I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

The Form I-539 is the application for nonimmigrants to extend their stay or to change from one immigrant category to another.

USCIS suggests that you file the I-539 at least 45 days before your current period of stay expires. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may be included on the I-539 as co-applicants only if they are of the same status or a derivative status (dependents).

Who qualifies to file the I-539?

  • A, Ambassador, Public Minister, or Career Diplomatic or Consular Officer and their immediate family members
  • A-3, Attendant or Servant of A Nonimmigrant and the A-3’s immediate family members
  • B-1, Visitor for Business, or B-2, Visitor for Pleasure
  • Dependents of CW-1 Transitional Worker
  • Dependents of an E Treaty Trader or Investor, Australian Specialty Occupation Worker, or E-2 CNMI Investor
  • F-1, Academic Student
  • G, Designated Principal Resident Representative of Foreign Government and his or her immediate family members
  • G-5, Attendant or Servant of a G Nonimmigrant and the G-5’s Immediate Family Members
  • Dependents of an H, Temporary Worker
  • J-1, Exchange Visitor
  • Dependents of an L, Intracompany Transferee
  • M-1, Vocational or Non-Academic Student
  • Dependents of an O, Alien of Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
  • Dependents of a P, Artists, Athletes, and Entertainers
  • Dependents of an R, Religious Worker
  • TD Dependents of TN Nonimmigrants
  • V, Spouse or Child of Lawful Permanent Resident

What documents are required to file the I-539?


Documents required are specific to each visa category. Below is a list of documents required for some of the most popular visa categories.
  • B-1, Visitor for Business, or B-2, Visitor for Pleasure
    • The original I-94 filed of each person included in the application
    • Reasons for your request
    • Evidence that your extension of stay is temporary and evidence of your arrangements for eventually departing the U.S.
    • Evidence of how your extension of stay might affect your foreign employment or residence
  • Dependents of an E Treaty Trader or Investor, Australian Specialty Occupation Worker, or E-2 CNMI Investor (the employer must file Form I-129 to extend or change the status of the E worker while dependents must file separately on this form)
    • The original, copy, or filing receipt of worker’s Form I-129, Petition for Alien Worker as evidence that the petition is pending
    • Copy of worker’s I-94
    • Evidence of relationship between dependent and worker
  • F-1, Academic Student
    • For change of status:
      • The original I-94 of the student and the original I-94 of any dependents included on the application
      • The original I-120, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student (issued by the school where you will study)
    • For extension of stay
      • Only use this form if your visa was issued for temporary stay at a public secondary school. Otherwise, contact your designated school official.
  • Dependents of an H, Temporary Worker
    • The original, copy, or filing receipt of worker’s Form I-129, Petition for Alien Worker as evidence that the petition is pending
    • Copy of worker’s I-94
    • Evidence of relationship between dependent and worker
  • J-1, Exchange Visitor
    • Original DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status
    • Original Form I-94 and the original I-94 for each person included in the application
    • Contact the responsible officer of your program for specific directions for a reinstatement or an extension
  • Dependents of an L, Intracompany Transferee
    • The original Form I-129 of the employee or a filing receipt noting that the petition is pending
    • Copy of employee’s Form I-94 or approval notice that show he or she has been granted status for the period of stay you are requesting
    • Evidence of relationship between dependent and employee
  • M-1, Vocational or Non-Academic Student
    • The original Form I-94 and the original I-94 for each person included in the application
    • For reinstatement :
      • Evidence that your requested reinstatement is due to circumstances beyond your control or that not reinstating would cause you extreme hardship
      • You currently are or intend to pursue a full course of study
      • Any employment has been authorized
      • You are not in removal proceedings
  • Dependents of an O, Alien of Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
    • The original Form I-129 of the employee or a filing receipt noting that the petition is pending
    • Copy of employee’s Form I-94 or approval notice that show he or she has been granted status for the period of stay you are requesting
    • Evidence of relationship between dependent and employee
  • Dependents of an R, Religious Worker
    • The original Form I-129 of the employee or a filing receipt noting that the petition is pending
    • Copy of employee’s form I-94 or approval notice that show he or she has been granted status for the period of stay you are requesting
    • Evidence of relationship between dependent and employee