Travelling and entering back US after H4 to F1 COS approval but without i797

Hi @Anil_Gupta,

My wife came to US on H4 stamped visa. Recently she got her visa converted to F1 through I-539 COS. but she didn’t get her I-797 copy yet.

We have requested for duplicate copy which will take around 3-4 months. Next month we are planning to go to India.

Will there be any problem for her at port of entry? Can she still say that she is on H4 visa because it is stamped and there is no proof of F1 visa conversion yet?

Hi @arjun22

If your wife uses H4 visa to enter US, you will have to file H4 to F1 COS again after coming back to US.
Do you plan to do it?

If she wants to enter using F1, then she needs F1 visa stamp in passport. The F1 visa stamp needs to be applied at US embassy while you are out of US.

Hi @Anil_Gupta, Why will she need to file COS again? She just didn’t get the I-797 yet but the status on uscis says it is approved.

You need to understand that ‘status’ is defined by what visa you use to enter US and show immigration officer at port of entry.

If she uses H4 visa, then her status will be H4 and she would need to file a new H4 to F1 COS request.

The status needs to be defined every-time you enter US. That’s why she would need an F1 visa stamp to enter with F1 status.

F1 COS application approval that you have got now will only work if you do not exit US.

Ok @Anil_Gupta , does it also the same case if we go on a cruise from Miami to Bahamas and come back?

You have to ask yourself: Is Bahamas part of US or not?

@Anil_Gupta, i just found out that no new I-94 will be issued while cruise to bahamas. Will it still be a problem with my wife’s pending I-797 and my ongoing H1B transfer with company B?

You are reading everything online but not understanding the complete concept.

You are now talking about AVR (automatic Visa revalidation) process which needs an unexpired i94 and an unexpired i797 to enter US within 30 days.

Do you have a valid F1 i797? You said you don’t and that’s why I answered that you can’t do it.