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Shan_07

COS H4 to F1 within 60 days grace period of H1B layoff

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Hi,

My spouse's cap-exempt H1B sponsored job was terminated on 5th July and while he was able to get another job just a few days before the 60 days grace period ends (which is exactly today, the september 3rd) but the new petition won't be submitted up until October or November due to the long processing time expected to get the prevailing wage determination. To ensure that we continue to stay within US, my spouse applied for COS from H1B to B2, and I applied for COS from H4 to F1 a few days before our 60 days grace period ends (citing Covid reason). Also, FYI, I had already started a master's program in Spring 2020 when I was on H4 status.

For my application for COS from H4 to F1, the university initially provided an I-20 with a start date of September 1, 2020 which we appended with the COS application. Now, the international office is asking me that due to the fact that I don't have any status currently--due to pending COS application--I am not allowed to enroll in the classes for the fall semester. The international office is in fact asking me that they will send me another I-20 form with a start of fall 2021.

The question is: Is our approach of COS valid?  Also, can I really not enroll for fall semester 2020 and do I have really have to send new I-20 to USCIS?

I would highly appreciate your opinion on this subject at the earliest! 

Thank you,

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