USCIS to Allow F-1 Students Opportunity to Request Change of Status
Short-term, Immediate Measure for Beneficiaries of Selected H-1B Petitions
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:
Vermont Service Center
California Service Center
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 outline