cases where Form I-539 is used to apply for initial nonimmigrant status. This form is also used by F and M (student) visa holders to apply to get their status reinstated.
All nonimmigrants need to file the I-539 form in case they want to extend their stay or change their nonimmigrant status form one category to another.
The following may not file Form I-539:
a) foreign nationals in transit (C)
b) foreign national in transit without a visa (TWOV)
c) crewmen (D)
d) K-1 fiancé (e) or K-2 dependent of fiancé (e)
e) K-3 and K-4 visa holders who were granted this status in accordance with the LIFE Act cannot change their status. K-3 and K-4 visa holders may apply for an extension of stay while their I-130 petition is being processed.
NOTE: Form I-539 was recently updated by the USCIS.
Form I-539 has to be filed at least 45 days prior to the expiry of the current nonimmigrant status. USCIS requires that the forms filed by the applicants be current. USCIS reviews and updates its forms from time to time. Each form comes with a revision date and an edition date. Applicants should make sure that the edition date is current or that prior editions are still being accepted by the USCIS before they file the form.
The latest edition date is 10/07/11. The prior editions of Form I-539 that are still accepted are 01/19/11; 11/23/10; 07/15/10; 12/11/09; 06/12/09.