USCIS to Allow F-1 Students Opportunity to Request Change of Status

VIA USCIS

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
announced today that it would allow F-1 students who are the
beneficiaries of selected H-1B petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2009 to
request a change of status in lieu of consular notification.

 

This
short-term measure follows an April 8, 2008 interim final rule that,
among other actions, automatically extends the F-1 status of qualifying
students who are the beneficiaries of approved H-1B petitions to cover
the gap between the expiration of a student’s F-1 status and the H-1B
employment start date of October 1. To obtain the automatic extension,
a student must be the beneficiary of an H-1B petition filed for the
next fiscal year (with an October 1 employment start date) and have
requested a change of status.  For F-1 student beneficiaries of
petitions that USCIS subsequently rejects, denies, or revokes, or for
those who violate their status, the automatic extension terminates at
that time.

Since the rule was published after the filing
period had closed for new FY 2009 H-1B petitions, many petitioners of
F-1 students did not include a request for a change of status with the
H-1B petition. Instead, petitioners requested consular notification
based on the assumption that these students would have been required to
leave the United States to obtain an H-1B visa at a consular office
abroad.

USCIS has determined that it will allow petitioners
of F-1 students whose H-1B petitions were randomly selected to receive
an H-1B visa number for FY2009 following the closure of the filing
period, to now request a change of status on behalf of qualified
beneficiaries, if such requests are received within 30 days of the
issuance of the receipt notice.

 

To request a change of
status in lieu of consular notification, petitioners (or authorized
representatives) should send an e-mail with the request to the USCIS
service center where their petition is pending within 30 days of the
issuance of the receipt notice.  Special email addresses for each
service center have been established specifically for this purpose. 
These addresses are listed below and are posted on USCIS’ website. 
Petitioners should e-mail their requests for change of status in lieu
of consular notification upon receipt of the notice so the agency has
the request before completing H-1B petition adjudication.  The requests
should include the receipt number and both the petitioner’s and
beneficiary’s name, date of birth, I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record)
number, and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
number.  Please do not contact the service center about requesting a
change of status until after receiving the receipt notice.

 

E-mail addresses for requesting change of status are:

VermontService Center
Premium Processing cases:  VSCPPCAPGAP.Vscppcapgap@dhs.gov
Non-Premium cases:  VSCNONPPCAPGAP.Vscnonppcapgap@dhs.gov

 

CaliforniaService Center
Premium Processing cases:  CSC.ppcapgap@dhs.gov
Non-Premium cases:  CSC.nonppcapgap@dhs.gov

NOTE:  If an F-1 student, who is the beneficiary of a selected 2009
H-1B petition, has a pending request to change to a status other than
H-1B but now wants to file under the process outlined above, he or she
should withdraw the previously filed change in accordance with
established regulations.


Related Files

USCIS to Allow F-1 Students Opportunity to Request Change of Status (41KB PDF)

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