I had applied for a PhD course at a university in US while I was in my home country but was granted admission after arrival to US on H-4 visa.
If you think and/or know you'll have to deal with US consulates abroad anytime in the future again - applying for additional non-immigrant visas such as H-4 and the like I would wait 90 days + before applying for any COS with USCIS.
If my answer is the "BEST ANSWER" and/or "HELPFUL" please mark it accordingly. Fluent in 7 languages. Certified Specialist in U.S. Immigration & Nationality Law, The State Bar of California, Board Of Legal Specialization. 26 years of successful immigration law experience. The answer above is only general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.
While in general principle Mr. Behar is correct - the Foreign Affairs Manual rule now is that you cannot take any action inconsistent with the original stated purpose of entry until at least 90 days after admission, or you may be presumed to have misrepresented your intention at time of admission - in this case, those purposes are not inconsistent, since even H-4 spouses without work authorization are allowed to attend school full time.
However, I would caution that you should speak to an immigration atttorney in private about all of your circumstances, including whether your H1B spouse is being sponsored for residence, and whether you anticipate the possibility of divorce, since H-4 status allows dual intent, and F-1 student status does not.
This is general information only, and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. Communications in an online forum do not create an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice specific to your circumstances, you must consult an attorney in a private, confidential setting.
I suggest going home to apply for the F-1 ... to do otherwise would appear that you were trying to 'back-door' your visa.
Further, it will take 5-10 months for CIS to process a COS to F-1.
Do the right thing ... don't try to take a shortcut.
PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for 10+ years, practicing 100% immigration law for over 40 years -- All responses on this blog are offered for informational purposes only. It does...
Immediately present your immigration visa issues to the sponsoring company's immigration attorney.
DISCLAIMER The opinion given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general information and basic understanding of the applicable law. Take notice that the answer above does not create an attorney-client relationship as this website is not intended to provide a case specific legal advice. Anyone using the site expressly consents that there is no attorney client privilege between any person and any attorney responding. Further take notice the site should not be used as a crude substitute for any professionally competent legal advice by a licensed attorney in the applicable jurisdiction. The attorney above attempted to provide a competent professional opinion, however, laws and applications change frequently and vary greatly in U.S. jurisdictions and locales, therefore, any information and opinions expressed above remain general in nature, and may not apply to specific, factual or legal circumstances related to one's present legal issues. Contact an experienced lawyer admitted to practice in the State to obtain comprehensive legal assistance before making an informed decision regarding a particular legal issue within an attorney-client privilege setting. Respectfully, Attorney Alexander Ivakhnenko, Chicago, Illinois
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