Change status from F1 to F2 after H1B petition approved


I am currently a student and working for a company under CPT. My company filed H1B for me this year and it got approved. However, my position is recently cut and I need to leave the company at mid-June. My boss told me I can start to look for jobs and promised me they won’t revoke my petition. Here is my question:

  1. Since my current program will end in late June, can I transfer to F2 (my husband is F1 right now) while my H1B is approved?

  2. If I transferred to F2 before 10/1, will my status automatically change to H1B from F2 on 10/1?

  3. Can I maintain under F2 after 10/1 till Dec. and find a new company to file H1B for me? will it be cap-exempt? Does my current company need to do anything, before and after 10/1, so that my new company can file a cap-exempt H1B for me?

Thank you so much in advance!

  1. Yes, file COS to F-2

  2. Yes as H-1 COS is for a future date and doesn’t become invalid in b/w

  3. In this case, you need to take an action to invalidate H-1 COS. As you have lost your job, it is better that you travel outside US and return on F-1 or F-2 and then apply for F-2 COS. Later, any employer can file cap-exempt H-1 petition for you along w/ COS.

Remember that if H-1 COS goes into effect on Oct 1, you may be in trouble. This is b/c you have lost your job and would not be getting paid.

Hi Saurabh,

Thank you so much for answering. Few questions following on your answers:

  1. Is leaving US a required step to invalidate H-1 COS? Can I invalidate H-1 COS by filling F-2 COS alone w/o leaving US?

  2. What’s the difference between invalidating H-1 COS and withdrawing the petition?

  3. Is the H-1 COS invalidated when USCIS receive my F-2 COS application or when the application get approved?

Thank you!

  1. F-2 COS filing doesn’t always invalidate H-1 COS. Easiest and surest way is to travel abroad. If F-2 COS is approved followed by H-1 COS, then you would be on H-1 eventually. If H-1 COS is approved followed by F-1 COS, then you would be on F-2 eventually but will be on H-1 b/w the time H-1 was approved but F-2 was pending.

  2. Invalidating COS means you take an action which makes approval of COS impossible (traveling out of US changes I-94 number and accomplishes this). Withdrawing the petition means getting out of the lottery completely. In former, you are still considered part of lottery and can avail H-1 in future w/o going through lottery.

  3. H-1 COS is invalidated when F-2 COS is approved but that too after H-1 COS has been approved. See (1)