H4 to F1 conversion with an i20 recieved when non-dependant

My wife applied to colleges(November 2012) before our marriage and recieved an i20. We got married last week.

The i20 states(top-right of the document) "[b]Certificate of Elgibility for Nonimmigrant(F1) Student[/b]". the classes start in August 2013

We would like for her to travel soon, she can only do that if she travels on a H4 visa.

After coming here, is it still the same procedure to convert from H4 to F1 or would we need to do anything different.

thanks for your help,


She can apply for COS from H-4 to F-1. I know people who have done that successfully. It would be nice if there is a gap of 60-90 days b/w the time she enters US on H-4 and her F-1 COS is filed.

If F-1 COS is not approved by the time her classes commence, then she should talk to school about the possibility of enrolling in first semester on H-4 and later on F-1 (when her COS would be approved).

Thanks Saurabh. Is there a letter of intent that we have to come up with when applying for COS, stating non-intent of study when she initially travelled on H4 but later an interest to study

No letter needs to be submitted when applying for F-1. She can submit her I-20 and other documents. If USCIS raises RFE about the intent, only then should she submit a letter explaining the situation.

thanks again saurabh. couple more follow-up questions:

  1. Would the visa consulate official ask her about the I20 she has already received when she goes for her H4 visa stamping

  2. Is there some amount of time that has to pass after she comes to the US, to apply for the COS from H4 to F1

  1. Usually they don’t
  2. Read my first response. It is better to wait for 60-90 days before filing the COS to F-1.