United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will now allow foreign students in the United States on F-1 visas who have been selected in the latest round of H-1B visas to extend their stay in the US until their employment start date. Previously, F-1 students were required to leave the US once their student visa expired.
To qualify for the extension, F-1 students must be the beneficiary of an approved H-1B petition and have requested a change of status under the new rule. Unfortunately, many employers who submitted H-1B petitions for students requested a consular notification with their application based on the assumption that the F-1 student would be required to leave the US.
USCIS stated that employers can request a change of status for the beneficiary of the H-1B visa provided they file for the change within 30 days of their receipt notifying them that the H-1B petition was successful.
To request a change of status instead of a consular notification, employers or authorized representatives should send an email with the request to the USCIS service center where their petition is pending.
USCIS stated that the request should include the receipt number and both the petitioner's (employer's) and beneficiary's (student's) name, date of birth, I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) number, and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) number.
The United States H-1B visa allows US employers to temporarily hire professional foreign workers. 65,000 visas are allocated under a quota system each fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 visas reserved for foreign graduates of US universities who have earned at least a Masters degree.