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Change of status from illegal status to F-1

Somers, NY |

A friend of mine entered US in Fall 2010 on a visitor's visa. However due to some financial hardships he had to stay back and is currently working without any proper work authorization. He has no criminal record.
He wants to enroll in a university (grad program) to continue his education.

1.) Is there any provision to facilitate this change of status?
2.) His original passport (India) is about to expire in a year. Will he need to renew it? How?
3.) How will his current illegal status affect his ability to get a job in future after his grad education is complete?

I know these are questions with a lot of variables but I am just trying to get an idea if this is even a feasible approach for him and what questions to ask a lawyer if we hire one.

Editing the 2nd question: How can he renew his passport staying in US? Going back to India isn't an option. Also, since most of you feel he would not qualify for a student visa, what other options does he have to stay in the US legally, or at least start a process towards legalization given his current situation. He wants to settle down in US eventually.

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Attorney answers 3


No, he will not be able to get a change of status. Would require a student visa (with a waiver).

Niren & Associates
(toll free) 1-866-929-0991
(local) 416-410-7484
Offices in Toronto and Buffalo

Legal disclaimer: For specific advice on your case, Mr. Minawi can be reached at 1-866-929-0991 ext. 206 or by answer does not establish an attorney client relationship.


Overstayed and worked without authorization, It will be very difficult for him to qualify for an F-1 visa.

(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


1. No ... his visa violations are too serious for him to qualify for a student visa.

2. Yes, he should go home and renew his passport

3. He will probably be refused future non-immigrant visas that require non-immigrant intent.

This was a serious violation ... he needs to meet with an attorney to learn more about the seriousness of his actions.

You don't need a list of questions before going to a lawyer ... an experience immigration lawyer will know what questions to answer .... even before you formulate the questions.

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- -- -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.