H4 about to expire and F1 already applied for.Will I be out of status? & what are F1 credit hours requirements?


I am planning to do Graduate certificate Course in health informatics and wish to apply for F1.
Please advise me on the following:

The course is of total 15 credit hours. I wish to divide the course as (6+6+3) Or (6+9) credit hours.

  1. As per F1 Visa requirement, candidate should be enrolled as a full time student. In either option, the first 6 credit hours are for online course. Are these credit hours counted if I apply for f1 visa? What are the requirements of credit hours for F1?

  2. I am planning to apply for f1 in December 2016 and my current H4 visa is valid till April 2017 with the possibility of extension. ( I have 2 more years for the 6 years clock to complete).

        A) If my F-1 visa is still in process and my H-4 visa expires,am I out of status?
        B) Can my husband file my H4 extension?
                -If answer to B is YES, then do I need to file for change of status from H4 to F1 again?
               - If answer to B is NO, then what is the possible solution?
       C) Should I wait for H4 renewal and then apply for change of status? 

Your advice will be highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance…

  1. Depending on the school, the credit hour requirements for F1 can vary. I suggest you check with the DSO at the school you apply to be clear on the F1 requirements and credit hour mandate for full time status. 2) A) If you apply for COS on time, before expiry of H-4 you should be fine. I suggest you speak to DSO on this as well. B) If you have applied for F1 COS and it is successful, no need. If not, you can always apply for H4 extension. C) It all depends on the timing, if you want to study, you can just apply for COS to F1.

I am not sure, what your goals are for your education…

All in all, I suggest you to speak to DSO at the school you plan to apply and get their advice. Unless you have a reason to study on F1, you can just study on H4 as well.

Thank you so much for your reply. The goal for my study is getting F-1 so that I can work. The university school International student office mentioned they can not discuss anything before you take admission. So thought to confirm about eligibility of a graduate certificate course (15 credit hrs) for F1 visa.

Really appreciate your quick response.