1. Can I change from F-1 student to B-2 tourist and how long would it take to process?
Can I change from F1 student to B2 tourist? If approved can I travel and come back with tourist visa? Would I be receiving a copy in the mail? How long would it take to process?
Mr. Lee answers,
It may be possible to change from F-1 student to B-2 tourist, but such is mostly impractical at this time to a number of situations. The USCIS service centers are generally backed up on this type of adjudication and could well take over nine months and even longer to make the adjudication. If you file, you will receive a receipt, but it may take a long time before you receive an actual decision. If you decide to file and are still in the US by the time that your requested time is close to expiration, you should leave or take some other action to preserve your nonimmigrant status. Please note that a change of status is not a visa, it is only notated on a paper. If you travel outside the country, you would need to apply for a tourist visa in most cases to return as a tourist.
2. While pending parents I-130 in US. Can they travel out of US?
I have filed parents I-130 after 3 months of their arrival in US. I didn’t file I-485 yet. Can they travel out of US and come back on a visitor visa while their I-130 is still pending in US? Do they need to file for travel document I-131? Can they apply for I-485 back home?
Mr. Lee answers:
The difficulty here is that your parents’ visiting visas require nonimmigrant intent, and they could have a problem reentering the country if they are questioned by a CBP officer on that, Probably the best solution is for your parents to file I-485 applications and obtain I-131 advance parole documents to travel in and out of the US during the time of processing. I note that advance parole applications are taking time for USCIS to process, and so your parents may not be able to leave for possibly 5-10 months after filing. I-485’s are only filed in the United States. If your parents wish to process their papers overseas, they would do it on form DS-260 immigrant visa applications.