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Immigration Issues/Pending H4 transfer to F1

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Question
Hi,

I had come to US in July '10 on B1/B2. Later I got married while still being in US on 25th Dec '10 and applied for change of status to H4. Now I have secured admission in university and need F1 to start my course on 1st June '11. I have to have F1 since the program offers stipend. I would like to know

1) If I can file my change of status to F1 while H4 application is still pending.

2) Or I should withdraw the previous application and file for another change of status to F1.

Keep in mind that my I-20 has been expired on 28th Jan '11. Since I had already gotten married on B1/B2 visa, I am concerned such a frequent change of status applications might end up in a rejection. But I really really need to join the course on June 1st. There is no option for joining at a later date.

Please suggest

Best regards

Durrani

Answer
Hello Durrani,

I think when you said your I-20 has been expired on 28th Jan 11 you meant your B1/B2 I-94 right?  I thought you just got accepted into a college and why would they send you an I-20 that expires in January?

Assuming you meant the B1/B2 I-94 being expired on Jan 28, 2011, you can file another change of status to F-1 because that is your desired status.  You should file it now to make it in June (takes about 3 months or so for a decision).  I would include a letter of urgency to push for a faster processing.  USCIS should process your F-1 COS request faster because of your pending starting date.  H4 has no rush so USCIS can take its sweet time.

Do not withdraw your previous application because then you will be out of status instantly since your I-94 has expired.

"Frequent change of status"??? You only did it once I don't think that counts as "frequent"

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Jack Sung

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Can answer: Immigration and visa issues Can't answer: Everything else

Experience

Been a practicing immigration attorney for 4 years.

Organizations
Taiwanese American Lawyers Association. American Immigration Lawyers Association. Los Angeles County Bar Association

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Southwestern International Law Journal

Education/Credentials
J.D. from Southwestern Univ. School of Law in 2007. Licensed attorney in California

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LACBA 2011 Outstanding Public Service Award

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