Before you can enroll in any of the universities in America, you need to consider the H4 to F1 change of status, and the preparation involved in it. When you don’t have any immigration status to carry you to the United States of America, the task because challenging. There are two options for students who want to enroll in this program either by through H4 status or by converting from H4 to F1 Visa. The first step is to search for an institution that suits the course you have in mind to study.
If it is possible you could visit a website to see the different available courses. These institutions have various requirements that are needed for any student who has an interest in enrolling with them. These are the key things to be done before even thinking of H4 to F1 change of status. Different students want to study between an H4 or an F1 Visa. These differences are going to be explained using these three study options.
Available Studying Options in the US as a Nonresident
There are three different options for foreign students who want to study in the United States of America, and these are the study options available:
- F1 Visa study option
- H4 Visa study option
- H4 and an F1 Visa study option
These study options have to fit your educational needs. For instance, for a student who is studying on an F1 visa, the fee that the student would have to pay is high compared to one studying on an H4 Visa. Therefore, you need to select the right one for your education. There are different questions to help you out when going for any study option such as what are your professional goals? What is your current account status? What do you want to achieve with your career, etc.? If you could provide answers to these questions, you will be able to choose the best one.
1. The F1 Visa Study Option:
If you have the intention of staying in the United States of America after you are done with your undergraduate or postgraduate course, this study option should be the one on your list to get you an H1B visa. One thing to note is moving from H4 to HB is an extremely difficult thing to do. This is the reason you ought, to begin with, an H4 Visa, and later on, you file an application for an F1 Visa.
You don’t have to panic, because it is something that can be done online within 30 minutes. If you aim to obtain an H1B visa to stay in the US, after your course, here is what you should do: begin by getting an H4 Visa and later gain an F1 visa. You will be given a test to write either Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT). This test will be used to assess your performance.
Read also: What is Day 1 CPT? Everything You Need to Know
2. The H4 Visa Study Option:
If you have an H4 visa, you will be permitted to begin a course in any university either as a full-time or part-time student. If you have no intention of either residing in the US or writing an OPT or CPT, then the H4 Visa will be important to possess since you have obtained an H2B visa. Furthermore, when you change to H4, it will help you get a document known as the Employee Authorization Document.
For students who want to have a full-time job and also an H1B, the visa will not consider this study option right for them, and this visa study option can give students a full-time job. In some scenarios, some spouses are not deemed fit to apply for Employee Authorization Document (EAD). This is the reason to have the necessary criteria for the EAD if working in the United States is your goal.
Read also: Everything You Need to Know About IELTS Score for USA
3. H4 and F1 Visa Study Option:
This might seem difficult to do at the initial stage by obtaining an H4 to F1 change of status. This study option begins by getting an H4 Visa and later change it for an F1 Visa after 12 months or more. You need to communicate with the school offering your choice of study because various types govern OPT and CPT options for the different types of visas.
There are two procedures to follow either by finishing 2 semesters using an F1 Visa to obtain a CPT or doing an internship, then study using an H4 Visa and before your graduation, change the H4 Visa to F1. From H4 to F1 change of status makes a student eligible to apply for an OPT. These three study options are the easiest way out for any student who wants to study in the United States of America as an international student.
Interview Questions for H4 to F1 Change of Status and Considerations
When you are changing from H4 to F1, it will influence your immigration status even though you are in the United States of America. If you are in your home country of residence, you have to get the F1 Visa stamped at any of the US embassies. These are the two types of questions being asked to applicants applying for an F1 visa during the interview: why do you want to migrate from H4 to F1 change of status? and what do you want to do after your graduation?
The ability to have a job that will allow you to work on OPT and CPT should be your answer to the first question. The second question is to check either you are going to return to your country after your course of study. You should provide a strong answer to the interviewer that you will travel back by convincing him or her about having strong ties in your country of residence. This shows you will return to your country when you are done with your course.
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There is no need for you to rush your decision of H4 to F1 change of status. You need to be aware of your course of study and your financial budget to help you make the right decision. You need to choose the right study option that will bring out the best in you from your course of study. If you are still lost, you can find a United States Consulate to guide you throughout the process.