Latest News - Special Instructions for B-1/B-2 Visitors Who Want to Enroll in School (08/20/2010)

USCIS issued its special instructions for B-1/B-2 visitors who want to enroll in school on August 19, 2010. In its memo, CIS clarifies the following issues:

Is it permissible to enroll in school while in B-1/B-2 status?

No, it is not. Before enrolling in classes, individuals who are in B-1 or B-2 status must first acquire F-1 (academic student) or M-1 (vocational student) status. Enrolling in classes while in B-1/B-2 status will result in a status violation. Individuals in B-1 or B-2 status, who have violated their nonimmigrant status by enrolling in classes, are not eligible to extend their B status or change to F-1 or M-1 status. These regulations provide no exceptions.

How can an individual obtain F-1 or M-1 status?

If the B-1/B-2 holders currently hold B-1 or B-2 nonimmigrant status and would like to enroll in classes, they may apply for a change of status to F-1 or M-1, as appropriate, if:

  • B-1/B-2 holders have not yet enrolled in classes
  • B-1/B-2 holders current status have not expired
  • B-1/B-2 holders have not engaged in unauthorized employment

To change nonimmigrant status from B-1/B-2 to F-1 or M-1, I-539 petitions must be filed. And before I-539 approval, B1/B2 holders cannot enroll in classes, otherwise, will be ineligible to change nonimmigrant status from B to F or M.