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h4_usa

Moving from F1 to H4 before filing I-485. PD Current. Need help !

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Gurus,

Need your help please !

I am on F1 visa and my husband on H1B. His PD is now current with the latest bulletin. His company lawyer is strongly recommending me to convert to H4 (to avoid any potential 'dual-intent' issues) before filing my I-485. We plan to do that based on his suggestion.

I had done a COS from H4 to F1 early this year (it was approved with a 797A and an I-94 attached with it valid from May'11 until duration of status). I haven't left the country since and have not gone for F1 stamping. So, my passport still has H4 visa stamped. The H4 visa is valid until 2013-March.

My question is:

Can i go to India (my home country) and come back on the H4 visa? Will my H4 visa stamping be valid even after me doing a COS? Do i need to go for H4 stamping again?

Note: Lawyer said it is possible to just come back on H4 visa based on the earlier stamping being valid until 2013. However, I wanted thoughts from experts here.

Thanks,

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I had a similar situation last year. Had a valid H1 visa but was on H4 for couple of months. I changed back to H1 (approved) and went to india for a month and came back on the existing H1 visa stamp.

You case look similar to me. Shouldn't be a problem!

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I am getting opinions that changing F1 to H4 for application of I-485 is not needed. My husband's lawyer is suggesting to do it which makes us confused.

I really would like to hear from experts Joef, Belle, chakra on this. If i file I-485 as a derivative of my husband's GC when i am on F1 , will it cause any problems ? Have you seen any such cases ?

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I am getting opinions that changing F1 to H4 for application of I-485 is not needed. My husband's lawyer is suggesting to do it which makes us confused.

I really would like to hear from experts Joef, Belle, chakra on this. If i file I-485 as a derivative of my husband's GC when i am on F1 , will it cause any problems ? Have you seen any such cases ?

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OK. I researched quite a bit on this subject of filing I-485 when on F1.

1. It "may" be a problem if you file I-485 shortly after getting F1 visa. "shortly" can be 2 or 3 months. More than that, you should be fine.

2. If you apply for 485 and EAD/AP, you will still be on F1

3. Once you start using EAD granted based on pending I-485, you will lose your F1 status.

4. If i have to travel outside the country, I HAVE to use only the AP and cannot use F1.

5. Without applying for EAD/AP, if i leave the country, my 485(AOS) is considered abandoned.

Attorneys/Experts,

Can you throw your general opinion? Am i correct in all the above points especially the first one?

Maybe our lawyer is inexperienced... except for him, no one is suggesting me to convert to H4

before filing 485. It is to be noted that my F1 was approved 7 months back and not recently.

I am currently not using cpt/opt and just studying happily !

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Yes, what you stated is correct. You should get a second opinion from a different lawyer. Your lawyer appears to be waaay too agressive. See if you can just tell them to file I-485 while you are on F1. If you are paying them, there should not be any reason why they would not do it. You can also tell them that you understand that your F1 does not interfere with I-485 because at the time you filed for F1 you did not have immigrant intent. Now you do. So what, intents change.

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Hi ,

I was reading through this Topic as i may be in similar situation in future.

My wifes first 12 month student OPT (F1) expires this december and she has applied for OPT extension (STEM -17 month extension) through her employer.

Can anyone throw some light as a general opinion on below query

Can i file I485 including my wife for EAD and AP if my dates become current next month (My priority date is in April 2009) while she is on OPT.

Also during my I485 filing , her student OPT application may be still in processing state.

So will it be a problem for I485 in this situation or it is recommended to to convert her back to H4?

Also 'H4_USA' , whats is ur experience in filing I485 while u are F1. Is that done smoothly or did u find anything new about it?

Thanks a lot

Raj

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I believe you can file 485/EAD/AP when the date gets current. For me, I have not filed 485 yet since my date is current only in Jan.

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Hi H4_usa,

I am in same boat. I am on F1 (~3 month as of now ,did COS H4-->F1) and my spouse's PD is current.

Did you end up changing your status again? Can i file I485 being on F1?

I appreciate if you can shed some light.

Thanks in advance.

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I filed as F1. Did not do a COS to H4.

Other than that 1 attorney, no one else suggested to do COS. I checked with 3 other attorneys and my school DSO before taking a decision to stick with my current visa.

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@h4_usa

Did you file I 485 after 90 days since your Last entry into the country as F1 student? I found that it is not recommended to file 485 within 60 days of your F1 entry.

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@ h4_usa --> Did you have F1 VISA stamp? I donot have it since i never went out of USA

@ pontevecchio --> Thank you. We have a lawyer (my spouse's sponsor). But he says there will be an issue. My situation is H4--F1 without any VISA stamp since in never went outside US in last 3 months after approval. I am not sure why is he saying there will be an issue. I am going to clarify more but meantime any help would be appreciated.

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@h4_usa or @chintu

Did you guys file I 485 after 90 days since your Last entry into the country as F1 student? I found that it is not recommended to file 485 within 60 days of your F1 entry.

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@ h4_usa --> Did you have F1 VISA stamp? I donot have it since i never went out of USA

@ pontevecchio --> Thank you. We have a lawyer (my spouse's sponsor). But he says there will be an issue. My situation is H4--F1 without any VISA stamp since in never went outside US in last 3 months after approval. I am not sure why is he saying there will be an issue. I am going to clarify more but meantime any help would be appreciated.

Well, you may tell him that you would like to file while in F status. You may wait a little longer, if there is preference for that. You may file the I-485 yourself. Or you may hire another lawyer to file I-485. You may also get a consultation with a different lawyer to get a second opinion, however, I would only do it if I were filing myself and had all of the documents ready for review. If your spouse already filed, you receive the reciept notice, and thus you can just file your I-485 yourself.

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hi

as per survey , you dont have to do COS. , not required at all.

as per my lawyer its usual for spouses to be on F1 and then apply for i - 485 when their date gets current.

Intends can change.

Your lawyer may say then, wait untill your COS gets approved, what if the date retrogresses? then you wont be able to apply for i - 485 either.

best is to apply for i 485 first...baki saab baad mein...

still, get second opinion from another lawyer...

but if she/he insists to apply for COS , make sure that lawyer lets you apply for 485 immediately you file for COS and doesnt make you wait till COS gets approved.

Again applying for i 485 asap is the most imp.

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