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Immigration Issues/H1B to F1 Visa Issues


Hi Eileen,

Presently, I'm in H1B visa, planning to go to school full time. I have few
questions about H1-F1 change of status.

(1) When should be the last day of my work( for fall 2009 semester)?
(2) What are the chances of rejection in change of Status from Immigrant(H1)
to Non-immigrant(F1)?
(3) I know the application process may take up to 120 days, so in case, if my
F1 application for status change gets rejected when I'm in School, do I have to
go back to my Home country?
(4) In showing the Certificate of Financial Responsibility, is it wise to show the
documents as self-sponsored or get the documents from Home country to
show strong ties.

Thanks in advance!

Eileen Chun-Fruto, Los Angeles immigration attorney writes:

Dear Venki,

(1)  Technically, if you are in H-1B status now, you are supposed to continue working until your change of status to F-1 is approved.

(2) This one really depends on the school which you are admitted.  Some universities near where I practice (in California) will suggest or require you to go back to your home country and get a new F-4 visa.  

(3) I'm not sure you can start studying until after your change of status is approved (please check with your international student office), but yes, if you do get the F-1 change of status denied, you have to return to your home country.

(4) I have seen it both ways.  The college international student officers might know best.  

Good luck.  This question is a little out of my main area of practice because many F-1s come to me after they graduate, but in this economy, I'm seeing so many more H-1Bs go back to school and you really have to be careful on what you hear.  Follow up with me if you have other questions or concerns.

Eileen Chun-Fruto

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Eileen Chun-Fruto


I can answer any employment-based immigration question including questions about PERM labor certifications, H-1B skilled workers, L-1A multinational managers or executives and L-1B specialized knowledge, R-1 and I-360 religious workers, investor cases (E Treaty Trader and E Treaty Investors and EB-5 "million dollar investors") and O-1 extraordinary ability cases. I can also answer any questions regarding family-based immigration, such as adoptions, waiver cases, consular processing (using foreign consulates to enter as an immigrant), marriage and fiance/fiancee cases, 245(i) cases, VAWA (Violence Against Women's Act), battered spouses, and Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).


I have over 12 years of experience in business and family immigration. I was a former law clerk for the Executive Officer for Immigration Review (the immigration courts) in San Francisco and I current serve as the California Service Center's (CSC) liaison on behalf of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. I represent individuals and corporations alike, ranging from professionals in the high tech, science, liberal arts fields. I have a special niche in working with start-up companies and individuals with more complex immigration issues.

Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Executive Committee on Immigration

J.D., University of California at Davis - King Hall School of Law (1997) B.A., University of California at Irvine, cum laude (1994)

Awards and Honors
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008: Selected to Southern California Rising Star - Super Lawyers List (an honor shared by no more than 2.5% of the attorneys practicing in the entire Southern California region) Faculty/Moderator on various AILA and LACBA continuing legal education seminars in the following topics: H-1B, O-1, religious workers, business immigration visas

Past/Present Clients
My typical business clients can range from a start-up company, established engineering and software research and development companies, manufacturing, trade and distribution companies, public and private schools, and religious organizations. Family clients include spouses, parent-child petitions, siblings, naturalization, and most especially, representation of abandoned and neglected children viewed as orphans under the immigration law. I have represented many clients who relied on special provisions of the immigration law to preserve or "grandfather" benefits to family members in limited (and complicated) circumstances, to avoid re-application fees and longer waiting times.

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