The Difficulty of Changing a Tourist Visa Into a Work Visa

If an employer finds someone they wish to hire that is in the United States on a tourist visa, it is possible to change a tourist visa to a work visa after entering the United States. This means a potential employee may be able to change their visa status to allow them to accept a job. However, it is important to consider whether or not this is a good idea. By stating that they were coming to the United States for a visit when they entered the country and then changing their reason, they could appear deceitful.

Likely, anyone coming to the United States will need to tell the consulate when they apply for a visitor visa that their visit will not be longer than six months. They will need to tell the interviewing officer the same thing at the time of their arrival at the U.S. port of entry.

Presumption of Misrepresentation

The U.S. State Department assumes that an individual was misrepresenting their intentions if they apply to change their status during their first 90 days in the United States. Additionally, they are responsible for proving that they were not misrepresenting their intentions when they first acquired their visa or during their interview at the port of entry.

Therefore, should they succeed in changing their status after coming to the United States, they may still have to prove to the consulate that they were not misrepresenting their actual intentions in coming to the U.S.

Objectionable Activities

There are some activities that the State Department sees as being violations of the 90-day rule and thus objectionable, such as:

  • Participating in unauthorized employment while on a B1 or B2 non-immigrant status
  • Enrolling in a course of study unless the non-immigrant visa classification allows it
  • Marrying a green card holder or United States citizen and then setting up a residence in the United States
  • Taking part in any activity that would require a change of status without applying for it

After 90 Days

Although, once 90 days have passed, it will no longer be automatically assumed that an individual was misrepresenting their intentions, they cannot be sure that they won’t still be questioned about their intentions should they change their status. This could make it a good idea for any potential employee to wait at least 90 days before applying for a change in status. Also, it is important to remember that even after 90 days, the consulate could look at the employee’s situation and consider if they were misrepresenting their intentions.

Form I-9

If an employer hires a foreign national, it will be necessary to complete Form I-9. This can be confusing and time-consuming. It is easy to make mistakes that could result in penalties and fines because hiring personnel do not understand the requirements. However, an electronic I-9 management tool can make the process easier. It can guide employers through the employment verification process and ensure hiring personnel know which documents are suitable to prove work authorization.

Make eligibility verification quick and seamless with an electronic I-9 management tool. Get a head start today with I-9 Compliance.