What are the consequences of leaving the US while my I-539 application is pending? - EB5Investors.com

What are the consequences of leaving the US while my I-539 application is pending?

I went to the US on an F-1 visa for my master’s degree but due to medical reasons, I have to take a leave of absence. I applied for a Change of Status to B-2 in a timely manner because I was going to be out of status and do not want to risk an illegal stay. I applied for I-539 because I did not want to disclose my leave of absence. Three months after that, I left the US while my I-539 application was still pending. Does abandoning the application result in my previous out-of-status stay as illegal? What will be the consequences of abandonment? Does my valid F-1 visa become void? If it does not become void, can I use the same F-1 visa and my new I-20 to enter the US and continue my studies?

Answers

Bernard P Wolfsdorf

Bernard P Wolfsdorf

Immigration Attorneys
Answered on

If you travel while the change of status is pending it is deemed abandoned. However, a non-frivolous application to change status may toll any unlawful presence issues. If you have a valid F-1 visa and your SEVIS record has not been terminated and you have a valid I-20, you may be eligible for readmission. The decision will be made by the inspecting CBP officer.

Lynne Feldman

Lynne Feldman

Immigration Attorneys
Answered on

You need to notify USCIS of your departure and withdraw pending B-2. You can contact the school to see if the I-20 is still active in the SEVIS system to use for reentry.

Julia Roussinova

Julia Roussinova

Immigration Attorneys
Answered on

If you timely filed COS application and left during pendency of the application, you should not have unlawful presence. COS application should be denied by USCIS due to abandonment.

Belma Demirovic Chinchoy

Belma Demirovic Chinchoy

Immigration Attorneys
Answered on

Timely COS filing that is later abandoned generally does not result in unlawful presence during the COS pendency. It is always advisable to file a Withdrawal letter to protect your record. F-1 status, where admission is D/S, is treated differently than other valid admission periods. I would start by speaking with your DSO.

Benjamin Hu

Benjamin Hu

Immigration Attorneys
Answered on

If you filed an I-539 from F-1 to B-2 in a timely fashion, then you would likely not have Out Of Status to worry about. But leaving the US prior to the adjudication of the I-539 does terminate the I-539. If the F-1 visa foil in your passport is still valid (i.e. it has not reached its expiry date) then it can also be used for a new I-20 study arrangement with your academic institution, even if you have previously been unable to maintain a full course of studies in a prior stay. It is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney in order to confirm that each phase of your prior nonimmigrant stay was resolved lawfully.

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