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If I'm in the U.S. on the b1 or b2 Visitor Visa, Can I Change Status to Another Visa Category or Do I Have to Leave the U.S. to Apply?

When a person enters the U.S. in the B1 or B2 visa category and then files an application for a change of status to another non-immigrant visa category or for an adjustment of status to a green card holder, USCIS applies the “30/60 day rule” in evaluating such applications.

This means that if the person makes such an application within 30 days of entry on the B1 or B2 visa, USCIS will presume the person has acted in bad faith. That is, the person is assumed to have had the preconceived intent to make the change before he/she even entered the U.S., rather than the legitimate intent of actually coming to be a visitor. If the application is made between 31-60 days after entry, USCIS will not presume bad faith, but there will be a strong suspicion that the person may have acted in bad faith and the case will be scrutinized carefully. If the application is made after 60 days, USCIS will automatically assume the person acted in good faith. In short, therefore, it is safest to file such applications at least 61 days after entry on the B1 or B2 visa.