USCIS Announces Applicants for Change of Status to F-1 Student No Longer Need to Submit Subsequent Applications to “Bridge the Gap”
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that applicants seeking a change of status to F-1 (student status) no longer need to apply to change or extend their initial nonimmigrant status to prevent a gap in status while their initial F-1 change of status application is pending.
Under the new policy, USCIS said it will grant the change of status to F-1 effective the day an applicant’s Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status is approved.
F-1 students are no longer required to “bridge the gap” by continuously applying for and obtaining status all the way up to 30 days before their academic program start date, while their initial F-1 change of status application is pending. USCIS is in the process of revising the Form I-539 instructions to reflect these changes.