H4-to-F1: COS in Canada?

Hello everybody,

I need some guidance and help regarding the following situation we have.
My wife is currently on H4 pursuing masters; planning to graduate in may-2022. We are planning to get the change of status done from H4 to F1 in dec-2021, after completion of 3rd semester. (stamping in india). As there are travel restrictions and covid cases, we are not confident on traveling to india and get the visa stamped to F1. COS is taking at least 15-months in the US. Which leaves us with Canada as the best possible option. However, here are the other challenges:

  • H4 visa is under extension (current visa validity has expired July-2021)
  • Canada visitor visa processing is taking more time than expected. Any insights into this is appreciated
  • Is Canada allowing h4 to f1 COS stamping?
  • If any of the above are not feasible, what is the best possible option we have right now?

Thank you, and I appreciate everyone who could provide any guidance on this situation !

You should only travel outside the US for F1 stamping once your H4 extension is approved.

You need to check with specific Canadian embassy that you plan to apply.

Yes, should be ok.

Other option is to simply delay the switch to F1. If the sole purpose of moving on F1 is to work on OPT, H4 EAD can be applied if primary H1B holder has an approved I-140.
If I-140 is filed but pending, apply for premium processing.
If the GC process has not started yet, primary H1B should talk to the employer and start the GC process asap.

Thanks a lot for the details.
My GC processing has started but i-140 may not be approved by May-2022. Looking at Dec-2022 for approval.
Plan might be to goto India and keep Canada as a backup option
Thanks you!

It’s late, but thanks a lot for responding.
My wife got her COS (H4 to F1) done recently in India after her third semester. University mentioned that there will not be any issues while applying for OPT in the last semester.