I’ve been attending a university as a full-time student in H-4 status as a dependent of my father on H1B. I have one semester left before the end of my program of study. …

… Next month, I will be turning 21 and will no longer be eligible for H-4. What should I do?


You must apply for change of status to another nonimmigrant status for which you may be eligible, by your 21st birthday, in order to comply with immigration law. Most people in your situation would only qualify for F-1 student status. However, the USCIS currently takes several months to process such applications. Therefore, your application may still be pending when you graduate, which will make you ineligible for approval. Speak with your academic adviser and the DSO to see if your program can be extended.

Additionally, according to USCIS policy, any nonimmigrant applying for change of status to F-1 needs to bridge the gap in status by filing additional applications on form I-539 until the USCIS approves the initial application for change of status to F-1. Since you will not be eligible for the extension of your H-4 after you turn 21, you may need to bridge the status gap with another application/s such as change of status to B-2. You should speak with a knowledgeable immigration attorney to devise the best course of action applicable to your individual circumstances. (23.Feb.2018)

Questions frequently reach us from students on a variety of matters. This is a sample question, answered by an attorney in our firm. More information can be found in the student section of MurthyDotCom.

Access more FAQs here.


Copyright © 2018, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.