Another new policy update from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will make it simpler for children of non-immigrant visa holders in the US to shift to an F-1 student visa, benefiting the children of thousands of H-1B visa holders in the United States. Under the past policy, candidates were expected to maintain status up to 30 days before the program start date, which expected them to file various visa extensions to guarantee 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 successful the day. We approve a candidate’s Form I-539, application to expand/change nonimmigrant status. Moreover, if we approve an application over 30 days before the student’s program start date. The student should guarantee they do not violate their F-1 status during that time,” said the policy update.
The move is relied upon to reduce expenses and responsibilities for both, candidates and the USCIS. “USCIS gets rid of troublesome ‘gap’ status applications when one changes to F-1. Also, this will give some help 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 lawyer Cyrus Mehta on a microblogging platform Twitter.
Under the current policy, dependent children of H-1B visa holders who are waiting for their lasting permanent residency application to be approved age-out on turning 21. This is also when a majority of the switch to an F-1 student visa. Since the student visa would be applicable just 30 days before the beginning of their program. They would regularly need to file visa extensions in order to stay in the country. For the short period between their earlier visa lapsing and the student visa being valid.