H4 to F1


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she was initially on F1 for 2 years and when she went to renew her f1 (she got f1 only for 2 years and had a subject left when she went to renew), they denied her f1 visa. i was not married to her then. recently we got married and she got h4 visa stamped on the passport. she is going to arrive next week. she is going to start to school in May 2013, until then she will be on dependent visa.

what is the process to convert h4 to f1 and how long will that take. Also, i was reading the murthy news articles (Marital / Familial Relationships and Immigration Benefits) which mentions that we have to mention in the forms wherever possible, i will be extra cautious when filling forms but is there anything that i have to remember during this h4 period and transition period.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Once she is in United states, you can apply for change of status from H4 to F1 to USCIS with all the necesary documentation. Generally it will take two to three months.

Contact the DSO and get an I20, they will provide the documentation also that you need to sent to the USCIS for H4 to F1 CoS. She can start her studies on H4 also, but it depends on the university also.

Talk to the DSO, they will help you. You need to pay the SEVIS fee first and you need to send the sevis fee receipt along with the I539 application and supporting documentation.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks rrr2008, that was exactly what i was looking for. just to confirm....

1) school will give us the i20,

2) we need to pay the sevis fee

3) fill the i539 form (to COS from H4 to F1)

4) send the i539 form + sevis fee receipt to USCIS

this whole process might take 2-3 months...

Also, would you suggest her if her f1 rejection's would impact her COS application...i know its upto USCIS but i want her application submitted with strong documentation and I will be supporting her financially.

Thanks JoeF, it is Univ of Bridgeport. she is not intending to take CPT. just finish her MS, take an OPT...

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you, we spoke with the advisor in the univ and they said they can do but she says there is a risk of denial as her f1 was already denied once.

Its like she has only six credits left and we would want to do it only on f1 visa as she wants to work in her field later on (bio medical engg) which requires OPT. she may have a very good opportunity after her ms through her professor under which she has to do her thesis (six credits).

Also my h1b is time for extension (oct 2013 to sep 2016) and so i am applying for her h4 extension too along with that and awaiting response by end of april. Assuming my h1b and her h4 is extended till 2016 and if her H4-F1 COS is denied, Does she has to go out of country or can she continue on H4 till 2016? I mean after her COS is denied, do i need to fill out any forms or formalities to mention the USCIS that she wishes to continue in H4?

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