[URGENT] - H4 approved after F1 visa stamped

, ,

Hello

I have a scenario with my wife’s visa:

  • She started masters in Aug-2020

  • Her H4-extension (NOT ead) visa process was started in July-2021 along with my H1b-extension.

  • She changed her visa status to an F1-student visa and got her visa stamped in the home country India, in December-2021 [(Her H4 was still in process during this Change of status)]. She’s in her last semester of master’s now, graduating in May-2022.

  • She entered the US in February-2022 on F1 stamped visa [(Her H4 was still in process during this Change of status)].

  • Her H4 was approved in March-2022. What would be her current visa status according to the USCIS ? Her SEVIS is still active in the University and she wishes to stay on F1 student Visa to pursue the OPT option. What is the recommended course of action, right now?

  • She Applied for OPT as well, on March-15.

Thank you, in advance.

What is the start date on the H4 I-797? She should still be in F1 status.

Hello Kalpesh
Her H4 validity on i-797A : 07/23/2021 UNTIL 06/02/2023
F1 validity: 12/23/2021 UNTIL 12/20/2026

F1 approval: 12/23/2021 (Passport stamped with F1 visa; SEVIS is active)
H4 approval: 03/04/2022.
H4 was the last visa approved (will the USCIS ‘Last Action Rule’ apply here?)

Thank you.

F1 start date is after the H4 start date so you are all set.

Extension of status approval can’t change the status back to H4 so your wife is still in F1 status, no issues.

Thank you, Kalpesh.
Is there a place to check what visa status is active on my wife’s file (in the USCIS system)?

You can call USCIS contact center and get hold of a live agent to ask the question.

thanks for the help, Kalpesh

Hi Ramu

I am in the exactly same situation, could you please help to know a few things about your case:
Her H4 validity on i-797A : 07/23/2021 UNTIL 06/02/2023
F1 validity: 12/23/2021 UNTIL 12/20/2026

Her H4 approved after F1 then how the H4 validity is Jul 2021 (before F1) ? Where can I check this in my case?

Also, could you please help to know what finally happened in your wife’s case ? Is her F1 still valid or does she need to go for F1 stamping again ?

Hello Neha

What Kalpesh and few others mentioned here in this forum is right. EOS will not change the visa back to H4 (from F1 stamped Visa). EOS approval is literally just status approval and not a VISA approval.

There may be subtle differences in your case and my wife’s. So, I strongly suggest you also speak with an attorney. (I consulted Dakshini Sen, if this might help).

We did not have any luck with USCIS customer support. It is just a waste of time, you won’t get to speak with an agent whatsoever.

We did NOT have to go for stamping or updating the i-94 (by crossing the border). We did apply for OPT; she got her OPT approved and received the EAD card as well.

I did consult an attorney; here is what they said (assuming your scenario is entirely the same):

  • Please make sure the EOS and COS approvals are not approved on the same i-94 (check the i-94 numbers). Check thoroughly that the status/visas approved are on different i-94

Here is the complete chronological order of applications/approvals in my wife’s case:

  • When my wife came to the US on H4 (in2020), her i-94 record is, say ABC. Her H4-EOS was filed in July-2021 on the same i-94, ABC.
  • She went to India in Dec-2021 and got her visa changed from H4 to F1 (F1 visa stamped). She came to the US in Feb-2022, her new i-94 record is XYZ. VISA is attached to the i-94; in this case her F1-stamped visa is attached to i-94 (XYZ).
  • her H4 EOS (which was filed in July-2021) was approved in March-2022; this is on the i-94 ABC. So, even though USCIS has last action rule in place, this is an exception in this case. She is now on XYZ i-94 with stamped active F1 visa.
  • Since, her H4 is already approved, the i539 application cannot be withdrawn. But, We did send a withdrawal letter to USCIS, to withdraw H4 visa. You possibly will not receive any acknowledgement, but keep the tracking number, scanned copies etc (of all the details you sent to USCIS).
    Here is the sample withdraw letter to USCIS, I used the same format :
    How to withdraw H4 Application? Sample Letter, USCIS Confirmation - RedBus2US

Here are some of the links I found useful:

Hope this helps!