I currently have a B1/B2 visa and am applying to universities in the US. If I get admitted for fall semester, I can only go about a month before my courses start, i.e. about july. But, I have a family function to attend in June. What are my options here in terms of being able to enter in the US before the 30 day barrier on my B1/B2 visa and preferably convert it to F1 visa there?

I’m an Indian btw

  • 2
    Keep in mind that if you change status to F-1 with USCIS inside the US, that will not get you a new visa. The very next time you enter the country after changing, you will have to get a new visa from your home country embassy.
    – aidanh010
    Feb 9, 2020 at 17:31
  • I'm an Indian btw Feb 11, 2020 at 5:33

1 Answer 1


Trying to do a Change of Status in the US from B2 to F1 is a bad idea. The reason is that you are not allowed to start studying until the Change of Status is approved, and processing times for Change of Status can be 5-6 months or more. So you will miss the start of your classes and your school will have to push back your starting date. (And if Change of Status takes so long that your B2 status is going to expire, you would have to file a separate Extension of Status application to extend your B2 status to bridge the gap.)

It is much easier to leave the US after your function and re-enter on an F1 visa.

  • Thank you for the response. As a follow up, am I required to return to India? Or can I go to Canada and then enter into US from there. Any suggestions on this approach? Feb 11, 2020 at 5:56
  • @NikhilSingh Yes, you can do it by leaving and re-entering, for example at a road crossing. Feb 11, 2020 at 6:32
  • @NikhilSingh To avoid misunderstandings, at the border, never hand over the passport open at the main page. The first time, show the B1/B2 visa; when re-entering from Canada, the F1 visa and also the I-20 letter
    – Crazydre
    Feb 11, 2020 at 6:42
  • You are asking for trouble. You want to go to Canada and enter with what visa? B1/B2 again? Who said you are guaranteed reentry? Go back to India and apply for a students visa. If you follow immigration news you would realize this is absolutely the wrong time to try gaming the system. Feb 11, 2020 at 7:30
  • I agree with most of this answer, however the parenthetical mark is incorrect. With a timely filed Change of Status application, it is not required to maintain status during its pendency.
    – Brian
    Feb 11, 2020 at 15:02

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