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Immigration Issues/Change of status L2 to F1



I am in USA on L2 Visa from Sept 2006 , I am a Physical Therapist in India who would like to practice in USA .i tried several times to clear my state Board license exam.Unfortunately i could clear it yet.Now The board give 1 yr extension to try next chance which should be completed by June 2010.
My husband is in USA on LIB since 2004,and his and my 1-94 is expiring on Oct 10 2009.Since he completed 5 yrs  he needs to go back India in the first week of Oct and he cannot come back before Oct 2010.So we decided to change my visa status to F1 student sothat i can stay in USA for while and take the exam because we spent lots of money for all my education.I approached a community college to get admission and they were ready to issues me an I-20 form and asked me to submit me to USCIS california..

My question is
1)can i stay in USA legally while my case is pending?
2) Does my case gets rejected ?
3)What will happen to me if gets rejected?
4)how long it will take to process?
5)Can i stay without L1 visa holder and a expiring 1-94?
6)How difficult to change my status from L2 -F1 ?
7)can i file for H1 b visa while my F1 is pending ?

pls answer me.I apprecicte for all your efforts


Eileen Chun-Fruto, Los Angeles immigration attorney writes:

Dear Pooja,

1.  Yes, you can stay while the case is pending as long as you properly file the change of status before your I-94 expires
2.  I can't determine whether it will get rejected or not.  There are a lot of reasons why a change of status case can get denied, so it's in your best interest to make sure that whoever files your change of status knows what they are doing
3. If it rejected, then you will have to leave the US and hope not to trigger the 3 and 10 year bar
4.  It can take as little as a month to 4 months or longer
5.  You can stay only if you file a change of status before your current I-94 expires
6.  Depends on the educational program that you want to pursue and whether CIS believes you are a genuine student
7.  You can, but they won't grant you a change of status to H-1B until the F-1 is approved.  It the F-1 is denied, you will have to leave the country and get a new H-1B visa before you re-enter, but if your F-1 is not filed properly, then you won't be granted the H-1B visa either- even with an approved petition.

I have said this to others, but websites like this often give people the illusion that you can navigate your immigration path on your own.  While I believe everyone should be informed about their immigration scenarios, gaining information on the web is but the first step for a person like you who has a potentially complicated case.  You really need to find an attorney to work with, someone you can trust because once a case goes wrong, damages can be done that can never be undone.  And remember, nothing in this email is considered an attorney-client relationship and you should not rely on this without your own due diligence.  

Having said that, good luck and if you are looking for an attorney to represent you in the future, please consider all your options.

Thank you,
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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