Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status is used by certain nonimmigrants to apply to USCIS for a change of nonimmigrant status or for an extension of nonimmigrant staty. The form is also used by students applying for reinstatement to F-1 or M-1 student status following a status violation.

Form I-539 Status

Paper filing

The USCIS Form I-539 page provides the following paper form version information:

"Edition Date

12/08/21 Starting April 21, 2022, we will only accept the 12/08/21 edition. Until then, you can use the 03/10/21 E and 03/10/21 editions. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

Dates are listed in mm/dd/yy format."

Online filing

According to the USCIS Check Your Eligibility to File Form I-539 Online page (Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/19/2021):

"Conditions to File Form I-539 Online

You may apply online to extend or change your nonimmigrant status if you meet the following conditions.

You are applying:

  • Only for yourself, without co-applicants; and
     
  • You will not require legal or accredited representation at any point in your request.

You can apply to reinstate your student status, extend, (if you already hold the status), or change to the following statuses:

Temporary Suspension of Biometrics Requirement for Certain Form I-539 Applicants

Extract from USCIS announcement USCIS Temporarily Suspends Biometrics Requirement for Certain Form I-539 Applicants (last updated/reviewed 05/13/2021):

"Effective May 17, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will temporarily suspend the biometrics submission requirement for certain applicants filing Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, requesting an extension of stay in or change of status to H-4, L-2, and E nonimmigrant status. USCIS will allow adjudications for those specific categories to proceed based on biographic information and related background checks, without capturing fingerprints and a photograph. This suspension will apply through May 17, 2023, subject to affirmative extension or revocation of the suspension period by the USCIS director.

This temporary suspension will apply to applicants filing Form I-539 requesting the following:

  • Extension of stay in or change of status to H-4 nonimmigrant status;
  • Extension of stay in or change of status to L-2 nonimmigrant status;
  • Extension of stay in or change of status to E-1 nonimmigrant status;
  • Extension of stay in or change of status to E-2 nonimmigrant status (including E-2C (E-2 CNMI Investor)); or
  • Extension of stay in or change of status to E-3 nonimmigrant status (including those selecting E-3D).

This suspension will apply only to the above categories of Form I-539 applications that are either:

  • Pending as of May 17, 2021, and have not yet received a biometric services appointment notice; or
  • New applications postmarked or submitted electronically on or after May 17, 2021.

However, USCIS retains discretion on a case-by-case basis to require biometrics for applicants who meet the criteria above, and any applicant may be scheduled for an application support center (ASC) appointment to submit biometrics.

Form I-539 applicants who have already received a biometric services appointment notice should still attend their scheduled appointment.

Effective May 17, 2021, Form I-539 applicants meeting the criteria above are not required to submit the $85 biometric services fee for Form I-539 during the suspension period. USCIS will return a biometric services fee if submitted separately from the base fee. USCIS will allow a short grace period during which USCIS will not reject Form I-539 filed with the biometric services fee. USCIS will begin rejecting paper Form I-539 applications postmarked May 27, 2021, or later (while this suspension of the biometrics requirement is in effect), if applicants meeting the above criteria submit a single payment covering both the filing fee and the $85 biometrics services fee. If USCIS rejects the paper application because the applicant included the $85 biometrics service fee after the grace period, the applicant will need to re-file Form I-539 without the biometric services fee."

Archive of March 2019 Updates to Form I-539