H1-B -> F-1 - I539 status change application

I am an Indian citizen and have been in the U.S for the past 8 years. I did my masters and then started working on H-1B. I have 2.5 years reaming on my H1.

In July 2017, I left my job and enrolled for my second masters in MBA from an Ivy league School and filed for a change of Status (I- 539)

with the USCIS. Till date, I have not received any decision on my application and hence I booked tickets to go to India to get my F-1 visa stamped next week.

However, last week i received a mail from USCIS, saying that your decision will be communicated in the next 45 days. Now I am unable to decide if I should wait for the decision while staying in the U.S or just travel to India to get my F-1 stamped?

I am unsure about the risks involved while travelling to India. If anyone could help me understand, what should I do, stay in the U.S and wait for decision or travel to India next week, to get my visa stamped.

A catch here is, if I don’t hear from USCIS in the next 45 days, or If my case goes into RFE, I wont be able to apply for my CPT to pursue a summer internship.

Any help/ advice is appreciated.


There are risks involved when you go to India for stamping…Also, you have similar situation staying in US. Couple of things, you can speak to DSO and get their advice. Second, you can go to USCIS field office by getting a InfoPass Appointment and get advice from them.

Look at the worst case scenario, I believe, you being on proper F1 status is more important than CPT…There is never a straight solution with the current immigration situation with stampings, POE and USCIS processing times, you may need to take calculated risks…Nothing to panic, just take time and think of best and worst case options and go for the one that can give you relatively more positive outcome for you.