Apply for COS from H1B to F1


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Dear Murphy Law forum members, 


I am currently on H1B and am looking to apply for COS to change to F1 student visa status. The school starts around end of September this year and I am hoping to request a "H1B to F1" effective date no earlier than one or two weeks earlier than that if possible.


I have two questions if any of the members on this forum may have time please:


1. I met with my immigration lawyer recently who reviewed all the documents I've prepared. But apparently she is not very familiar with COS from H1B to F1 (yes, kinda bad choice on my side) and she expressed concern that USCIS may not grant a FUTURE effective date and she thinks the effective date will be the date when my COS gets approved by USCIS. But I disagreed with her. I am about to submit my COS application with this week (early May). Say if it gets approved by USCIS prior to 30 days before the school program start date, how can USCIS go against its own law and set an effective date earlier than 30 days before the program start date? Can I express on I-539 form and in my Letter of Intent my desired status change (F1 start) date (which is, say, a week or two earlier than the end of September), even though I-539 doesn't explicitly ask for this? Thanks!


2. In the package I showed to my lawyer, I also included evidence of two real estate properties in my home country (one is under my name, one is under my father's name) as well as a letter of proof of funding under my father's name again from a bank in my home country. Now, I am about to enroll in a PhD program (which is what my F1 will be for) and I do have funding in my own bank account in the US as well as fellowship offer letter from school - at least sufficient for the first two years (granted that PhD program will take 4-5 years). So my lawyer said the last two documents (my bank statement in the US and school offer letter) are sufficient to serve as my proof of funding and I should exclude the first three documents from my home country. I told her I meant to prove my ties to my home country but she said I don't need to prove the ties and with USCIS, less is better. So my dear fellow Murphy members, shall I listen to my lawyer on this and not include those documents to show my ties to my home country? 


Many thanks for your time and consideration of these questions! Really appreciated!

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For an F1, ties to the home country are good to show. I suggest you find a better lawyer.

Thank you JoeF for your reply. Your advice makes sense but I've already paid $200 for an hour of her time and also I've already compiled all the documents...I will however include those documents proving ties as you suggested. 


Could you also share your thoughts on my first question if you have time? Thank you so much!

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