When you come to the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and you later want to change your non-immigrant category while staying in the United States, you can submit an application to USCIS to change your status. Sometimes, the change of status is only approved for one day and we often get asked from our clients/potential clients why was their petition approved only for one day and if they have any gap in status as a result of that.
You are filing a change of status petition from B-1 to E-2 . Your B-1 status expires on August 31, 2022 and you filed the E-2 change of status petition in July 2022. You request the E-2 approval dates to be September 1, 2022 – August 31, 2024. In this case, the Change of Status Approval Notice will have validity dates from the day USCIS approves the petition until the end date you requested (August 31, 2024). For example, if USCIS approves the petition on February 1, 2023, the validity dates would most likely be February 1, 2023 – August 31, 2024.
The issue with the one day Change of Status approvals usually does not arise when changing to E-2 status. The issue usually only arises when you are changing to a B-1 or B-2 status, as you can only ask that your petition is approved for 6 months in these scenarios.
You were in the U.S. on a TN visa and you quit your job on July 1, 2022. You want to spend some time in the U.S. as a B-2 tourist. You filed a change of status petition from TN to B2 on July 15, 2022 during your TN grace period. You requested that your status is changed to B2 from August 31, 2022 until February 1, 2023.
You later realized you want to spend some additional time in the U.S. to travel and visit friends and you filed another B-2 Extension of status petition asking that your B-2 status is extended further until August 1, 2022. In March 2023 you get an approval for your Change of status petition, but the approval is from March 15 (the date USCIS approved the petition) until March 16.
The question that arises is: What does this one day approval mean? Does this mean that you were out of status from when your TN grace period expired until March 15?
If USCIS approves a change of status petition, the start date is always effective on the date of approval. This is because USCIS only authorized the change of status (and your new status) on the day of approval. The reason why USCIS sometimes approves change of status petitions for 1 day only is because the adjudication took longer than the maximum period the status could be requested for (meaning, that in the scenario above, the change of status was approved after February 1, 2023).
In case there is a gap of time between the expiration of your previous status (the TN grace period in the scenario above) and the start date of your new status, USCIS will consider that you maintained legal status in this period if:
- The Change of Status petition was filed timely,
- USCIS approved the Change of Status, and
- You did not violate any conditions of your non-immigrant status
To sum up, the 1-day Change of Status approvals are fine and common in certain situations as described above. If you have any questions you should contact an experienced immigration attorney and discuss your case.
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