Colombian Au Pair currently working with agency called Au Pair in America. Want to change visa status from J-1 to F-1 because now I realize after working in program for 3 months that I really just want to study English in the United States. The two year J-1 restriction does not apply to me. I am in my 30 day grace period right now. I want to know if I can legally stay in U.S. past the 30 day grace period if I can submit my application for change of visa status to D H S ICE. I have heard that it is legal and okay for non u.s. citizen to remain in US after losing J-1 visa status as long as they are waiting to hear back from the D H S ICE regarding their decision on whether to approve or deny my F-1 visa request. Any and all detailed information, required forms, things to be careful of/look out for, professional tips from experience, etc. anything at all in addition to addressing above matter would be very much appreciated.
Recent policy changes within USCIS have made remaining in the USA without status riskier, more difficult, and more complicated than it was before. You should consult with an attorney before your status expires to discuss a change in status and whether or not you should remain in the USA while the application is pending. If you remain out of status and your application is denied, you may be placed in removal proceedings and/or be subject to a 3 or 10 year bar due to the period of unlawful presence. Consulting with an attorney can save you time and help you preserve your rights and option.
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