NAFSA Comments on USCIS Form I-539


On April 12, 2018, NAFSA submitted a comment letter to USCIS regarding Form I-539, Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status.

Read NAFSA's Form I-539 Comment Letter

In it's letter, NAFSA asked USCIS to:

  • Abandon the burdensome, complicated, and expensive "bridge application" policy or revise Form I-539 and the Form Instructions to address the policy adequately
  • Clarify the instructions on change of status effective date
  • Clarify the use of Form I-539 when filed to extend M-1 stay in connection with a Form I-765 filed for M-1 practical training
  • Reference all D/S categories in the instructions, and specify that nonimmigrants with "D/S" should leave the expiration date field blank on the Form I-539

Background: In a Federal Register notice published February 15, 2018 (82 FR 6874), USCIS had asked OMB to extend the authorization of and revise Form I-539 and Form I-539 instructions. Comments were due by April 16, 2018. USCIS provided a draft version of proposed Form I-539 and a Table of changes, as well as a draft version of proposed Form I-539 instructions with a Table of changes. NAFSA commented on April 12, 2019. NAFSA keeps track of public comment opportunities on its Government Public Comment Opportunities page.

The proposed changes also include language related to USCIS biometrics collection authority. A biometrics requirement could involve an additional fee and a biometrics appointment. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) commented on the biometrics collection proposal, asking USCIS to clarify whether it would apply to all I-539 applicants or just to a select group of applicants.