Immigration Issues/COS to F1


I am on L1 visa expiring by this OCT-11th,2009. Since i completed 5 years i would be going out of USA at expiry. The question is about my wife(L2 status until i leave) applied for a change of status to F1 today, and about her stay in USA while i am gone.

1. Can she stay in USA with a pending change of status L2 to F1 and while i am (L1) gone out of USA ?
2. Form i539 applciation sent today through overnight mail. Will she get a receipt before i leave ?
3. What will happen about her stay if the change of status receipt delayed even after Oct-11th?
4. Will she be able to rent an apartment and drive while her change of status pending?
5)which USCIC service center is used for COS for Iowa state for form I-539 ?
Thank you very much for taking some time to look in to this.  

Eileen Chun-Fruto, Los Angeles immigration attorney writes:

Dear Jose,

1.  Yes, she can stay as long as the change of status was both timely and properly filed.
2.  Receipts can take from 2 weeks to 2 months or longer.  It is hard to tell with USCIS sometimes.  But I will guess that you should receive the receipt before you leave.
3.  She can try and use her fed ex or overnight mail receipt as proof she sent it on time, but that is not an official receipt.
4. Yes, she can rent an apartment as long as the landlord does not discriminate against her based on her immigration status, which by the way would probably be illegal to do.  As far as driving, she can only drive if she still holds a valid driver's license.  Having filed a change of status does not make her eligible to extend her drivers license by the way.
5. You can probably find out via  However, files get moved around a lot, so files can also be transferred to and from different CIS service centers.

Good luck and should you require assistance, contact me again.

Eileen Chun-Fruto

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Eileen Chun-Fruto


I can answer any employment-based immigration question including questions about PERM labor certifications, H-1B skilled workers, L-1A multinational managers or executives and L-1B specialized knowledge, R-1 and I-360 religious workers, investor cases (E Treaty Trader and E Treaty Investors and EB-5 "million dollar investors") and O-1 extraordinary ability cases. I can also answer any questions regarding family-based immigration, such as adoptions, waiver cases, consular processing (using foreign consulates to enter as an immigrant), marriage and fiance/fiancee cases, 245(i) cases, VAWA (Violence Against Women's Act), battered spouses, and Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).


I have over 12 years of experience in business and family immigration. I was a former law clerk for the Executive Officer for Immigration Review (the immigration courts) in San Francisco and I current serve as the California Service Center's (CSC) liaison on behalf of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. I represent individuals and corporations alike, ranging from professionals in the high tech, science, liberal arts fields. I have a special niche in working with start-up companies and individuals with more complex immigration issues.

Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Executive Committee on Immigration

J.D., University of California at Davis - King Hall School of Law (1997) B.A., University of California at Irvine, cum laude (1994)

Awards and Honors
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008: Selected to Southern California Rising Star - Super Lawyers List (an honor shared by no more than 2.5% of the attorneys practicing in the entire Southern California region) Faculty/Moderator on various AILA and LACBA continuing legal education seminars in the following topics: H-1B, O-1, religious workers, business immigration visas

Past/Present Clients
My typical business clients can range from a start-up company, established engineering and software research and development companies, manufacturing, trade and distribution companies, public and private schools, and religious organizations. Family clients include spouses, parent-child petitions, siblings, naturalization, and most especially, representation of abandoned and neglected children viewed as orphans under the immigration law. I have represented many clients who relied on special provisions of the immigration law to preserve or "grandfather" benefits to family members in limited (and complicated) circumstances, to avoid re-application fees and longer waiting times.

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