H4 to F1-- Fresh Stamping or COS. Please advise.


I hold a H4 visa (valid till Jan, 2014). I have got a call from an US University for Fall 2013. Its a regular MS Program. I am presently in India and working. I would like to go for a F1 visa as I believe it would help me get an on-campus job or scholarship.

Is it a good idea to go for a fresh stamping of F1 visa from India or should I enter US and apply for a COS?

Check with your school’s international office.

Probably it makes no difference. If you change status to F1 in the US without getting a stamp, then next time you travel outside the US you’ll have to get an F1 visa stamp before you can return.

Can having the H4 visa impact the F1 stamping? Is there any chance of rejection because of it?

I am not a lawyer, so check with yours to be sure.

H4 on its own should not cause rejection. But the F1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, and unlike H4 it is not dual intent, so you must prove you have ties to your home country (like a permanent address, which could be with your parents) to get it. This might be harder if your spouse in in the US on H1-B?

Thanks a ton for your reply!