New Policy Update Will Help Children Of H-1B Visa Holders In The US

A new policy update made by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services will help children of non immigrant visa holders to change their status to F-1 student visa easily, an Economic Times report said.

According to the report, the new policy update is very beneficial for the children of thousands of H-1b visa holders in the country.

Under the previous policy, applicants needed to maintain status up to 30 days before the program start date, which required them to file multiple visa extensions to ensure that they do not have a ‘gap’ in status, the report said.

“To prevent a ‘gap’ in status, USCIS will grant the change of status to F-1 effective the day we approve an applicant’s Form I-539, application to extend/change non-immigrant status. If we approve an application more than 30 days before the student’s program start date, the student must ensure they do not violate their F-1 status during that time,” said the policy update.

The move is expected to reduce costs and workloads for both, applicants and the USCIS. “USCIS does away with burdensome ‘gap’ status applications when one changes to F-1. This will provide some relief to children of backlogged skilled immigrants who age out, although the optimum solution is to get rid of per country limits and add more visas….,” said immigration attorney Cyrus Mehta on micro blogging platform Twitter.

Under the existing policy, dependent children of H-1B visa holders who are waiting for their permanent residency application to be approved ‘age-out’ on turning 21, which is also when a majority of them switch to an F-1 student visa. Since the student visa would be applicable only 30 days before the start of their program, they would often have to file visa extensions in order to remain in the country for the short period between their earlier visa lapsing and the student visa being valid, the report said.