US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has introduced a new policy for the F-1 visa classification that can be beneficial for the children of H-1B visa holders. The nonimmigrants can now request to change the classification of their visas.
Earlier, the nonimmigrants can obtain the F-1 student up to 30 days before the start of the program. It was difficult to align the change of status (COS) varying the program date and applying for the same with no gap in status.
The policy update stated, “To limit costs USCIS no longer requires the applicant to submit subsequent applications for extension or change of nonimmigrant status while the COS application to F-1 status is pending with USCIS, provided that the applicant’s nonimmigrant status is unexpired at the time of filing the initial COS application and the applicant is otherwise eligible for a COS.”
If the application is approved a month prior to the program then the applicants must take care of not violating their F-1 status such as on-campus employment, engaging in unauthorised employment, etc.
US immigration attorney Cyrus Mehta posted on twitter, “USCIS does away with burdensome “gap” status applications when one changes to F-1. This will provide some relief to children of backlogged skilled immigrants who age out, although the optimum solution is to get rid of per-country limits and add more visas.”