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Before exploring the reasons and options for change of status from H1B to F1, let us understand what change of status means for H1B visa.
Are you caught in a stick visa situation with the recent US Immigration laws changes? You are not alone! Many H1B holders like yourself are out of jobs thanks to the pandemic, which forced layoffs in many organizations. Of course, you know that without a valid H1B status, you cannot stay in the US. Does that mean it's the end of the road for your dreams to live and work in the US? Certainly not.
Amongst other choices, one good option is to have your visa status changed from H1B to F1. Here's a quick explanation of what these two visas denote.
The H1B Visa
The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa granted to any foreigner who wishes to work for a US-based employer. The H1B visa has an initial validity of three years, which can be extended to an additional three years, totaling a duration of six years. You can work temporarily in various specialty occupations listed under the USCIS regulations during this time.
The F1 Visa
F1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to anyone who wants to pursue education in the US. An F1 visa does not allow you to work in a full-time job in the US. It can only be used to pursue education in educational institutions within the US. However, the F1 allows you to work 20 hours per week on campus during the school session. You may also work full time ONLY during recess. To do so, you must obtain permission from the Department of Homeland Security and your school's International Office.
It has become common practice to apply for a change of status from H1 to F1. Evidently, there are many reasons why people want to change from H1B to F1 visa. Let's take a look.
Whatever the reason is, the process to apply for a Change of Status to F1 from H1B is the same. Here's how it goes.
Step 1: Apply to an United States Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school and receive its acceptance.
Step 2: Obtain the following:
Step 3: Make the I-901 SEVIS fee payment.
Step 4: File Form I-539 or Application to Extend/Change Non-Immigration Status
Step 5: Issue a check for $370 to the US Department of Homeland Security
Step 6: Pay $85 for biometric testing.
It is important that you:
You can also attend college while your F1 COS is still in abeyance, provided your H1B is still valid.
To apply for a COS from H1B visa to F1, you will need the following documents:
Premium Processing Service
To avail of H1 to F1 Change of Status Premium Processing, you must
Under Premium Processing, your COS will be processed within 30 days of application. The premium processing fee is in addition to the standard application or petition filing fee.
All the above-mentioned details will help you apply for COS from H1B to F1 if you still reside in the US. What if you have left the US on a valid H1B and want to change to an F1 visa? Here's how you do it.
It is also possible to leave the US and get the stamp for your F1 visa at a U.S. consulate to change from H1B status to F1status. You must:
If you want to extend your H1B status, applying for COS to F1 visa could open other promising opportunities. So, do not waste time. Apply for COS and wait for the results.
Have difficulties, queries, or doubts regarding a Change of Status? Visit TechFetch H1B. There's no better source than TechFetch H1B to guide you with information in this process.
**Disclaimer: All information related to H1B is subject to change. Please refer to the official USCIS website for further updates.