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H1B to F1 Visa Transfer

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I am currently employed on H1B but now I plan to go for a PhD. I have an I-20 (with start date of 5/17) from a reputed university and wanted to transfer my status from H1B to F1. It seems that the two options are: Applying for COS from US or get a new F1 stamp from my home country. I had few questions in this regard and would appreciate if someone can share related information:

1. The school mentioned that COS approval may take up to 6 months and so they wanted me to get a visa stamp. Given the average time of 2.5 months what's the likelihood of getting COS approved in time? How much time does it generally take for H1B to F1 COS approval?

2. If I plan to get a new stamp, can there be any complication as I had an F1 earlier for my MS and was on H1B for the past 4 years?

3. Do I have to quit my job before traveling out of US to get the visa stamp?

4. If I do not quit my job beforehand and get the F1 stamped, will H1B get revoked? In that case is it ok to inform the employer once I re-enter on F1, or that would be illegal?

5. If I do not quit my job beforehand and F1 gets denied will H1B also get revoked? Or I can still use it to re-enter.

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Guest Noah Lotte

While you can have two different types of non immigrant visas, you can only be admitted into the US in one status...

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Thanks Noah. But I guess my main concern was picking up the best way to transfer to F1 and also the right time to inform the employer about quitting. Would appreciate if someone can thrown more light on that.

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While you can have two different types of non immigrant visas, you can only be admitted into the US in one status...

Usually, when I apply for an H-1B after my H-1B has expired (visa), they stamp the old one with a notation "CANCELLED WITHOUT PREJUDICE." Would this also happen to your old H-1B when applying for an F-1. I too am mulling going back to school, but I'd like to be able to get the F1 before tendering my resignation (if I do resign). I'd prefer not to burn bridges for future references. If we can have both simultaneously, I can get it stamped, come back on H-1B, give 2 weeks notice and resign. Afterwards, I'll leave for Canada (as I also have a Canadian visitor visa) and re-enter as an F-1.

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Hi Samgpt,


I have applied change of status H1 TO F1  as per plan on June 18
2013.I got Receipt Notice (Form I-797) 

My family went back to home country India. on June 20,2013 after 2 days.

COS petition mentioned my name for F1 and wife name for F2 .

Now I am waiting. Hoping for good

I have same question here.Pl help

1.I  have not   inform my H1 employer about my COS till now. I need
(money for school fees )pay-stub till cos approved since i am working
right now.
Do you think it is ok  if i  am not telling them till it apporved ?.


I couldn't decide when to resign ...its uncertain when approval comes.


I am planning to quit job and join school even if I do not get an approval by  aug end.


 Are you guys planning to join school with a  just receipt ?


2. I will close my bank account to avoid any paystub in my account as
soon as my COS approved to avoid any complications?In other word  If
employer deposited check after change of status h1 to f1, will it
cause any problem.


​3. what about tax , w2 form ,health insurance  deductions ?



Pl suggest some points how to proceed 


Thanks in advance

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