Dear Mentor:

Should I have the I-20, the H4, or an F1?

I am a BTech student who has finished engineering in computer science from JNTU. I am planning to continue my further studies in US. I have got my I-20. Sir, my dad is in the US on H1-B visa. Can I apply for the H4 and then change my status to F1? My age is 23 and I am not married and not employed.

Changing Visa Status, Hyderabad, India

Dear Changing Visa Status:

We are a bit confused about your question. Why would you want to change your I-20 to H4? The I-20 is a certificate of eligibility for nonimmigrant (F-1) student status. The I-20 alone is not a student visa. An official from the US Embassy or Consular office must approve the I-20 and issue an F-1 visa. When you enter the US on I-20, you would be granted the F-1 student visa status by the Immigration authorities. This allows you to work on campus during your studies and undertake up to 12 months of employment on a training visa, either during your program of studies or after completing your studies. The H4 visa, issued to the dependents of H1-B visas, does not permit you to undertake any employment. For more information, visit the iMahal Immigration/Visa Section for the US. Good luck!

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