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Conversion Of F1 To H4 By Travelling Abroad

Discussion in 'H4 employment authorization' started by harry37, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. harry37

    harry37 New Member

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    Hello Ron and thread members

    My wife entered USA on H4 Visa in 2011 and we traveled back to India in 2013 and she got her H4 visa stamped (ending now in Dec 2015).

    Last year in August she got her i_539 approved for COS to F1 ( which expires August 2016) since she was pursuing a medical course (No degree or anything just private courses) and she has her approved 797 and I-20.

    We want to get her F1 converted to H4 to take advantage of the EAD rule (since I have my I-140 approved).

    I think there are two ways to get it :
    1. I can file for COS in USA ( USCIS is taking 6 months to get it done)
    2. Traveling Abroad = We are thinking of traveling to Canada for 10 days in early May (can she leverage her valid H4 stamp) to get an entry in USA from Canada, if yes then her F1 status will be revoked and she will be on H4 thereafter ?

    Thanks a lot for all your support and guidance over this matter.
     
  2. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    The faster and easier way is to go to Canada, have her come back as an H4, and then apply for an EAD on May 26th.
     
  3. harry37

    harry37 New Member

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    So If I understand it correctly, we will not need a visa appointment at the Canadian Consulate and her original H4 stamp (which is valid until 27th December 2015) will suffice at the Port of Entry while returning to USA

    As soon as she enters with H4 visa, her F1 will automatic get revoked and she will be on H4 thereafter.
     
  4. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    If she has an H4 visa, then she can go anywhere outside the U.S. and use the H4 visa to return in H4 status. By departing the U.S. her current status and any pending request to change status will become void automatically.
     
  5. nikhiljawrani

    nikhiljawrani New Member

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    Excellent! Me and my wife are in the same boat as you guys harry37, and had the same question.

    My wife is on F-1 Status now (no F-1 visa stamp on her passport though), and is currently studying. She has an H-4 visa stamp valid until 10/2016. Coming back on H-4 status and applying for the H-4 EAD gives more flexibility, I think.

    She does plan to continue her studies and finish her Masters, which should still be OK, correct?

    Ron, one question lingering on my mind is that once we travel to India and come back to the US, will the immigration officer at the US Port of Entry have any issues with the fact that my wife left the US with an F-1 status and wants to re-enter on an H-4 status?
     
  6. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    No, that won't be a problem.
     
  7. nikhiljawrani

    nikhiljawrani New Member

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  8. harry37

    harry37 New Member

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    Thanks a lot Ron and Nikhil for lending more credibility to my thinking !!
     
  9. pinaypt

    pinaypt New Member

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    Hi ron! I am under h1b and my family is under h4 visas. Their i94 will expire on Jan.2016 same with the working visa but unfortunately. My i94 will expire on april28, 2015 d/t my passport will expire at the same time. my company is now applying for visa extension. My family wants to travel outside the US for the summer. I am worried that they will have a hard time going back here in the US bec. of my pending visa extension. their visa depends on my visa right? But their i94 is valid til jan.2016.hope you can enlighten me with this matter. Thanks!
     
  10. pinaypt

    pinaypt New Member

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    Also there old passports will expire same time as mine. April 28, 2015. Can we just attached old passport with the new passports and travel? Thanks again!
     
  11. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    You should be able to use the combination of old passports with the visas and new passports to get past the visa issue. Your family will definitely need to show an approval notice for you that expires after their entry. If your current approval notice expires next year, then even if you are in the process of filing for an extension, they will be able to return and get an authorized stay through the end of the current approval notice.
     
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  12. pinaypt

    pinaypt New Member

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    So with my i94 that will be expiring on april 28, 2015 and filling ang extension right away and with their i94 expiring january 2016, there will be no problem if they travel outside the US and be back before that date right? we are planning for June and be back by August before the school starts again. Thanks Ron for this information. :)
     
  13. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    It isn't their I-94s that control, but rather your petition expiration date. As long as your extension is on file before they come back, you will still be in valid status and they will be able to get authorized stays through at least the end of the current petition. If your extension is approved before they come back, they will be entitled to authorized stays though the end of the new petition's validity date.
     
  14. pinaypt

    pinaypt New Member

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    Your family will definitely need to show an approval notice for you that expires after their entry.
    -what document do i need to give them when they will be back to the US?
    - hopefully my extension will be approved before they travelled. If that is the case, there will still be no problem right? I am juat afraid that they will hold them and ask for another visa stamped? Thank you Ron for the insights.. very much appreciated.
     
  15. pinaypt

    pinaypt New Member

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    sorry for many Inquiries. My family does not need any visa stamped? i asked my company if i need to apply for their visa extension they said i do not need to because it is still valid til jan.2016. Is that right? if my visa will be extended, my family needs to have their visa extended also right? thanks again
     
  16. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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  17. pinaypt

    pinaypt New Member

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    Our visa stamped will expire on Jan.2016. my family i94 will end at the same date. My i94 ends on april 28, 2015, that is why my company filed for my visa extension so that I will not be out of status. Would it affect my family's visa if they will travel outside US? Please advise. Thanks!
     
  18. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    As long as they return with (a) an unexpired visa and (b) an unexpired I-797, they will be admitted. If your new extension comes through before they return, they will get expiration dates consistent with the expiration date of the new petition.
     
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  19. Premk

    Premk Junior Member

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    Hi Ron

    As I understand from the above conversation, if one is F1 status (COS from H4), he/she can leave and re-enter the country on a valid H4 visa
    and move back to H4. Given that surrendering the I-94 (that comes with the current F1 approval) is the key to this process, is flying preferable to driving across the border to Canada as I have come to know that they may not always take your I-94 when you leave the country on road. Please advice.Thanks for your time.

    Thanks
    Prem



     
  20. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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