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Immigration Issues/reg. change of status (H4 to F1)


I am on H1B, my wife is on H4 and she is pursuing her Masters from a reputed college, and will complete her 1st/Fall-semester by Dec-2012. And we have planned a trip to India (ahead of time) during her semester holidays starting from Dec 21st to Jan 21st. Recently, she got her I-20 for next semester (*SPRING-2013) from college. However, we have been told by international adviser to apply for change of status as soon as possible. Due to that, we are confused whether to go ahead with trip or not. We have few queries w.r.t time-line to apply for change of status. Let me know your thoughts.
+Her next (*2nd) semester starts on Jan 22nd, what is the due date before which we need to apply for change of status (F1)?
+Ideally I would like to continue her H4 status during this trip and come back US (*on H4) and then apply for change of status (F1) just before her college starts, around Jan 15-21, will it be too late?

Dear Shailender:
To my understanding you may or may not apply for a COS as long as you are in proper legal status; however, regarding instruction from the international adviser it may have to do something about SSN - otherwise I don't see any hush to do so.

You may travel on H4 and on your coming back, may apply for COS - I see no problem in that.  

Also, speak with the adviser why he/she is advising for COS immediately?

Best wishes,  

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