Can I stay in the US even if my I-94 expires? 12 Answers as of May 21, 2012

I have a tourist visa and I am hoping to get to study college in the US. I prefer to go there first before I apply for a student visa so I could get a chance to visit some schools. I will be going there on July and expecting to be given 6 months of stay (July-January2013). I was wondering, if I file for my change of status (b2 to f1) before I expire, can I wait/stay till the school starts (August 2013)? and should I tell at the POE that I intend to change my status? Any advice would be helpful.

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LAW OFFICES OF ALAN R. DIAMATNE APLC
LAW OFFICES OF ALAN R. DIAMATNE APLC | Alan R. Diamante
This is very risky. Read the instructions of the change of status form at uscis.gov. If you marry a U.S. citizen, you can stay even if you had overstayed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/21/2012
Law Offices of Peter Y. Qiu
Law Offices of Peter Y. Qiu | Peter Y. Qiu
Your body belongs to your own but any other people. Therefore, you can stay anywhere you want. However, if your concern is whether you may be in a position to change your non-immigrant status, then it is imperative that you maintain a valid status before applying for such change. If you are not clear about this written advice, then it is time for you consult a lawyer in person and make sure you pay for his/her service!!!
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 5/21/2012
World Esquire Law Firm
World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
In my view you should not even contemplate remaining on US soil after the expiration of your I-94 if you plan on going to school here in the US unless you apply and receive an extension of your period of stay. You are allowed to enter the US 30 days before the beginning of your school term, not before. So, if you are already in the US and your I-94 expires in January 2013, then how do you bridge the gap between January and August? Once you are accepted, your school will have to register you with SEVIS upon issuing you the I-20 and you will have to pay the appropriate fees to ICE. The point I am making is that your status will be known and validated for a certain period of time. So, if you put yourself in a situation where you begin the school year out-of-status, then chances are you will lose your certification and maybe your F1. This is because the change of status to F1 is not going to be a "slam dunk" (though it is usually granted if everything else checks out). It can be denied. So, if you plan on coming on a B2 and changing to F1, then give yourself enough time within the possible 6 months you will be admitted for to do all the school visiting you want AND applying for the F1 (I say within 2 months out of the 6 you will have) while your status is still valid. That way, if you secure admission at a school here but are denied the change of status on a technicality, you will still be in valid status and can exit and re-enter without issues.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/18/2012
Law Offices of Brian D. Lerner, A PC
Law Offices of Brian D. Lerner, A PC | Brian David Lerner
If you would file the change of status before the expiration of your I-94, you may do that.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/18/2012
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny | Svetlana Boukhny
You can remain in the US as long as a change of status application is filed prior to the I-94 expiration. However, if the change of status is not approved, you are considered out of status going back to the expiration date of the I-94.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/17/2012
    Elkhalil Law Firm, LLC
    Elkhalil Law Firm, LLC | Hassan Elkhalil
    If you are asked at the POE, you should tell them that you will be visiting few colleges. When you decide on a college, have I-20, then you can think about changing status. Having dual intent before you enter the U.S. may prevent you from changing your status in the future.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/17/2012
    Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
    Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
    Technically, you cannot remain in the United States past your authorized stay in the United States. You should apply for a change of status as soon as you are sure about a school you wish to attend. This will improve the chances the petition is approved prior to your authorized stay. Once the application is filed, you may remain in the United States, but be prepared to depart immediately if denied.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/17/2012
    Mayo Mallette PLLC
    Mayo Mallette PLLC | Thomas J. Rosser
    No. You become a non-immigrant visa "Overstay" if you remain in the US even one day past the date granted to you by the expiration date on your current B-2 I-94. This will cause you significant problems in the future if you are classified as an "Overstay". You should not plan to stay past the date you were authorized. Additionally, you will have a difficult time in most cases since 2001 requesting a change of status from B-2 tourist to F-1 student. Your best procedure would be to visit schools while you are still in valid B-2 tourist status and then depart the US prior to the date granted by the admitting officer at your POE. Once you have received an acceptance letter from the school you wish to attend in the US you should then set up a consular appointment in your home country and process accordingly for the issuance of your F-1 visa. DHS will no longer allow a person in B-1/B-2 status to begin school until s/he has changed status to F-1 or obtained an F-1 visa abroad and re-entered. [8 C.F.R. 214.2(b)(7)].
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 5/17/2012
    Immigration Attorneys, LLP | Robert R. Gard
    If you are authorized admission under the b-2 nonimmigrant category, and you stay beyond the date permitted on your I-94 card without having timely filed an application to extend your nonimmigrant stay, your existing nonimmigrant visa or visas in your passport may be deemed cancelled by operation of law, and you would only be able to apply for subsequent nonimmigrant visas in your country of birth. You may (if over 18) also begin accruing periods of unlawful presence in the U.S. Any previous "overstays" may cause a U.S. Consular Post abroad to decline to issue a new B-2 visa. You are supposed to have a visa notation that you are a prospective student if you are using the B-2 to come look at U.S. schools before applying for an F-1 student visa.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/17/2012
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    If your status is legal, and will remain legal, you can stay. However, you have to leave before the date stamped on your I-94 if you don't have a valid I-20 by the time the I-94 expires, otherwise you'll become illegal and will have a tough time applying for a student visa.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/17/2012
    Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
    Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
    No
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/17/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    You can apply for a change of status from B2 to F1 as long as you submit the necessary forms and paperwork before your authorized stay expires, even if it expires after the application has been submitted. You should not mention about the change of status until you actually find a school and start the process.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/17/2012
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