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H1-F1 conversion / general student visa questions

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H1-F1 conversion / general student visa questions [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2009, 08:08
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I believe there are many who will need to convert their visa from H1 to F1.Let's use this thread to discuss those details.

Few questions that I have.

1.I did my MS here and used my OPT for few months.Can I get another OPT after MBA? I heard different opinions on this.

2.If I go back home(India),can I save the time on H1 visa?

3.How easy is getting CoS while in USA?
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Re: H1-F1 conversion / general student visa questions [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2010, 07:55
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This is the plan of action I received after talking to lawyers and some others who went through this mess

1. Secure I-20 from business school by arranging for funding
2. Withdraw I-140 by requesting the employer. They should send a letter to immigrations.
3. Take a copy of this letter, and create documents that support your intent to go back to your country after MBA...real estate in your name, family ties, a job offer from your country etc and apply for Change of Status from H1b to F1 while being in USA.
4. Change of status takes 2.5 months on average
5. You need not go to your country to stamp, instead you could just change to F1 status while being in USA and start MBA. You need to stamp F1 only when you leave USA (in order to return). So you can go while in school and get it stamped in order to have ability to freely travel in and out of USA during your F1.
6. You needn't apply for change of status while being in USA instead once you withdraw I-140 you can just resign and go to your country and apply for F1 from there. From what I have heard, change of status seems to be less risky than applying through consulate.

Since you withdraw I-140 this means, you lose your priority date. So if/when you apply for GC again post MBA, you will start from scratch. Everyone I talked to recommended withdrawing I-140 first before trying to apply for F1.

If you wish to discuss further, PM me.
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Re: H1-F1 conversion [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2010, 10:09
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rao_1857 wrote:
Ari123 wrote:
Does anyone know how difficult it is to get F1 after my employer has filed an I 140 on my behalf. Has anyone tried to get an F1 in this situation. Please answer.


Thanks Ari,

thanks for bringing this up ... I am in the same situation adn have heard the same story (f1 deny). Can anybody post their experience.....


I believe it can be dicey, and depends on how well you can convince a Visa officer that your plans have changed. I got my labor and did not file for I-140 after getting admission.
I am also in the 6th year of my H-1, and can reclaim 7-8 months of H-1 from the past 6 years. I'm hoping firms will hire me with those 7-8 months and immediately file labor.
Else, to hell with US immigration..will find a job in India or Europe.
Guys, one thing i've realized is that there's no point fretting over situations like this. I think we're all doing the MBA for a much bigger reason than getting a job in the US only.

Good luck to all..
wg
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Re: H1-F1 conversion [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2010, 07:14
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Class2012 wrote:
I believe there are many who will need to convert their visa from H1 to F1.Let's use this thread to discuss those details.

Few questions that I have.

1.I did my MS here and used my OPT for few months.Can I get another OPT after MBA? I heard different opinions on this.

2.If I go back home(India),can I save the time on H1 visa?

3.How easy is getting CoS while in USA?


1) It's a complex question! Here are some good quotes:

Dartmouth (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ovis/updates/f1/optfaqs.html):
"Q: Am I eligible for more OPT if I progress to another degree program?
A: Yes. If you begin a new degree program at a higher level (i.e. Bachelor to Masters or Masters to Ph.D.) program, you will become eligible for an addition block of 12-months of OPT as outlined above. You are, however, only eligible for one period of 17 month OPT-extension."

From USCIS website (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/ ... f3d6a1RCRD)

"Note that to be eligible for an OPT extension the student must currently be in an approved post-completion OPT period based on a designated STEM degree. Thus, for example, a student with an undergraduate degree in a designated STEM field, but currently in OPT based on a subsequent MBA degree, would not be eligible for an OPT extension."

From a law firm blog (http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/f1-to ... 28491.html):
"Normally, you can get 12 months of OPT at the end of each LEVEL of education - meaning you could get a year of OPT at the end of a U.S. Bachelor's degree and then again at the end of a U.S. Master's degree. However, you would not get a second year at the end of another course of study at the same level - another Master's program. You may be able to get back the seven months of this OPT that weren't used at the end of the second Master's, if you can convince USCIS that it wasn't used.

As long as you don't spend a year or more abroad between now and switching back to H-1B, you have 3.5 year left on H-1B once you switch back at the end of the second Master's, PLUS any time spend abroad during the last 2.5 years or those 3.5 years that can be recaptured, PLUS - if you start a green card case and have something on file before the beginning of the sixth year of H-1B time - additional time until processing of the immigrant visa petition and any required prerequisites (such as a PERM case) is complete and an immigrant visa is available for you such that an Adjustment of Status case can be filed."

What I gather from that is:
- If you already used some OPT for previous master's degree (such is my case with a one-year Masters of Engineering), you are not eligible for new 12 months after the MBA.
- Since MBA degree is not part of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) fields, we are not eligible for extensions, even with a previous STEM degree
- However, you can use remaining H1-B time. The catch here is that to transfer your H1-B, the new job needs to be very similar to the one that issued it to you. I want an MBA to change my career... ha ha ha.
- On a somewhat separate note, I previously did research into studying full-time with a pending I-485 and I-140 approved. What I found out was that as long as my company agrees to continue sponsoring me and gives me an offer letter to come back after completion of my studies on hand, it is possible to go to school and finish getting the green card there. Maybe.

Final advice: MARRY AN AMERICAN. :twisted: :roll: :lol:
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Re: H1-F1 conversion / general student visa questions [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2010, 14:28
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Thought I'd share my strategy/research:

I currently work in the USA and I would have used 4years and 4months of my H1B visa (as of the end of March).

I'm leaving my company on April 1st to save time on my H1B. Taking the CFA in June, watching tons of soccer in June and traveling. I will be applying for my F1 visa from Singapore.

I just wanted to alert people (since I did not know this myself): You have to leave the country the day you leave your firm, unless you apply for CoS. Contrary to popular belief, there is NO grace period. The 10-day grace period everyone talks about is only for those who have used up all 6yrs of the H1B.

This matters if you are thinking of applying for a green card in the future, because you don't want to be out-of-status/illegal even for a single day that you're in this country.
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Re: H1-F1 conversion / general student visa questions [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2010, 11:52
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I'm trying to get best of both worlds, in essence
first apply for COS, get it approved. And then go to home country before classes start and get it stamped and return. My theory is- if COS is approved, I'm hoping when I go to consulate they wouldn't be so tempted to reject my stamping, and may be interested in letting me pursue my dreams. I could be wrong.
But I definitely want to stamp F1 as early as possible, ability to travel freely is important and I wish to have that.

vishwa wrote:
The general consensus here seems to be to apply for COS. Is anybody still planning to go back to his home country and get a clean F1 stamping ? What are their plan of actions ?
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Re: H1-F1 conversion / general student visa questions [#permalink] New post 23 May 2011, 21:49
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I've not been active here for long but I've got many PMs and have been able to talk to many of you in here (including lurkers) regarding what I did and how it worked out. I assume it is about time I post it here. If you wish to know more info, PM me.

I initially decided to take the H4 route and not bother with applying for F1 etc as my I-140 was approved and I didn't want to risk not getting F1.
I finally took an unpaid sabbatical from my company and started my MBA (on H1B). Around November, I figured that finding an internship outside of USA and on top of that returning to USA from the internship on an H1 (but on sabbatical and studying full time) might be even more complicated. So I mustered courage, prayed a lot and took the leap of faith. Yes, in other words I applied for an F1 CoS in Nov/Dec.
I consulted many lawyers and eventually used a lawyer in NYC who was referred by a friend. (If you need details, PM).
The lawyer helped me out and we successfully got a F1 approval CoS around Feb, 2011. I resigned from the employer once the CoS got approved.
I went to India during spring break and got my F1 stamped without any trouble.
Now, as per my lawyer if the next employer of mine post MBA applies for GC, they should be able to use my approved I-140 and request USCIS to use same priority date. But then again, no guarantee if they will use it or not. I'll find out that when the time comes.
For now, I'm happily interning in the fields of my choice in NYC.
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Re: H1-F1 conversion / general student visa questions [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2012, 13:43
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Bumping an old thread..might be of interest to admitted internationals currrently working in the US..
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Re: H1-F1 conversion / general student visa questions [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2013, 07:45
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jsushel09 wrote:
Hi everyone.

I have query on H1B -> F1 ->H1B durations. Currently I'm working on H1B for past 6 months. I have H1B visa till 09/2015 (3yr). I want to join FT MBA next year. If I join in MBA during my current valid H1B period, will I loose my left over duration on my 1st H1B from total 6 yrs.

E.g.: I have worked on H1B for 1yr 9months of total 3yr's valid H1B
Moved F1 for pursuing FT MBA.

At this point, will loose remaining 1yr. 3months of H1B of total 6 yr's.


You will not lose any time left on your H1B. When you change from H1B->F1 any remaining time on your H1B visa gets 'frozen' and can be used once you change back from F1->H1B.
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Re: H1-F1 conversion [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2009, 08:29
1. You won't get a fresh OPT as the new degree is in same level as your old one (Master's). But if you have some months left in the old OPT, you can utilize that
2. Yes, if you go to India after resigning from here, you will save time on H1. This really is important if you're close to 4years on H1. As new employers would prefer ~2 yrs of H1 time in order to process GC (post MBA).
3. I don't have first hand info of course, but I think this is not a big issue. The only problem with CoS is that you will miss out on overseas treks/trips as you will have to stamp F1 to come back. So it's best to get it done before MBA, so there is no hassle while we are in school.

Class2012 wrote:
I believe there are many who will need to convert their visa from H1 to F1.Let's use this thread to discuss those details.

Few questions that I have.

1.I did my MS here and used my OPT for few months.Can I get another OPT after MBA? I heard different opinions on this.

2.If I go back home(India),can I save the time on H1 visa?

3.How easy is getting CoS while in USA?
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Re: H1-F1 conversion [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2009, 09:09
I have 9 months unused time on OPT.But I'm short on the H1 side.I used 4.5 yrs so far on my H1.

If I resign and go back now,I might not get a girl. :(
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Re: H1-F1 conversion [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2009, 09:56
I guess you know your answer then :-)
One suggestion might be to do CoS and go stamp F1 from canada or something during preterm.
Class2012 wrote:
I have 9 months unused time on OPT.But I'm short on the H1 side.I used 4.5 yrs so far on my H1.

If I resign and go back now,I might not get a girl. :(
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Re: H1-F1 conversion [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2009, 12:23
praz wrote:
2. Yes, if you go to India after resigning from here, you will save time on H1. This really is important if you're close to 4years on H1. As new employers would prefer ~2 yrs of H1 time in order to process GC (post MBA).


Does this apply to L1 too? (the number of years)
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Re: H1-F1 conversion [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2009, 12:26
So this has nothing to do with the flu?

:rimshot:
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Re: H1-F1 conversion [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2009, 12:33
PBateman wrote:
So this has nothing to do with the flu?

:rimshot:


Ah well...a flu lasts a few weeks or kill you...U.S. immigration laws make you suffer in seemingly perpetual agony.
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Re: H1-F1 conversion [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2009, 14:10
praz wrote:
1. You won't get a fresh OPT as the new degree is in same level as your old one (Master's). But if you have some months left in the old OPT, you can utilize that
2. Yes, if you go to India after resigning from here, you will save time on H1. This really is important if you're close to 4years on H1. As new employers would prefer ~2 yrs of H1 time in order to process GC (post MBA).
3. I don't have first hand info of course, but I think this is not a big issue. The only problem with CoS is that you will miss out on overseas treks/trips as you will have to stamp F1 to come back. So it's best to get it done before MBA, so there is no hassle while we are in school.

Class2012 wrote:
I believe there are many who will need to convert their visa from H1 to F1.Let's use this thread to discuss those details.

Few questions that I have.

1.I did my MS here and used my OPT for few months.Can I get another OPT after MBA? I heard different opinions on this.

2.If I go back home(India),can I save the time on H1 visa?

3.How easy is getting CoS while in USA?


for unused OPT, I heard the different thing. Since you have already started your H1B, you do not really need such option for your practical training, meaning you can not apply OPT any longer.
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Re: H1-F1 conversion [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2009, 10:31
PBateman wrote:
So this has nothing to do with the flu?

:rimshot:


You are funny :lol: :lol:
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International Students @ US B-Schools - Visa Questions [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2010, 16:40
Hi All,

I am starting this new thread to discuss Visa, GC and OPT options for international students planing to pursue MBA @ B-school in US. Please feel free to post your quesitons/suggestions.
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Re: H1-F1 conversion [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2010, 07:29
Class2012 wrote:
I believe there are many who will need to convert their visa from H1 to F1.Let's use this thread to discuss those details.

Few questions that I have.

1.I did my MS here and used my OPT for few months.Can I get another OPT after MBA? I heard different opinions on this.

2.If I go back home(India),can I save the time on H1 visa?

3.How easy is getting CoS while in USA?


I thought it'd be best if I broke up the answer after the first part ended up being so long and confusing.

2) Unequivocally yes. By the way, if you've been out of the country for a full year, you can apply for a full new 6 years of H1-B. Problem is, then you are subject to the cap again.

3) Change of Status - are you talking about H1 to F1, F1 to H1, or both? H1 to F1 I haven't done yet, but from what I've read it should not be a problem. You just have to provide a letter from your employer stating your last day at work when you file the F1 petition. Exception: if your employer has already filed an I-140 (immigrant visa for you), you have thus demonstrated immigration intent and your F1 will most likely be denied.

F1 to H1 I did after college... back then I had OPT to last me half a year until my H1 application came through. If you don't have OPT, you either must have the new company transfer your old H1 (only possible if it's a similar job and you have some years left on it), or go home after your F1 is over and come back upon receiving an H1 (could be delayed depending on your home consulate).

The application for H1 can be filed in April (and must be, if you want to make it within the cap) and the H1 will then go out in October. I don't know if it's possible to "sit" on H1 by applying in April of your 1st year of MBA, then receiving H1 in October of the 2nd year, and not using it until after graduation in June => Does anybody know?

Hope this helps!
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Re: International Students @ US B-Schools - Visa Questions [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2010, 11:02
Is it difficult for me to get F1 after my employer has filed a I 140 for me. If anyone has tried to change from H1 to F1 please post your experience. I have heard that it is very likely that my F1 would be denied since I have shown an intent to immigrate. Please answer.
Re: International Students @ US B-Schools - Visa Questions   [#permalink] 17 Feb 2010, 11:02
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