USCIS Allows F-1 Students with Selected FY 2009 H-1Bs to Request Change of Status

USCIS Allows F-1 Students with Selected FY 2009 H-1Bs to Request Change of Status

The USCIS will allow F-1 students who are the beneficiaries of selected H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 to request a change of status in lieu of consular notification. USCIS published an interim final rule on April 8, 2008, which among other things automatically extends the F-1 status of qualifying students who are the beneficiaries of approved H-1B petitions to cover the gap between the expiration of a student's F-1 status and the H-1B employment start date of October 1. 73 Fed. Reg. 18944 (Apr. 8, 2008). To obtain the automatic extension, a student must be the beneficiary of an H-1B petition filed for the next fiscal year (with an October 1 employment start date) and have requested a change of status. For F-1 student beneficiaries of petitions that USCIS subsequently rejects, denies, or revokes or for those who violate their status, the automatic extension terminates at that time. Since this rule was published after the filing period had closed for new FY 2009 H-1B petitions, many H-1B petitions for F-1 students did not include a request for a change of status. Instead, the petitioners requested consular notification based on the assumption that these students would have been required to leave the U.S. to obtain an H-1B visa at a consular office abroad. USCIS has determined that it will allow petitioners of F-1 students whose H-1B petitions were randomly selected to receive an H-1B visa number for FY 2009 following the closure of the filing period to now request a change of status on behalf of qualified beneficiaries if such requests are received within 30 days of the issuance of the receipt notice. To request a change of status in lieu of consular notification, petitioners (or authorized representatives) should send an e-mail with the request to the USCIS service center where their petition is pending upon receipt of the notice so that the agency has the request before completing H-1B petition adjudication. The requests should include the receipt number and both the petitioner's and beneficiary's names as well as the beneficiary's date of birth, I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) number, and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) number. Special email addresses for each service center have been established specifically for this purpose. These addresses are:

Vermont Service Center
• premium processing cases:VSCPPCAPGAP.Vscppcapgap@dhs.gov
• non-premium cases: VSCNONPPCAPGAP.Vscnonppcapgap@dhs.gov
California Service Center
• premium processing cases: CSC.ppcapgap@dhs.gov
• non-premium cases: CSC.nonppcapgap@dhs.gov

Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does not create any attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, P.C. This article is not a solicitation.

Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes was President of the Philippine American Bar Association for 2005. He is a member of both the Family law section and Immigration law section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Mr. Reyes is a Certified Family Law Specialist. He is a graduate of Southwestern University Law School in Los Angeles and California State University, San Bernardino School of Business Administration. He has extensive CPA experience prior to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, P.C. is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail kureyeslaw@gmail.com; visit at www.kenreyeslaw.com

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