What is Form I-539?
Form I-539 is an application form used by individuals in the U.S. to request a change of nonimmigrant status or an extension of stay.
This form is typically used by foreign nationals who are already in the U.S. on a certain nonimmigrant visa status and wish to change to another nonimmigrant status or extend their current status.
Common reasons for filing Form I-539 include:
- Change of Status: If someone is in the U.S. on one type of nonimmigrant visa (such as a tourist visa) and wants to switch to another nonimmigrant status (such as a student visa).
- Extension of Stay: If an individual needs to extend their stay in the U.S. beyond the expiration date of their current nonimmigrant status.
How to fill out Form I-539 step-by-step
If Form I-539 is being filed for multiple applicants, the information for the primary applicant is entered on Form I-539.
The information for co-applicants is entered on Form I-539A. A separate Form I-539A must be submitted for each additional applicant.
Let’s start with the general Form I-539 instructions:
- Current edition of forms: make sure that you are using the current edition of the form I-539. The most current edition is available on the USCIS website.
- Some categories of applicants are eligible to file Form I-539 online
- USCIS will reject any outdated editions of the form
- Sign and date the form
- Type or print legibly in black ink
- If you need extra space to complete any item in the I-539, go to the last page of the form – Part 8 Additional Information. Indicate the Page Number, Part Number, and Item Number to which your answer refers.
- Answer all questions fully and accurately
- If an item is not applicable or the answer is “none,” type or print “N/A,” and it is recommended that you do so
- You must sign the form in ink. Stamped or typed signatures are not accepted
Form I-539 is completed by the person applying for change or extension of status.
For USCIS Use Only: leave it blank.
To be completed by an attorney or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)-accredited representative: leave it blank if you are not being represented by an attorney or representative.
Part 1 Information About You
Your Full Name
Questions 1.a.-1.c. Enter the applicant’s full legal name as shown on their birth certificate, passport or legal change of name document.
Question 2 – Alien Registration Number – Enter your Alien Registration Number (also known as an “A-Number” or “A#”) here, if you have one. Most applicants do not have an A-Number.
A-Numbers are usually assigned when an immigrant petition or application for Adjustment of Status is filed, or if the person has previously been issued an immigrant visa.
An A-Number is also assigned to individuals placed in removal or deportation proceedings.
Question 3 – USCIS Online Account (if any) – If you have ever created an USCIS Online Account Number, enter it.
If you have previously filed certain applications or petitions on a paper form, you may have received a USCIS Online Account Access Notice issuing a USCIS Online Account Number.
The USCIS Online Account Number (if any) can be found at the top of the notices for the previously filed petition or application.
The USCIS Online Account Number is NOT the same as an A-Number.
If you don’t know or don’t have an USCIS online account number, leave this field blank.
U.S. Mailing Address
Questions 4.a. – 4.f. – Enter your U.S. mailing address. All USCIS notices and I-94 record will be mailed to that address.
If your mail is sent to another person, include an “In Care of Name” as part of the mailing address.
U.S. Physical Address
Questions 5.a. – 5.e. – Enter your current U.S. physical address where you reside. Complete this item even if your physical address is the same as your mailing address.
Other Information About You
Question 6 – Country of Birth – Enter your country of birth.
Question 7 – Country of Citizenship or Nationality – List the country where you are currently a citizen or national. If you are stateless, enter the name of the country where you were last a citizen or national.
Question 8 – Date of Birth – Enter your date of birth in mm/dd/yyyy format.
Question 9 – U.S. Social Security Number (if any) – If you have ever been issued a Social Security Number, enter it here. It is common for I-539 applicants not to have a Social Security Number. If you do not have a Social Security Number, enter “N/A” or “None.”
Question 10 – Date of Last Arrival into the United States – Enter the date on which you last entered the United States in the mm/dd/yyyy format. The date of your last arrival will be listed on the I-94. If your passport was stamped by CBP, you can find the date of entry on the stamp.
Question 11 – Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Number – Enter the I-94 number that is listed on your I-94 record.
If your Form I-94 cannot be obtained from the CBP website, you may file Form I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Record with USCIS.
Question 12 – Passport Number – If you used a passport to travel to the U.S. during your most recent entry, provide the passport number even if the passport has expired.
Question 13 – Travel Document Number – If you did not use a passport but a different document to travel to the U.S. (for example, Refugee Travel Document, Advance Parole) at the time of your most recent entry, enter the travel document number even if it has expired. If you used a passport, enter “Not applicable” in this field.
Questions 14.a – Country of Passport or Travel Document issuance- enter the country that issued your passport or travel document.
Question 14.b – Passport or Travel Document Expiration Date – enter the expiration date of the passport or travel document you used to enter the U.S.
Question 15.a. – Current Nonimmigrant Status – Enter your current nonimmigrant status. This information is listed on your most recently issued I-94.
Question 15.b. – Expiration Date – Enter the expiration date of your current nonimmigrant status. If you have been issued an I-94 listing the expiration date of your status as “D/S” for “Duration of Status” (for example if you are currently in F or J nonimmigrant status), then “N/A” should be entered in response to Question 15.b.
Question 16 – Select this box if you were granted Duration of Status (D/S) – check this box if you are currently in F, M or J status.
Part 2. Application Type
I am applying for (select only one box):
Question 1 – Reinstatement to student status – check this box only if you are a student on F-1 who had their F-1 nonimmigrant status terminated and you are applying to request your status to be reinstated.
Question 2 – An extension of stay in my current status – check this box if you are filing the I-539 to request an extension of status of your current nonimmigrant status.
Question 3.a. – A change of status – check this box if you are filing the I-539 to request a change of status from your current nonimmigrant status.
Question 3.b. – New status and effective date of change (mm/dd/yyyy) – If you checked the box in 3.a, enter in 3.b the effective date that you are requesting that the Change of Status to the new nonimmigrant status take effect. If approved, the change of status will take effect on the date your current nonimmigrant status ends, the date of approval, or the date requested here, whichever occurs later.
Question 3.c. – The change of status I am requesting is – Enter in 3.c enter the new nonimmigrant status that you are requesting (for example, F-1, H-1B, H-4, L-2, O-3, R-2, etc.)
Number of People Included in This Application (select only one box):
Question 4 – I am the only applicant – check this box if you are the only applicant filing Form I-539.
Question 5.a. – Members of my family are filing this application with me – check this box if there are multiple family members applying together on this application for change or extension of status.
Question 5.b. – The total number of people (including me) in the application is: (Complete the supplement for each co-applicant.) – If you checked the box in Question 5.a, then in Question 5.b enter the total number of family members applying together, including the primary applicant. Form I-539A must be completed and included for each additional family member.
Part 3. Processing Information
Question 1 – I/We request that my/our current or requested status be extended until (mm/dd/yyyy) – Enter the date that you are requesting that your extended or changed nonimmigrant status be granted until. Enter “D/S” for Duration of Status for F-1 or J-1 status.
Question 2.a. – Is this application based on an extension or change of status already granted to your spouse, child or parent? – If Form I-539 application is being filed based upon an already approved petition for extension of status or change of status for your spouse or parent, then check “Yes” for Question 2.a.
Question 2.b. – If you answered “Yes” to Item Number 2.a., provide USCIS Receipt Number – Enter the Receipt Number for the approved petition. The receipt number is found at the top left portion of the Notice of Receipt or Notice of Approval.
Question 3.a. – Is this application based on a separate petition or application to provide your spouse, child, parent an extension or change of status? – Choose the appropriate answer that matches your situation. If these questions do not apply to you, enter “N/A.”
Question 3.b. – If pending with USCIS, provide USCIS receipt number – If you answered “Yes” to the previous question, enter the USCIS receipt number for the separate petition or application that was filed with USCIS. The receipt number is found at the top left portion of the Notice of Receipt.
Question 4 – First and Last Name of Petitioner or Applicant – if applicable, enter the petitioner’s/applicant’s name.
Question 5. Date filed (mm/dd/yyyy) – You can find the date a petition or application was filed on USCIS I-797C notice.
Part 4. Additional Information About the Applicant
Questions 1.a. – 1.c. – Provide your current passport information – Enter the information for your current passport, including the passport number, country of issuance, and expiration date. Each applicant is required to have a valid passport.
Physical Address Abroad
Questions 2.a.-2.f. – Provide your physical address abroad. If you are applying for H or L nonimmigrant status, then you are not required to maintain a residence abroad, and you can enter “N/A”. Otherwise, your physical address abroad should be entered here.
Questions 3 through 15 – These questions are asked to determine whether you are ineligible for the change of status or extension of status. You should answer “Yes” or “No” to each of these questions. If you answer “Yes” to any of these questions, then additional information must be provided on the last page of the form (Part 8).
If you answer “Yes” to any of these questions, you might be found ineligible for change or extension of status. It is recommended that you consult an immigration attorney before filing your Form I-539 application in such circumstances.
Question 3 – Are you, or any other individual included on the application, an applicant for an immigrant visa? – Answer “Yes” if any of the applicants listed on Forms I-539 and I-539A currently have applications for immigrant visas pending with the U.S. Department of State. You do not have to answer “Yes” to this question if you or your spouse or parent have a pending or approved immigrant petition (Forms I-130 or I-140) but have not applied for an immigrant visa through the National Visa Center.
Question 4 – Has an immigrant petition EVER been filed for you or for any other individual included in this application? – Answer “Yes” if an immigrant petition (for example, Form I-130 or I-140) has ever been filed for any of the applicants listed in the I-539 or I-539A. You do not have to answer “Yes” to this question if an immigrant petition has been filed for a family member that is not listed as an applicant for the I-539 or I-539As.
Question 5 – Has Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, EVER been filed by you or by any other individual included in this application? – Answer “Yes” if an I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status has ever been filed by your or any of your co-applicants listed in the I-539 or I-539As. You do not have to answer “Yes” to this question if an I-485 application has been filed for a family member that is not listed as an applicant for the I-539 or I-539As.
Question 6 – Have you, or any other individual included in this application, EVER been arrested, or convicted of any criminal offense since last entering the United States? – Answer “Yes” if any applicant listed on I-539 or I-539A forms has ever been arrested or convicted of a crime in any country in the world.
Questions 7.a.-7.e. – Have you, or any other individual included on the application, EVER ordered, incited, called for, committed, assisted, helped with, or otherwise participated in any of the following: Acts involving torture or genocide; Killing any person; Intentionally and severely injuring any person; Engaging in any kind of sexual contact or relations with any person who did not consent or was unable to consent, or was being forced or threatened; Limiting or denying any person’s ability to exercise religious beliefs? – Answer “Yes” for the appropriate item if any applicant listed on Form I-539 or I-539A has ever committed any of these acts.
Questions 8.a.-8.b. – Have you, or any other individual included on the application, EVER: Served in, been a member of, assisted, or participated in any military unit, paramilitary unit, police unit, self-defense unit, vigilante unit, rebel group, guerrilla group, militia, insurgent organization, or any other armed group? Worked, volunteered, or otherwise served in any prison, jail, prison camp, detention facility, labor camp, or any other situation that involved detaining persons? – Answer “Yes” for the appropriate item if any applicant listed on Form I-539 or I-539A has ever served in any of these capacities.
Question 9 – Have you, or any other individual included in this Application, EVER been a member of, assisted, or participated in any group, unit, or organization of any kind in which you or other persons used any type of weapon against any person or threatened to do so? – Answer “Yes” if any applicant listed on Form I-539 or I-539A has ever been involved with such a group or organization.
Question 10 – Have you, or any other individual included in this application, EVER assisted, or participated in selling, providing, or transporting weapons to any person who, to your knowledge, used them against another person? – Answer “Yes” if any applicant listed on Form I-539 or I-539A has ever been involved with such a group or organization.
Question 11 – Have you, or any other individual included in this application, EVER received any type of military, paramilitary, or weapons training? – Answer “Yes” if any applicant listed on Form I-539 or I-539A has ever received such training.
Question 12 – Have you, or any other individual included in this application, done anything that violated the terms of the nonimmigrant status you now hold? – Answer “Yes” if any applicant listed on Form I-539 or I-539A has violated their current nonimmigrant status (for example, overstayed their visa or worked without authorization).
Question 13 – Are you, or any other individual included in this application, now in removal proceedings? – Answer “Yes” if any applicant listed on Form I-539 or I-539A currently has removal (deportation) proceedings pending against them.
Question 14 – Have you, or any other individual included in this application, been employed in the United States since last admitted or granted an extension or change of status? – Answer “Yes” if any applicant listed on Form I-539 or I-539A has been employed in the U.S. since their last entry into the U.S. or since they were last granted an extension of status or change of status. If you answered “Yes” to this question, provide an explanation and documentation to show that the applicant was authorized to work in the U.S. If you answer “No,” then provide an explanation of how you have been financially supported during your time in the U.S. without working. For example, if the applicant is in L-2 nonimmigrant status as the spouse or child of an L-1 visa holder, they can provide an explanation that they have been financially supported by their spouse or parent who has been in L-1 status.
Question 15 – Are you, or any other individual included in this application, currently or have you ever been a J-1 exchange visitor or a J-2 dependent of a J-1 exchange visitor? – Answer “Yes” if any applicant listed on Form I-539 or I-539A has ever been in J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status. If you answer “Yes,” provide an explanation and documentation showing that you either:
- Were not subject to the two-year home residency requirement under INA §212(e)
- You have since returned to your home country for two years, or
- You have been granted a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement.
Part 5. Applicant’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification and Signature
Question 1.a. – If you can comfortably read and understand the application in English, then check the box in Question 1.a.
You should carefully review the entire application for accuracy prior to signing.
Question 1.b. – If you are not proficient enough in reading English, then a competent interpreter needs to read through the application with you for accuracy review prior to signing. The interpreter need not be a professional interpreter but should be someone that is able to properly interpret the application. In such a case, the box in Question 1.b should be checked and the language used to interpret the application to the applicant should be entered (for example, Spanish, French, etc.)
Question 2 – The box for Question 2 should be checked if anyone has prepared the application at your request. If a preparer was used to prepare the application, Part 7 must be completed too.
Applicant’s Contact Information
Questions 3, 4, and 5 – Enter your daytime telephone number, cell phone number (if any), and email address (if any).
Question 6.a. Applicant’s Signature – sign the form. It must be an ink signature. USCIS does not accept stamped or typed signatures.
Question 6.b. – enter the date in mm/dd/yyyy format.
Part 6. Interpreter’s Contact Information, Statement, Certification, and Signature
If an interpreter was used to read you the application in your native language, then Part 6 must be completed with the information about the interpreter.
The interpreter must sign and date to certify that they are:
- Fluent in English and the language the applicant used;
- They have completely read the application to the applicant in that language;
- The applicant confirmed to understand the contents of the application; and
- The applicant verified the accuracy of the application.
Part 6 is completed by entering the full legal name of the interpreter, the interpreter’s mailing address, daytime phone number, cell phone number (if any), email address (if any), and the language used to interpret the application to the applicant. The interpreter must then sign and date the application where indicated at Question 7 on Page 5 of the application.
Part 7 – Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature, and of Person Preparing Form, If Other Than the Applicant
Part 7 is completed by entering the preparer’s full name, organization name (if applicable), mailing address, daytime telephone number, fax number (if any), and email address (if any).
The box at Question 7.b should be checked if an attorney has prepared the application.
The preparer must sign and date the application where indicated as Question 8 attesting to certifications about the preparation and accuracy of the application.
Part 8. Additional Information
This section can be used if there is not enough space in any other parts of the form to provide all requested information.
Note: Even if no information is provided in Part 8, this page should still be included with the application when submitted to USCIS.
If you need additional space, make copies of this page to use to provide all requested information.
If you are using Part 8 to provide additional information, enter:
- Applicant’s name
- Alien Registration Number (A-Number) (if any)
- Indicate the Page Number, Part Number, and Item Number to which the answer refers.
Form I-539 filing fees and checklists of required documents: Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status