NRI Helpdesk: Can you upgrade from F-1 to O-1 status while living in the United States?



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* Please note that the questions have been edited and / or deleted so that we can immediately answer similar questions and the answers are clear and relevant to our audience.

A friend of mine has a dependents visa (L2) and her employer will initiate the change of status visa application to L-1B. Would this affect his green card application, filed by his spouse with his employer?

No, if she qualifies for a change of status request (which is rare when moving from L-2 to L-1B), the change of status request should not affect her green card application. However, it is important to consult a qualified lawyer with more details before making a decision or submitting the claim.

My wife is currently working in the United States on an L-1 visa. My daughter and I have held L-2 visas in the past and have been approved for L-2 extensions. We qualify for dropbox applications, but do we need an appointment to submit our applications?

Even for filing requests, you need an appointment to file the documents. Appointments are not readily available. However, you should check appointments frequently so that you can book one when they become available. Other appointments should be available in the coming weeks and especially from January 2022.

We have plans to travel to India in the event of an emergency with death in the family. Can we return to the United States after the rituals of our early parole?

People with valid prior parole documents can use them to return to the United States

I am an Indian citizen and holder of a green card. My passport expires in April 2022. I will be traveling to India from mid-December to mid-January. Will I have difficulty entering the United States because my passport will expire soon?
There are no general rules regarding the validity of a passport for travel to the United States when you have a green card. If you have a valid passport and green card and continue to maintain your permanent legal status in the United States, you shouldn’t have a problem. However, upon your return to the United States, you should apply for a new passport as soon as possible from the local Indian Embassy or Consulate in the United States which has jurisdiction over your residential address.

I am in the US on an F-1 visa currently pursuing my OPT. I have applied for a STEM OPT work authorization extension. I got an RFE from USCIS regarding my OPT and subsequently my F-1 was revoked and I returned to India. I later learned that the company from which I had received a letter of offer was engaged in fraudulent activity. Do you think it would create any problems if I had to qualify and apply for an H or L visa?

Later, I left the country. Could you please advise if I can enter USA on other visa (like H4, L1A, L1B) after 1-2 years and will there be detailed investigation and resistance from of CBP at the time of entry. Also, could you please inform me of the normal course of action for US authorities like CBP and USCIS when a US visa is revoked.

Please note that if the US authorities did not impose a travel ban on you when your F-1 visa was revoked (or did not place any other restrictions detrimental to your visa or travel history), you may claim to a new visa provided you meet the criteria for this visa category. In your situation, it would be best to consult a qualified lawyer, show them your visa which has been revoked, and apply for a new visa under their guidance. There may be other factors that affect your case.

I have a B-2 multiple entry visa for the United States. Can I travel to the United States in December 2021?

A – Travelers to the United States must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and must have a negative RT-PCR administered the day before travel. Be sure to contact the airline you will be using to determine their requirements and check for the latest US government requirements. You may also be subject to post-arrival testing requirements.

Q – Can I switch from F-1 status to O-1 status while in the United States?

If an O-1 request is filed for consular processing, once the request is approved, you will need to leave the United States to have your O-1 visa stamped and re-enter the United States with a valid O-1 visa. However, if an M-1 request has been filed for a change in status from F-1 status, you can start working on the M-1 status once the request is approved. Whenever you leave the United States for the first time, you will need to obtain an O-1 visa to re-enter the United States.

Q – I am in the US in L-1 status and my L-1 extension was recently approved. I need to travel to the United States but I cannot find an appointment for the drop box although I am eligible for this facility. Can I return to the United States with the notice of approval and my old visa which expired in June 2021?

No, if your previous L-1 visa had not expired, you could have traveled on that visa with the new I-797 approval. However, since your L-1 visa is no longer valid, you will need a new L-1 visa stamped on your passport to re-enter the United States based on the new I-797 approval. Dropbox appointments in India are expected to open in the coming weeks.

Q. – My Indian in-laws would like to travel to the United States to be present for the birth of our baby, their grandchild. However, we are unable to find visa appointments for them. Do you have any information on the opening date of the slots – for the B2 meeting?

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India have yet to open appointments for new visa applicants and it looks like they may not be doing so anytime soon. Either way, more visa appointments in general will likely be available after January 2022 and we recommend that you check them frequently.

In the future, if you want the parents to stay with you in the United States for longer periods of time, you may want to consider immigrant visas for them if they qualify.

My daughter was fired from a large multinational corporation in California where she was working on an H-1B visa. Normally, an H-1B visa holder can stay in the United States for up to 60 days after the end of their job. Are there any extensions or concessions to the 60 day stay?

No, there has been no change in this timeline.

The H-1B, as before, can be granted a grace period of up to sixty (60) consecutive days or until the end of the validity period indicated on the I-797 Notice of Approval, whichever is shorter.

If your daughter continues to stay in the United States beyond the above time frame, she will accumulate illegal status which could create problems for her future trips to the United States.

AND online

Poorvi Chothani, Managing Partner, LawQuest

The views of the author do not necessarily represent those of ET Online, nor do they constitute legal advice or representation. The practical advice provided in the written materials is based on the experiences of the author and the current state of the law and regulations. Be sure to conduct legal research and analysis, or hire an independent lawyer for your unique situation, as the law and requirements change quickly and the perpetrator’s experiences may differ from yours.

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