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Dinsmore | Immigration
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File I-539 with USCIS


Foreign nationals with approved nonimmigrant status (for example, H-1B, L-1, O-1, TN, and so on) may have dependent family members who require an extension of status or a change of status after their own nonimmigrant status has been approved.

If you have a dependent family member who requires an extension or a change of status, you may wish to hire legal counsel for your dependents or you may choose to file the application on your own.  If you decide to prepare your dependent’s application, the following information will assist you and your dependent to prepare and file U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.

USCIS Form I-539

Form I-539 can be obtained for free, by visiting and clicking on the “Forms” tab in the upper left hand of the page.  Scroll down to the I-539 Form and download the fillable PDF form.  While USCIS allows a limited number of applicants to electronically file Form I-539, dependents of H-1B, L-1, and some other nonimmigrants are not currently eligible to “e-file.”

Please note that generally only one I-539 Form is needed per family.  There is no need for separate I-539 forms for each dependent family member.  Please also note that U.S. born children should not be included in the application.

Some Tips On Completing Form I-539

The I-539 Application is filed “by” your dependent.  What this means is that you are not filing this application for or on behalf of your dependent.  Instead, you dependent is the “applicant” and is making this application for himself or herself.

Part 1

Information about “You” refers to your dependent.  Please list your spouse or (if no spouse is involved) your oldest child’s information in Part 1.

Part 2

Question 1.  Please check whether your dependent is seeking an “extension” or a “change” of status.

Question 2.  Please enter the total number of people (spouse plus all foreign-born children) who need an extension or change of status at the present time.  Remember, U.S. born children should not be included on the form.

Part 3

Question 1

Please list your current H-1B or L-1 or O-1 or TN (or whatever your nonimmigrant classification is) expiration date on line 1.  This date should be the expiration date on your employer’s most recent Form I-797 Approval Notice or the expiration date on your Form I-94.  Your family members should be entitled to the same period of time as you (but not more time).

Question 2

Please check “yes” and list your H-1B or L-1 or O-1 or TN USCIS case or file number (for example, the file number may appear as ABC-00-000-00000).

Question 3

Please check “no.”

Question 4

You may skip question 4 and leave it blank.

Part 4

Questions 1-2

Please indicate the passport and foreign address information for the person listed above in Part 1.  If your dependent does not have a foreign address, your dependent may list that of a close family member or may leave the address field blank.

Question 3a and 3b

Please note that “Immigrant Petition” means USCIS Form I-140 or USCIS Form I-130 and “Immigrant Visa” means an application filed on Form DS-230 at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.  Please check “yes” only if your spouse is the beneficiary of an I-140 Petition or an I-130 Petition filed directly for your dependent.

Question 3c

Please check “yes” if your spouse or child has ever filed Form I-485 Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident.

Question 3g

If your dependent has held an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), please check “yes” and explain the employment on page 4 of the form.  If your dependent does not work, please mark “no” and then note the following statement on page 4 (second box):

“I am supported by my [spouse] [parent] who is employed at __________________ [insert name of your employer] and who earns $ _________ per year.”

Part 5

Please state whether your dependent can read and understand English or whether the form was translated to him/her.  If your dependent can read and understand English, please ask your dependent (the person noted in Part 1) to sign and date in Part 5.  If you translated the form for your dependent, please note your own details as the “Interpreter” in Part 6.

Supplement 1

Please add any additional dependents (not mentioned at Part 1) on this Supplement.  The Supplement contains room for up to 5 additional family members.  If you have more than 5 additional family members, you may attach a separate piece of paper listing their information, as requested on Supplement 1.

Supporting Documents

Before filing Form I-539, please organize the following documents for each dependent included in the application:

  • Copy of passport identity page (photo ID page);
  • Copy of latest I-94 record;
  • Copy of latest nonimmigrant “visa” from passport (if any);
  • Copy of any H-4 or L-2 or O-3 or TD approval notices (if any);
  • Copy of your own H-1B or L-1 or O-1 or TN approval notice from your employer
  • Copy of your I-94 record
  • Proof of your employment with your authorized employer (usually, the latest 2 earnings statements from your employer will be sufficient.  You may instead include a letter from your employer confirming your employment.)
  • Documents to show the legal relationship between you and your dependent.  For a spouse, this should be your marriage certificate with an English-language translation.  For a child, this should be the child’s birth certificate listing your name as the parent, with an English-language translation, plus a copy of your marriage certificate.

If the person seeking dependent status is changing from a work-authorized status, such as H-1B, L-1, O-1, TN, and so on, please also include copies of (a) any USCIS I-797 Approval Notices and (b) recent earnings statements (paystubs) to establish maintenance of lawful immigration status.

USCIS Filing Fee & Mailing Address

Please mail your I-539 Form (including Supplement 1 if applicable), your supporting documents, and a check (a personal check is acceptable) or bank check or a money order for $370 payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” to the following address:

If sending via U.S. regular mail or U.S. Postal Service “Express Mail:”

P.O. Box 660166
Dallas, TX 75266

If sending via private overnight delivery service such as UPS, FedEx, or DHL:

Attn: I-539
2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

We recommend that applications be filed with USCIS via traceable means, such as certified mail with a return receipt requested, or USPS Express Mail, or a private overnight delivery service such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL.  We also recommend that you retain a complete copy of everything that you file with USCIS.

What USCIS Will Do

After receiving your Form I-539, USCIS will mail a Form I-797 Receipt Notice to the person named in Part 1 on the I-539 application.  Processing times at USCIS vary, but most I-539 Forms are reviewed and decided within 120 days.  You can monitor the status of the I-539 Form by visiting USCIS at:

and inserting the USCIS-issued Receipt Number.  USCIS Processing Times can be found at:

Once your dependent’s case is approved, USCIS will mail a Form I-797 Approval Notice for each person listed on the I-539 application (one for the person listed in Part 1 and one for each person listed on Supplement 1).  Please double-check these USCIS Approval Notices to ensure that the expiration dates given to your family members match your expiration date.


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