COS vs consular processing


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There is no "consular processing" for an H1. Consular processing is a term that has to do with getting a Greencard.

For an H1, the consulates issue visas. That's it.

A visa is an entry document. You need an H1 visa to enter the US into H1 status.

If a person has entered the US in another status, e.g., H4, the person can do a change of status (COS) to H1. If the person then travels abroad, the person still would need to get a visa from a US consulate.

So, the only issue is if an H1 petition is approved as COS or not. If it is approved as COS, the approval notice has a new I-94 at the bottom, indicating that the person is in H1 status from the date listed on that I-94. If it is not approved as COS, the person continues to be in whatever status the person is in currently, and to get into H1 status, the person would have to go abroad, get an H1 visa from a US consulate, and enter using that H1 visa (see above.)

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What is the difference between-


H1B was approved as COS vs  H1B was approved as consular processing??


If somebody is on H4 in US, then what is the option for her/him?





COS is change of status. It is done if you are in valid status in US and want to change to another status without the need to exit US and go for visa stamping. Consular processing could be done whether you are in US or in another country. In this case to move to a new status in US you have to enter US with a valid appropriate visa.

Best option is to apply for COS.

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  • 11 months later...

Just wanted to know if applying for h1b in april 2015 while on h4 render my h4 invalid . and whether my status automatically changes to h1 from oct 2015

If applied as COS to H1B and gets approved and if you do not exit and enter US before H1B approval then you automatically move to H1B status from Oct 1st.

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