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Can you change your visa status when you are already in the United States?

In some circumstances, it may be possible to change the status of a visa that will expire soon. If you or one of your relatives is here with authorization visitor or tourist status, you can submit a request to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services to update the status of a visa. 

There are a few different options that could permit a greater length of stay. Here are a couple of options to change your visa if you are already in the United States and prevent removal status. 


If you have a B-1, B-2, or K-1 visa, marrying a U.S. citizen could enable you to get a Green Card. When you apply to Green Card, you will need to provide evidence of the marriage. You will also need to undergo an interview with a representative from the USCIS who will attempt to verify that your marriage is legitimate. 

Enrollment in an Academic Program

A student visa can allow you to remain in the country until you have completed your course of study. You must be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient resources to pay for school and housing. Also, you would need to be a full-time student. Academic institutions have their own criteria for what constitutes full-time status. 

Ultimately, if you have an expiring visa and you need to stay in the U.S., it is important that you start the process as soon as possible. You should apply before the expiration of your current visa. Be aware that getting an approval may take some time.