I was working pursuant to H1B status that was valid until mid-December this year. I decided to go back to school and get another master’s degree starting in January. So, I obtained a new I-20 from my school …

… this past August, which was about five months before the start of my program, and applied for change of status to F-1. The USCIS approved my application in only one month, with the immediate start date, which was before the start of my program and while I was working in H1B status. I understand that I am now in F-1 status because of this approval and cannot continue working. However, I cannot start attending school, either, because it is still three months before the start of my program. What should I do?


Unfortunately, in your case, the USCIS approved your application for change of status unusually quickly, which resulted in the premature change of your status to F-1. You may want to contact USCIS to ask that your application be reopened and the approval reissued with the new start date of January next year. You may also leave the U.S. and reenter in H1B status in order to continue working, since your H1B petition is still valid. If you choose this option, you will need to reenter the U.S. again in F-1 status before the start of your study. (17.Oct.2014)

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