Changing Status


If you are currently in another non-immigrant classification (e.g. F-1, J-1, H-4 etc.) and are changing to an H-1B status, you will need to wait until USCIS approves the H-1B petition before you can begin working in H-1B status. Some individuals who are in the J status are subject to a two-year home country return residency requirement. If so, you will need to apply for a waiver or have served the 2-year requirement before being granted H-1B status. Applications for the waiver can be done concurrently while your H-1B case is being prepared. However, final approval from the Department of State showing that you have received the waiver must be included with your H-1B petition when it is submitted to USCIS. J status waivers are the responsibility of the foreign national, and not the petitioner.  Timing of the waiver application should be carefully considered since it may impact your current situation. Speak with an EIS about the waiver process before you apply. 

If you are currently on F-1 OPT, you may also be eligible for additional time on your OPT if you are in one of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields. See Stem Extension OPT for more information.