University registration is a major move that needs a lot of preparation. When you start to think about the legal status, it gets much more confusing. H4 dependents who want to go back to college also have two choices – Stay on H4 status in the system or change visas from H4 to F1. To learn about those choices, read this blog.
The first and most critical thing you need to do is locate a university that suits your requirements and a curriculum that matches your job objectives best. Helping an agent such as skoolville.com is a perfect place to shortlist services, find out about eligibility criteria, and submit applications.
To know about all the moves involved in obtaining a master’s degree in the USA, read this blog. And read the Best H4 Visa Holders Courses blog to know about the emerging services that are sure to give you a career after graduation.
You also need to apply to alter your immigration status from H4 to F1 visa once you receive I-20 from the university. You should either fly outside the U.S. to have the F1 visa stamped or remain back in the U.S. to ask for a status adjustment from H4 to F1.
Change of status petitions will take 3 to 9 months, depending on the support center to which the petition is submitted. Changed loading times can be found here. While your H4 to F1 status adjustment petition is pending with USCIS, you can participate in the system but you will continue to retain your H4 status until the Pos is accepted.
When the H4 visa runs the risk of expiry until the H4 to F1 COS is accepted, you will lodge another status adjustment appeal to prolong the H4 permit. In this respect you will find USCIS regulations here.
While you will start classes while waiting for COS to F1 certification, you would not be considered for OPT or CPT until the change of status petition from H4 to F1 is accepted. Remember that the status petition adjustment is just to modify your position when you’re in the US. When you are entering the country, you will visit a US consulate to have the F1 visa signed.
H4 TO F1 CHANGE OF STATUS PROCESS
The H4 to F1 transition of status petition I-539 ought to be sent electronically. The Adjustment of Rank charge as of this writing is $370. You would still have to accept a biometric charge of $85. On submission of the application, you are expected to submit to USCIS the following relevant documents:
- Copy of University’s I-20
- University acceptance letter that grants you entry
- Print of receipt for the Sevis bill. Service charge is $200, which can be charged electronically
- Copy of new I-94
- Passport duplicate – contains just the first column, the second column and all parts of the visa stamps
- Archive of all previous I-797A approvals if any H4 visa extensions have been submitted
- Funds justification to pay fees and bills. Require the financial accounts for the past 3 months of the H1B partner. The bank balance should be greater than the sum listed on I-20
- Cover letter detailing why you request for rank change from H4 to F1. Since F1 is a non-immigrant visa, while finishing your degree you must show your desire to leave to your home country.
- Copy of wedding certificate
- Print of the passport of H1B spouse-contain just the first page, the second page and all the sections of the visa seal
- Your most current H1B spouse’s I-94
- Your H1B partner ‘s last 3 pay stubs
- H1B Partner cover letter saying they fund your college
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN H4 OR F1 RESEARCH VISAS?
If you’re preparing to research in the US but don’t know the visa you require or the visa is easier to use abroad, so you’ve come to the right location!
We will clarify the variations between studying on an H4 and an F1 visa, and mention the pros and cons of each one.
3 RESEARCH OPTIONS IN THE US AS A NON-RESIDENT
If you come to the U.S. intending to join a college or university, you generally have 3 choices. Those options include:
- F1 visa research (meaning you ‘re moving from an H4 visa to an F1 visa)
- Visa report for H4
- H4 study and F1 visa study
What one you select depends upon your individual needs. If you work on an F1 visa, for example, the cost would be more costly than on an H4 visa. You must not be qualified to be a teacher’s assistant (TA), testing assistant (RA), or an optional practical experience (OPT) assistant.
So, the visa that’s best for you depends on the requirements and your wants for education. You may be able to find the right choice for you if you keep on reading.
When selecting the best visa for you, the first thing you need to remember is what your present visa status is, how will your financial condition look like and what are your potential career goals? Do you have answers in your head? You may now decide which visa is appropriate for you. We discuss the distinctions between the visas below, starting with examples about what is available on each.
THE F1 VISA
The United States helps you to get going with an H4 visa status at university or work, whether it be full time or part-time. If you don’t want to live in the US or do a CPT or Select, it may be very helpful to remain on an H4 visa, because you already have an H1B visa listed under the limit. Additionally, you can apply for an Employee Authorization Document (EAD) when you convert to H4 and then you can get a job thereby.
But, as we described above, this opportunity is not the best choice for you if you have the target to get a full-time job and an H1B opportunity. On the H4 visa, you’ll be less likely to be able to get a full-time job. There are also situations where H4 partners are not qualified to qualify for an EAD, and if you choose to operate in the states, review the H4 EAD eligibility criteria.
You may need to spend a great deal of time and money to find a job to get an H1B visa with this method.
Let’s assume you ‘re graduating in May, which implies the H1B limit is already ended in April — you’ll still have to wait until next April to apply for an H1B visa. You ‘d still have to wait until October to start functioning again. That is like a year of doing little or being constrained on what you will do in the U.S.
But this might not be the path for you if you intend to live in the U.S. Make sure you look at your visa schedule to see which choice suits the goals better.
HOW TO SWITCH VISAS FROM H4 TO F1
While it can seem strange, you may continue with an H4 and adjust it to an F1 visa afterward. How exactly does it work? If you’d like to select this option, you must start with an H4 visa and instead change it to an F1 visa after one year or more.
Be sure to address this solution first with your university’s foreign team, as every university has clear guidelines for how CPT and OPT options operate for various visas. Essentially, however, if you can apply for one of these two, you will obey strict guidelines and procedures.
The choice to go for this alternative depends on your needs and your desires. There are several options available, such as completing 2 semesters on an F1 visa to qualify for a CPT. Some other option you could recognize is to do an internship, then do your studies with an H4 visa and convert it to an F1 before graduating so you can apply for an OPT.
We agree this is all a little difficult to keep up with! However, we only want to demonstrate that through your foreign representation and attorneys there are other options that you may try out. A plus side to an H4 visa is that it would only require you to pay in-state university fees.
We suggest you don’t go for the hybrid option because it could get a little too difficult to go around. Although this is still an option, we believe it could be easier and less of a headache to choose to study with either an H4 or an F1 visa.
Therefore, we suggest that you work on an F1 visa if your target is to get a job and an H1B visa.
On the other side, if you’re a spouse and your wife is moving close to having the green card, you probably will apply for an H4 visa so charging in-state tuition payments for your assets would be far smoother.
Recognize that you are not qualified for in-state tuition fees on an F1 visa; you will be required to pay out-of-state tuition if you’ve not lived in the same state for at least one year, which would not be the case for most of you.
Notes on In-state Tuition Fees
You would only be qualified for in-state tuition payments if you have been residing in one state, and only one, for at least one year. Your university will ask you to include proof of residency rules, such as filing state tax or a state driver’s license.
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS FOR H4 TO F1 VISA
As previously mentioned, changing status from H4 to F1 would only change your employment status when you’re in the US. But if you’re traveling outside the country, you’ll need to get a US consulate stamped on the F1 visa. The F1 visa interview tips blog for the F1 visa recruitment process is available for reading. But F1 Visa stamping when converting from H4 to F1 includes some extra risks. During the F1 visa test, there are two frequently asked questions: Why do you want to move from H4 to F1 classification and what do you plan to do after graduation? CPT and OPT workability are good reasons for changing status from H4 to F1. The query about post-graduation plans is intended to test your intention to eventually immigrate to the US. The possibilities of visa stamping H4 to F1 are particularly grim when the green card of your H1B spouse is already undergoing the procedure. So when you go for stamping, you need to be mindful of the risks involved. And it’s also advisable to join your home country’s F1 visa interview rather than Canada or Mexico because that will help show the ties with your home country. While H4 to F1 visa stamping is risky, if the F1 visa is rejected you can always return to the US on an H4 visa and resume your studies.
Please ensure your choice is thought about and rethought, and also have your main objective and financial position in mind because both can direct you in the choice taking phase.
Whatever you want, we wish you all the best of luck with your American studies! Please keep in mind that you should make the best decision regarding your particular situation. If you need more guidance going about the nuances of these visas, let us learn! We ‘re ready to support those contemplating coming to the USA!