change of status H1 TO F1 approval after I-20 start date


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Hello all Good Folks,


I was on F1 visa enrolled in a phd  program from Fall 2009.I was in univeristy till Jan 2010 completed all

coursework except thesis credit hours 


Now  I have applied change of status H1 TO F1( to complete thesis work which will take at least 1 year  )on June 18

2013.I got Receipt Notice (Form I-797) .


I am guessing 3 month time from June 18, 2013 .So it will be in 18 Sep ,2013 .



On cover letter My COS to be effective  from August 8,2013 and I-20 date  start date is August 13.


Now I am waiting. 


I have question here.Pl help


1.What is  risk the the officer will ignore this letter and deny or approve from an Later  date say 18 Sep ,2013.?

I already enrolled for Fall 2013 only  for my thesis credit hours. So Can I go to Univ in Sep 2013 to study?


Well My Univ DSO says "It doesn’t matter when your change of status petition is adjudicated - you won’t need to return to your home country."


2. My employer is not co-operating with me. So I Plan to inform him as soon as approval comes. Then I will wind up in  1 week my h1 job to start F-1


3. I can plan to quit job mid august and join school even if I do not get an approval by the time classes start (Aug end). But In my cases this doesn't make sense since I will enroll thesis credit hrs only with exception as full time student.I do not have to attend any classes.


thanks in advance




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  • 1 month later...

Hello to ALL






TIME FOR PROCESSING 2 MONTHS & 10 DAYS. so it is approx 2.5 month  just 5 days  earlier 


CSC follows almost same as mentioned 2.5 month


I think most imp document is cover letter


here is list of doc


Form I-539
Bank Check for $290 for processing Form I-539
Letter from youexplaining why Mr  XXX  want to change his status to F-1.     
Copy of I-20 for COS/Reinstatement.( with his  Dependents I-20s)
Letter of Support from Advisor Prof.
Copy of payment receipt of $200 SEVIS  fee to be paid after I-20 is issued
Financial Documents to prove Mr. XXX has sufficient funding to study at (Parent’s  support of affidavit from home country, Bank Statement’s for fund available )
A letter certifying Mr. XXXemployment and current 3 pay stubs.
Copies of immigration documents /Evidence of current lawful status:
Photocopies of current I-94 card attached to H1 approval (I-797 approval with I94)
Previous I-20s,
Photocopy of Passport (Front, Back including all biographical info and Visa Pages)
Dependents ( H-4 ) evidence status copy of their visa, passports,I-94
Thanks Murthy Forum
Good luck to all on this forum
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Detail Explanation of

"Well My Univ DSO says "It doesn’t matter when your change of status petition is adjudicated - you won’t need to return to your home country."



This means change of status petition  can be  adjudicated any time after Start date August 13. For example  it may approved in Oct 13 , 2013 , but you can start study as wish.But if it deny  1% chances then you will be out of status from  start date Aug 2013 to Oct 2013 and you have to go back for student visa

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Mahika


Thank you for sharing your experience. I am in the same boat as you were. Applying for COS to F1 for starting PhD. I have 2 questions:


1. when you started your PhD on Aug 18, you did not have the COS approved. Did you get financial aid or did you join paying your tuition fee.


2. Do you have any tips on how long the statement explaining why you want to COS should be ? Any do's and dont's in writing the statement ? Thanks


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