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Applied for H1 to F1 transfer (I539), will uscis approve before school starts ?

Seattle, WA |

I have been working on H1 for last few years. Early this year I decided to goto school and get my PhD. I got funding from my chosen school to pursue my degree. So with this I applied for transfer of status more than a month ago. I am currently on H1 which will expire in next few weeks and also I only have few days left for my school to start but my I539 status shows pending. Do the USCIS try to approve F1 visas before the students school start or can it even happen middle of the semester. I also have my Assistantship Starting date in the beginning of the semester.

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Attorney answers 3


USCIS does always approve change of status to F-1 before school starts. It is always wise to apply early.

(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


Estimated processing times are always as posted on the USCIS website. The fastest way to be in F-1 status is to go home and apply for an F-1 visa stamp there.

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.



Thank you. I539 currently shows 2.5 months processing times needed (as of May 31st). I am still working so going home is not an option for me.


Remains to be seen. Probably yes.

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

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