On January 21, 2009, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) met with the USCIS Vermont Service Center Liaison Committee to discuss common problems with Applications to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Forms I-539). USCIS provided the following tips for filing Forms I-539:  

  • Ensure that the applicant's and beneficiary's(ies) names are entered on the Form I-539 exactly as they appear in the individuals' passports;  
  • Provide a copy of the biographical page of the applicant's passport and visa stamp (if applicable) as well as a copy of the individual's Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record;  
  • For B-1/B-2 extension applications, the applicant rather than the attorney should provide the reason or explanation for the extension request;  
  • Submit documentary evidence that the applicant has the financial means to support him/herself during his/her requested period of stay, including sufficient funds to return to his/her home country if a copy of a return ticket is not provided;  
  • For applications requesting a change of status to F-2 (dependent student status) or M-2 (dependent status of an individual attending a vocational school) or requesting a reinstatement to F-1 or M-1, the Form I-20 must be signed by the Designated School Official (DSO) and the student. Additionally, the original Form I-20 must be provided to the USCIS.