MS Fall 2019, H4 to F1 COS or stamping?

Hi Everyone,

I have a query for my spouse. She has obtained admission in a reputed Univerity in US and looking to start her MS in Fall 2019. She moved to the US with me in 2018 on H4 and now needs to enroll into the university. I have a few questions on her behalf.

  1. What’s the better option COS to F1 (pros and cons) or travel back and get F1 before starting course here?

  2. How long does COS from H4 to F1 take?

  3. If we start on H4 and then go for any of the above options(COS immediately or F1 now or later via stamping) will her enrollment in H4 be counted towards the time needed for OPT (believe the minimum is 9 months and this is a one year course)
    4 Her H4 is valid till mid 2021 if we go for the F1 stamping and for some reason it’s denied that will it cancel her H4 or does that still stay?


  1. COS to F1 is better, the simple reason is that F1 is not dual intent visa. Now, with you as spouse in US and her H4, she cannot prove that she will plan to come back. H4 is dual intent. So, it is a tricky situation and getting visa stamp can be very risky as you cannot proved your intent to come back.
  2. The timelines vary by location, check the USCIS website.
  3. I would suggest you check with the DSO at school on the specifics of eligibility to get OPT with COS…I am not sure, how they would count the 2 semesters thing with the COS pending…
  4. That is something unknown and subject to visa officer discretion. Sometimes, they may cancel it by putting a stamp called Cancelled without Prejudice