Can i apply for extension of H4 visa and then apply for change of status to F1 while extension application is still pending?

Asked about 1 year ago - Jersey City, NJ

i am currently in US on H4 visa and H4 visa status expires on june 17,2013.
I have already applied for extension of H4 which is still in review condition and hence pending.
I intend to join a school with F1 visa this fall, so can i apply for change of status while my extension application is still pending?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Carl Michael Shusterman

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    Answered . You should not file a change of status while your extension is pending. However, since you can attend school using your H-4, there seems to be no need for you to change status to F-1.

    Please click the link at the very bottom for additional information.

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    (213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration... more
  2. William John Vandenberg

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    Answered . Great question! You can, though it's quite possible your H-4 extension will be granted by the fall.

    Remember, in order to change status to F-1, you need to be in lawful status, like H-4. So your F-1 change of status will depend on the H-4 extension being granted. If you are not in lawful status (like H-4) when the school starts, the F-1 change of status will likely be denied.

    Generally, barring unforeseen circumstances regarding the H-1B (lost job, divorce, etc.), the H-4 extension should be granted. So as long as that is the case, in the meantime you can file the F-1 change of status and have it pending at the same time. USCIS should adjudicate the H-4 first, then the F-1, if they are alerted that you have both pending.

    But honestly, do yourself a favor, and retain an attorney to assist you. If this bridge you are constructing fails, you're going to have a problem that is more costly to fix than to prepare for. Please also understand that this email does not constitute legal advice. Immigration, as you know, has serious consequences if a wrong step is made, so you should reach out to a good attorney and at least have a consultation where your documents and situation can be reviewed.

    Good luck!

    John

    (610) 664-6271. John Vandenberg focuses his practice solely on immigration law. You can keep up to date on... more
  3. Anu Gupta

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    Answered . If it is applied already, wait till it gets approved before filing for a F1. You can allowed to study on a H4 as well, though you will not qualify for a work permit when you graduate.

    Business Immigration Attorney. For H, L, J, EB5s, PERM and EB1/2/3 Petitions. Call 800-688-7892 or visit www.... more
  4. Jose Antonio Moreno

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . I agree with my colleagues.

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