What is the meaning of AOS?
Adjustment of status (“AOS“) is a procedure that allows an eligible applicant to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States without having to go abroad and apply for an immigrant visa. You can become a permanent resident.
What does no AOS mean?
“No AOS” stands for “No adjustment of status.” It expresses the immigration inspector’s opinion that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services should not approve a change to another status.
Nigerians are worried as US Immigration officers allegedly stamp No AOS No EOS on a Nigerian passport. Following the news about the United States of America government’s ban on DropBox, a Nigerian man, via Instagram has called on Nigerians to be careful if they have to travel to the United States.
According to him,
“the US Customs and border protection security are now signing No AOS / No EOS on passports of visa holders or immigrants at the US airport.
If your passport gets stamped with No EOS, it means no extension of status. So no longer extending your 6 months stay or adjustment of status or getting married while you are here, everyone has to be careful these people are not joking.”
The annotation of “No COS/AOS/EOS” on the passport means no change of status, adjustment of status, or extension of status. It expresses the immigration inspector’s opinion that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services should not grant an extension of your visitor’s stay or approve a change to another status.
The Customs and Border Protection agents use this stamp when they suspect something questionable about a person’s travel patterns. This is a red flag on any immigrant’s passport, it is not binding but will cause more time-consuming interactions each time there is an attempted entry by the holder to the US henceforth.
It is not too common for a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer to include this annotation in a visitor’s passport, it does happen sometimes. This annotation alone does not necessarily place a ban from COS/AOS/EOS, or from coming back to the U.S.
As long as the holder still has a valid visa, they should be able to come back to the U.S. However, that does not mean they will be guaranteed entry to the U.S. on the next trip.
It will be up to the CBP officer at the port of entry to determine whether or not the passport holder will be admitted to the U.S, Eyad Tabahi, an Immigration Attorney revealed.
People visit the United States for many different reasons, such as tourism, starting a business venture or visiting family members and friends. While you are in the U.S. your circumstances may change and you may want to extend your stay because of a sick family member or change your non-immigrant status because you are accepted to a university, or adjust your status from a non-immigrant (temporary) status to an immigrant (permanent) status.
There are different procedures you must follow depending on whether you want to extend your stay, change your non-immigrant status or adjust from temporary non-immigrant status to permanent immigrant status.
This post will explain the process for each in turn, as well as who is eligible to apply and the risks and consequences if your petition is denied.
Who Should Apply: A foreign national who wants to stay in the U.S. for a longer period of time in the same nonimmigrant status in which they entered the U.S.
For example, a foreign national who entered on a B visa for tourism and wants to stay past the expiration date on the I-94 for tourism purposes could apply to extend their stay.
ALSO READ: How to Apply For a US Visa in Nigeria
Procedure: If you are visiting the U.S. and find that you want to extend your stay beyond the date on your I-94, you must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status with USCIS. This form must be filed before the expiration date on your I-94 and should be filed at least 45 days before your authorized period of stay expires.
Once the I-94 expires your lawful non-immigrant status ends and you are considered out of status, even if you have timely filed to extend the period of your nonimmigrant status.
If the application to extend your stay is approved then the approval will relate back to the date your I-94 expired and you will be deemed to have been in lawful status the entire time. However, if your application is denied you must depart the U.S. immediately and any nonimmigrant visa in your passport will become void.
It is important to note that once your authorized period of stay expires you may be deported and you will begin to accrue “unlawful presence” which could lead to future bars to entry. If your application is denied you will have been out of status and accruing unlawful presence for each day that you stayed in the U.S. past your authorized period of stay.
Who is Eligible to Extend their Stay: Foreign nationals are eligible to extend their stay if they were lawfully inspected and admitted to the U.S. with a nonimmigrant visa that is still valid at the time of filing Form I-539. They must also have a passport that will remain valid through the extended stay.
They may not apply to extend their stay if they committed any crimes making them ineligible for a visa or violated any of the conditions of their admission, such as conducting business while on a student visa.
Who is Not Eligible to Extend their Stay: People who entered the U.S. under certain visa categories are not permitted to extend their stay. This includes people who entered under the Visa Waiver Program and people in transit through U.S. airports without a visa (TWOV), as well as anyone on a D (crew member), C (in transit), K (fiancée) or S (informant) visa.
Who Should Apply: A foreign national who entered with one type of nonimmigrant visa and now wishes to switch to another type of nonimmigrant visa. For example, if you are visiting the U.S. on a B visa for tourism and discover that you want to accept a job and change to an H-1B visa, you will need to apply to change your status from tourist to an employment visa before you can start work.
Procedure: Similar to the application to extend your stay, you must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status before the expiration date on the I-94. It is important that you do not change your activities until you receive approval from USCIS for the change in status.
For example, if you enrol in school and begin attending classes before you receive USCIS approval you will be acting outside of the authorized activities for your current status under the tourist visa.
This failure to maintain status could lead to future bars to entry or to you being removed from the U.S. Violating the terms and conditions of your status also makes you ineligible for a change of status.
I hope you found these pieces of information useful. Has your passport ever been stamped with the No COS/AOS/EOS tag? Do share your experience with us in the comments section!