If I’m waiting for an H1 visa reply, am I legal in the US or not while I’m waiting for a response?

UPDATED: Sep 12, 2011

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If I’m waiting for an H1 visa reply, am I legal in the US or not while I’m waiting for a response?

My H1 visa case is in process so my school extended my visa which finished.

Asked on September 12, 2011 under Immigration Law, Florida


SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Typically, what happens in the situations you describe, where you are a student and an employer files a H-1B visa petition on your behalf is that, as long as the H-1B visa petition is filed while you are in valid F-1 status, you are fine until the H-1B is approved and becomes active. Your status would automatically change from F-1 to H-1B, if a change of status was requested, on October 1, 2011, which is the first possible validity date for the H-1B or a later date, when the H-1B petition is actually approved.


I'm not sure what you mean by saying that the school extended your visa since schools don't do that, they provide a means for you to be able to extend your status in the US.  Provided the school extended your ability to maintain student visa status, then you are in lawful status as long as you comply with the conditions of that status and, again, if and when the H-1B visa petition is approved, your status would change from F-1 to H-1B.

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