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Immigration Issues/COS from H4 to F1 and then from F1 to H1B

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Question
Currently I am on H4 visa and planning to change to F1 visa on January 11th, 2013. But at the same time, I am looking for a job. If I am able to find an employer who is ready to apply for my H1B visa on April 1st 2013, then can my F1 visa application be disadvantageous to my H1-B application in any way ?

Specifically, I have two questions:

1 - If my F1 change of status is approved before Apr 1st, will it be disadvantageous to apply for another change of status to H1-B right away?

2 - If my F1 change of status is not approved by Apr 1st, how will a second/simultaneous change of status application (H1-B) work?

Answer
Hi,

It can be a problem to enter the U.S. and then within 1 to 2 months of entry file a change of status application. This is referred to as fraudulent entry but is not applicable to changes of status from one status to another when there is no intervening entry to the U.S. Thus, it is OK for an H1B petition to be filed anytime, whether change of status to F1 has just been granted, or if it is pending.

If change of status to F1 is granted after change of status to H1B has been granted, then you will automatically be in F1 status and no longer in H1B status ("latest action" rule). However, since the change of status to H1B is likely to take effect no earlier than Oct. 01, 2013 (due to visa cap issues), it will probably occur after you have already been granted F1 status. When H1B status does take effect, you will no longer be in F1 status.

Immigration Issues

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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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