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Immigration Issues/Converting visit visa to student visa

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Question
Hi
My brother (36yr) has a 10 yr multiple entry B1/B2 visa and has visited 3 times in the past. Now he wants to pursue local education and would like to know if it is possible to convert his status while in the US without having to go back to India for a F1 stamp which has higher risk of rejection.
What are his gross chances of internal approval? a rough guess based on your experience.
If it is possible to do so, usually how long does it take to get approved,(starting from submittimg SEVIS application). In the worst case if it doesnt get approved, can he retain his B1/B2 visa or will that be cancelled too.
In case it is approved, can he bring his family from India on F2 status without him actually having a F1 stamp at the consulate and him not traveling outside the USA. (provided all the supporting documents / financial proof etc)
I really appreciate your feedback in this regard
Thankyou

Answer
Hi,

As a practical matter, it is difficult to successfully change from visitor to F1 student status within the U.S. The course of study as noted on the Form I-20 issued by the university must have semester start dates no later than the I-94 expiration. In addition, since it can easily take 3 months for approval of the application to change status, and the student cannot start studies until F1 status has been granted by the USCIS, by the time the F1 application has been approved by the USCIS the semester may have started and the student would then be expected by the university to start his studies mid-semester so as not to violate student status. In addition, if the F1 application to change status within the U.S. is denied by the USCIS, and the visitor's I-94 has expired by the time that the decision to deny has been made, the visitor must depart the U.S. immediately and cannot enter the U.S. again in the future without obtaining new visitor visa stamp from the U.S. Consulate in his home country. For these reasons, it is best to apply for F1 visa stamp directly at a U.S. Consulate rather than attempt to change status within the U.S.

The Consulate will not generally issue F2 visa stamp to a dependent family member without the principal applicant having actual F1 visa stamp issued by a U.S. Consulate in his or her passport.  

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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