USCIS recently (02/06/2018) added a new requirement for anyone switching to F1 status has to have some kind of valid status to cover the "gap in status" up until their application is approved. Before this was only a requirement for people switching from B1/B2 but now they changed it so its for everyone.
Here's my situation:
-i539 filed on June 2017 with I-20 start date of Aug 2017.
-Turned 21 in October 2017 but my I-94 expires on July 2018
-I am graduating May 2018
I talked to a couple lawyers and here is what they suggested:
Lawyer A: File another I-539 from H4 to B2 to cover the gap
Lawyer B: Since I filed my I-539 before this requirement, you might be okay
Lawyer C (School Attorney): Just wait it out not much can be done at this point
I do not know which lawyer to choose or what to do at this point. I am really scared for my situation so any help would be GREATLY appreciated.Thanks!
"What if I Have a Gap in Status?" Section
A is wrong, it is too late to file another 539
B could be right
C could be right also
The best way to fix this is to go home and get an F-1 visa stamp at the US Consul in your homeland.
PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for 10+ years -- All responses on this blog are offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.
You really can't rely on I-94 expiration date which exceeds your 21st birthday for H4 status. Factors such as being able to study in H4 status and being able to remain in the U.S. in a period of authorized stay with a pending COS application have to be balanced with other countervailing factors in your unique situation. I agree with my colleague that the most conservative course of action would be to obtain an F1 visa at a U.S. Consulate.
The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter, nor should it be viewed as establishing an attorney client relationship of any kind.
This is what you will encounter when you decide to file yourself. If an attorney was to file, they would have taken care of all issues upfront.
This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. Any comments offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. You are encouraged to seek independent and private counseling for a complete review of your case.
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