Your case has been filed and you’re looking forward to the approval notice. But did you know there are multiple ways to get to that approval? There’s change of status, extension of stay, and more! There are so many terms thrown around in immigration, and it can be confusing. Let’s break it down!


The following explains the kinds of action USCIS can take so you get the status you’ve requested-


Consular processing

You’re currently outside the U.S. OR you’re here now but will leave the U.S. to get your visa abroad. Once your case is approved, USCIS will let the Embassy/Consulate know you will be applying for a visa. For example, your H-1B case was filed while you were abroad. Once it’s approved, you’ll apply for an H-1B visa stamp at the Consulate where you reside. Your new status is activated upon admission to the U.S. with a valid visa stamp.


Change of status

You’re currently in the U.S. in a different nonimmigrant classification, and are applying to change to a new, nonimmigrant status. For example, you’re here as an F-1 student and are applying to change to H-1B status. If approved, your new status is activated on the start date of the approved H-1B petition.


Extension of stay

You’re currently in the U.S. in a nonimmigrant classification, and you’re requesting an extension of your stay in the same classification. For example, you’re here in O-1 status and it’s time to renew, so you’re applying to extend your O-1. If approved, your status is extended until the expiration of the newly approved O-1 petition.



You’re currently in the U.S. in the same nonimmigrant classification, and you’re letting the USCIS know there will be a change to your employment or eligibility since the original filing. For example, you’re here on H-1B but you will be working at a different site or your job duties have changed significantly. If approved, the terms of your employment are updated, and your status is valid until the expiration of the original H-1B petition.


Every case is different, and we’re here to help you through the process. Contact us today to explore your immigration options!




Written By: Katherine Del Rosario, Associate Attorney at McEntee Law Group


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