A new policy update from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services will make it easier for children of non-immigrant visa holders in the US to shift to a F-1 student visa, benefiting the children of thousands of H-1B visa holders in the US. Under the previous policy, applicants needed to maintain status up to 30 days before the program start date, which required them to file multiple visa extensions to ensure that they do not have a ‘gap’ in status.
“To prevent a ‘gap’ in status, USCIS will grant the change of status to F-1 effective the day we approve an applicant’s Form I-539, application to extend/change non-immigrant status. If we approve an application more than 30 days before the student’s program start date, the student must ensure they do not violate their F-1 status during that time,” said the policy update.The move is expected to reduce costs and workloads for both, applicants and the USCIS. “USCIS does away with burdensome ‘gap’ status applications when one changes to F-1. This will provide some relief to children of backlogged skilled immigrants who age out, although the optimum solution is to get rid of per country limits and add more visas….,” said immigration attorney Cyrus Mehta on microblogging platform Twitter.
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