H1B holder Study MS MBA

Can H1B holder Study in USA ? MBA, MS – Full time or Part time ? In-State Fee ?

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 293 Comments

One of the passion that drives many people after working for a while is to pursue higher education like MBA or MS. Many of the H1B visa holders are in similar state planning to study MS or MBA from US schools as it adds good value for their profile and help them grow in their career. Some of them are not sure if they can study full time or Part time, what are the rules, etc. Especially with all the Trump’s H1B Policies and tighter rules , it is getting tougher and one of the best ways to make your profile more valuable is to add higher education under your belt.  Let’s look the details to study in US on H1B Visa.

Can H1B Visa Holder Study in USA ?  Full time vs Part Time?

Yes, H1B visa holders can study in USA.  But, one of the myths many of the professionals working on H1B visa in US have is regarding studying part time vs full time. They are often confused with studying part time in US with distance education or online education programs. In countries like India, Sri Lanka, or Pakistan, part time education means a complete different thing. The course structure is different and sometimes the degree you get is different too in these countries. But in US, it is different. When I say different, both Part time and Full time students study the same course material and they get the same degree. Then what makes the difference?

  • For MS or MBA, if you enroll in 6 credits (typically 2 classes) or less in any US University for a semester, your education status is considered part time. It means you are going to school part time. If you do not know what are credits, read  What are Course Credits in  US Universities
  • If you are enrolled in 9 credits (typically 3 classes) or more, then your status is Considered Full time and you are regarded as a full time student

That’s the only difference…it is the enrollment of credits or classes that makes a difference in Part time or Full time student status.  Universities tailor their MBA/ MS program  class schedule in such a way that it is attractive for students who work full time. The MBA/MS classes are held during evenings after 5:30 PM until 9:30 or  to facilitate part time students enrollment and flexibility for them to take classes in evenings.    Online degree is completely different, do not get confused. Some universities offer MBA Classes on weekends for flexibility, these are exactly same classes as regular. Just timings are different for flexibility. The work load and expectations are same irrespective of when the classes are taught and the degree and curriculum is same for the most part. You may watch below short video as well on the same.

H1B Visa and Visa Status issues, Course Load for Studying in USA ?

As a H1B holder, you can study full time or part time. It is up to you how many classes you can handle. Personally, in few semesters I took 9 credits and worked full time too. It is up to you, how you manage and balance your work and studies.  I know my friend did 12 credits doing MBA. As H1B visa holder, to be in proper status you have to be paid by your H1B visa sponsor every month and you have to be on their payroll. That’s the key thing that matters, as long as you are paid every month and you have your pay check running by your sponsor, and you are working full time for the employer, you do not need to worry about any visa issues.  If your H1B sponsor cares about your higher education and wants to pay you while you are going to school full time, that’s fine too. The key thing is you have to be in legal H1B status and be paid every month.  If you cannot handle work and school, then you may change your visa status to F1 visa. But, if you change your status, you will have to take 9 credits every semester to be considered full time student. You cannot be a part time student on F1 Visa and you cannot work full time.

Does H1B Visa Holders get In-state Tuition Fee ? What are the requirements ?

Tuition fee is something very expensive as out-of state or international student. If you work in a state for more than a year and pay state taxes you may get in-state tuition in state schools. It saves you a lot of money.  It all varies by school and the state. You can only get in-state tuition fee in State Universities. Private Universities like Stanford, Harvard do not give any in-state benefits.  You may read article  In-state vs Out-of State tuition. Can you get in-state tution if you work in US for more than year ?

Should I study MBA or MS in USA as H1B Holder ?

It all depends on what you want to do with your career and where you see yourself in next 5 years. If you are not sure, should I do MBA or MS and which is right for you, you must read this article about:  Should I apply for MBA or MS after bachelors? It has all the information about fees, education, funding, etc.  As a rule of thumb for MBA, it is recommended to have work experience of at least 2 to 3 years. You may read this article, When should you do MBA ? Directly after B.tech or with Work experience ?

What are your thoughts ? Your experiences ?

Image Credit : http://www.flickr.com/photos/carbonnyc/143186839/

   

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Comments ( 293 )

  1. Sam

    Hello

    Please help me with my visa issues.I was on h4 and last week my h1b got approved with COS.I also got an admit for MS from a top university and I would like to pursue my studies.Now if i file for h1b to F1 will there be any serious implications.Will F1 be approved?

  2. Rekha

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am currently working in US and have completed 3 years of H1 and I am planning to do a STEM related masters beginning 2018 (I would be finishing 4 years of H1 by then and this will be my first masters in US). Few queries which I have :
    1) After my graduation, can I work on OPT for 1 year and use extended OPT as well for 24 months more under new employer ? If this is possible, then I will still have 2 more years of H1 which I can use for GC processing. Please note I do not plan to use my complete 36 months OPT but just in case.
    2) Or do I need to start using my old H1 under new employer immediately after graduation ? If this is the case, I will not have much time for GC processing (Assuming employer will do it after a year seeing performance etc.,) by then I would have finished 5 years on H1 and it may be too late to start GC processing.
    3) The ideal scenario would be to us OPT for 12 months under new employer and then use old H1 petition with same employer which will give enough time for GC processing. Is this possible under the law to use OPT even after having old H1 petition ?

    Can you please answer my above queries ? It would be of great help. Thanks.

    Regards,
    Rekha

  3. Parthia

    Hi,

    I am currently working at a university on H1B. I want to start a PhD program (part time or full time) at the same university while I am working there on H1B. Is that possible? Can I get any type of scholarship from the university while I am working there in addition to my salary?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Parthia,
      You can definitely study PhD program while you are on H1B visa. Regarding scholarship, I am not sure, if school would give you full fee waiver or anything that is typically awarded for full time students. Nevertheless, You will need to check with two people, firstly DSO of the school you plan to apply to check if you can legally get scholarship when on H1B visa. Secondly, you will need to check with a Tax consultant on how you would show the scholarship, if you were to be allowed to get scholarship or some sort of funding during filing taxes.

  4. PK

    Hello,

    I am doing an MBA and so far earned 25 credits and complted 2 sems. Now left with with total 12 credits. my question is how do i get sponsor for H1B visa? At present i am working at gas station as an accountant handling their accounts of multiple gas station. he assured me h’ll sponsor my H1 visa. can he sponsor me? can he sponsor for in 2017 april? how he will do ? can u answer my question.

    Thank you.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      PK,
      If your gas station is big enough and they have a requirement related your job field, they may…Usually, it is recommended to work a company that is related to your area.

  5. Bhargav Kopparati

    Bhargav

    Hi saurabh,

    I have a small concern regarding, let us suppose I am on H1B visa during my MBA meeting all the necessary conditions, Can I take an internship which is offered by my university.

    thank you

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Bhargav Kopparati,

      You can take-up internship if:
      – it is not paid
      – it doesn’t impact your H-1 status maintenance and you still get paid as per the LCA

  6. Anonymous

    Saurabh,

    I am currently a H1B Visa holder. My 6 years as H1B were over, GC filed, H1B extended for 3 more years in 2015 and I have got the prioirity date (I-797 approval) of August , 2014. I am now considering going for 2 years full time MBA. My questions are:-
    1. Once I have completed my MBA (I realize my visa status would change to F1), would my future H1B visa be through lottery or could it be cap-exempt ?
    2. Will I retain my prioirty date of August 2014 for future GC that would be filed fresh after I complete MBA ?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Anonymous

      I wanted to add the following:-

      During my time with H1B Visa (7 + years), I changed employers, so my H1B was filed with cap-exempt

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      Anonymous,

      1. Cap-exempt based upon I-140 approval
      2. Yes, it can be retained under certain circumstances for e.g. when new GC job is similar to the one for which old GC was applied.

  7. Ravi

    I am working in US on H1B for last 2.5 years.
    My total IT experience is 5.5 years.

    I came across few universities that provide few classes,which i can take up part time. And these would be equivalent of regular MS.

    Please suggest,if it has the same worth as regular MS.

    Also as you wrote 9 credits MS. Can you please elaborate what it means.
    What is the total duration of a 9 credit regular MS in years.

    How hectic is taking MS classes, along with your job.? will it be weekends only.

  8. Ravi

    Hi Saurabh,

    My am current in US,working on H1 visa. The 6 years term is going to max out on Sep 30, 2016.After the 6 years term, I will be returning to India and will continue working for my employer.

    Also to inform, I have got a very good GMAT score and want to apply for MBA in US colleges. But:

    1) Should I apply for US colleges this year(for the Fall 2017 batch) or should I wait for 1 year cooling-off period (staying outside USA) to be over and then apply for Fall 2018 batches next year?
    2)If I apply for 2017 batch and get selected, Will i be facing any issues while applying for student visa as the application was submitted within the 1 year cooling-off period.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ravi,

      Cooling period is required for H-1 and L-1 and not F-1. If you want to return and study on F-1, then no cooling-off period is required. However, if you plan to work on H-1 in future then cooling-off is required. I assume you don’t have an approved I-140.

      1. Ravi

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks for your response.
        You are correct.I haven’t actually applied for GC.

        My next concern is even though I come on F-1 Visa and finish my MBA without caring about the cooling-off period. Then after finishing MBA,Will I be eligible to work in USA on OPT and then subsequently apply for H1 visa without any breaks in between. Or do I need to again move out of USA for 1 year to finish the cooling-off period term.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Ravi,

          You will not be able to apply for H-1 after completing your MBA. For this, you need to stay outside US now for 1 year and then enter US after that cooling-off period is over.

          Another option is to find an employer who can start your GC process immediately. Once you have an approved I-140, you can get H-1 in future even w/o needing the cooling-off.

          1. Ravi

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks for your quick response.

            At this moment,its tough for me to go for the GC route as i have only 4 months left of my 6 Years H1B quota.

            Now lets say, I leave US in July/August and then apply for colleges in USA. If I get an admission and I apply for F1 visa sometime next year in March/April. I can then come to US to study in September(Most of the batches start around that time only.)

            Does the above scenario mean that i have completed the cooling-off period (Aug 2016 to Aug 2017) and therefore can apply for fresh H1-B (another 6 year term) during my OPT .
            Or
            Because i applied for student visa in between the cooling-off period, it actually voids the cooling-off period term and will affect me when i apply for fresh H1B next time.

            Please suggest on the above.

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Ravi,

            Someone recently shared his experience where clock was not reset as H-1 petition was applied before 1 year was over. He also applied under assumption that 1 year would have passed before H-1 becomes effective in Oct, but USCIS made the determination otherwise.

            Not sure, what will happen in case of F-1. I would think clock would still be reset even if you apply for visa early, but can’t be 100% sure. Maybe post on avvo.com and take opinion there.

  9. Mukul Agrawal

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am currently working in USA on H1B visa. I plan to quit my job and do a full-time MBA. I have already got my MBA admit, the I-20 is expected next week and classes start in late-August. I know I will need to file Change of status (COS) application for the H1B to F1 status change. My questions are as follows,
    1. How long is the H1B to F1 COS processing time?
    2. Should I file for COS next week as soon I get my I-20, for my end-August MBA start date?
    3. Can I file the COS application on my own, or do I need an immigration lawyer for this?
    4. Can I continue working while the COS application is being processed? When should i inform my employer?
    5. If COS approval is not received by late-August, can I just quit my job and start the classes, while still awaiting COS approval?
    6. Alternately, would it be better for me not to file for change of status in US, just quit my job and go back to India in mid-august, get F1 visa stamped at Consulate and then come back to US by end-august to start the studies?
    7. Whether I do my F1 COS processing in USA or F1 visa stamping in US consulate in India, will it have any impact for my post MBA cap-exempt H1B filing by a new employer?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Mukul Agrawal,
      1. 2-4 months but actual timeline may be longer. Look-up the processing time on USCIS site for your processing center.
      2. Yes and mention a start date of your choice
      3. You can do it yourself
      4. Yes, your status remains H-1 until COS is approved. You have to stop working once COS is approved, so you can tell him then. Not sure what exit process your company has.
      5. See if your school allows you to enroll on H-1 and later move to F-1 once COS is approved. H-1 does allow you to study part time.
      6. This is also an available option and gives better control on when you move to F-1. However, you would have to evaluate what would happen if F-1 stamping runs into issues.
      7. You would remain cap-exempt for future H-1s irrespective of how F-1 status is achieved.

    2. Ravi

      Hi Saurabh,

      Thanks for your quick response.

      At this moment,its tough for me to go for the GC route as i have only 4 months left of my 6 Years H1B quota.

      Now lets say, I leave US in July/August and then apply for colleges in USA. If I get an admission and I apply for F1 visa sometime next year in March/April. I can then come to US to study in September(Most of the batches start around that time only.)

      Does the above scenario mean that i have completed the cooling-off period (Aug 2016 to Aug 2017) and therefore can apply for fresh H1-B (another 6 year term) during my OPT .
      Or
      Because i applied for student visa in between the cooling-off period, it actually voids the cooling-off period term and will affect me when i apply for fresh H1B next time.

      Please suggest on the above.

  10. Nakul

    Hi, thank you so much for such informative post, it really helps. I have some concern and i seek your advise.

    I have done my master’s from US and have been working since past 4 years (3 years on H1 and 1 on OPT). My employer has started my GC process but also i wish to start full time MBA in next year or two. The thing is if i get I-140 approved, then pursuing full time MBA by having COS to F1 would be difficult as with I-140 approved i have shown my intent of not leaving this country whereas F1 is a non-immigrant status. Even if USCIS approves my COS to F1, it would be very difficult to get F1 visa stamped from India. And pursuing full time MBA on H1 is certainly a good option but that would prohibit me to pursue course related summer internship during MBA which is very necessary, not for monetary purpose but for experience’s sake as that is the kind of job i would be willing to do post MBA. Not to mention, a lot many times internship gets converted into full time opportunity. Please advise what could be the best possible approach here.

  11. Mayank

    Hi,

    I have an admit from a US Business School and I recently got through the H1B lottery and will likely get my visa stamped soon. If after I get my H1B visa stamped, I leave my employer for the full time Business School course (on F1 visa) what happens to my H1B? Will I have to go through the H1B lottery process again after school to work in the US or does my employer need to simply renew my H1B visa?

    Thanks,
    Mayank

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Mayank,

      You can avail H-1 in future w/o going through the lottery. Any employer can file a cap-exempt petition for you in future and submit current H-1 petition approval as reference/proof of having made through the cap.

  12. Srihari

    Hi,

    I am currently working full time and on my H-1B. I am in the 4th year of my H-1B. I am planning to join school to do my MBA. My question is if my employer does start my Green Card process and my 6 years is over, is there a way to apply H-1B again once I complete my MBA and find a job in that field or any other way I can work again?

    Thank You,
    Srihari

    1. Mayank Badani

      Hi Saurabh,

      Thanks for your response.

      It looks like visa stamping wont take place before October and I need to leave for business school in August. I wont be able to get my H1B visa stamped before I go to business school. Can I still get some kind of petition approval document that will allow me to be cap exempt? Or do I need to get the visa stamped to be cap exempt?

      Thanks,
      Mayank

      1. administrator
        Saurabh

        Mayank Badani,

        Once petition is approved, employer would receive 797 approval doc from USCIS. Having a copy of that will help w/ future cap-exempt filings. If you can’t get that, then at least get receipt number.

  13. Shan

    Hello, My name Shan,
    I am currently working on H1b visa from May 2014 as a software engineer.
    I am further planning to pursue online MBA from one of the Universities in USA.
    Questions:
    1) Will this have any implications on my skillset for H1b in future or current?
    2) My labor for GC process is done. Will it have any impact on filing my i140 and other process for GC.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Shan,
      1. It should not, you are just studying for more knowledge and gaining skills. As long as you are staying in full time work status on H1B, it should be fine.
      2. It should NOT.

  14. Anuja

    Hi,

    Currently, I am on H1B valid until 2017. I am planning to study Master degree and got admission to this august. My confusions are

    1. Can i join as a fulltime student without applying COS?
    2. Can i apply for COS(H1 to F1) after i enrolled?
    3. Am I eligible for STEM OPT if i go with COS(f1)?
    4.How long time will it take to get COS approval?
    5.Do i need to go with any attorney to apply COS?

    Please advice me if anyone having idea on these.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Anuja,

      1. No. You need to work fulltime as your status would be H-1. You can study part-time as long as you maintain your H-1 status.

      2. Yes

      3. Depends upon the degree, if it is in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

      4. 2-4 months

      5. You can do it yourself. Should be straight forward.

  15. Harshal

    • I have an H1-B visa valid from 1st October, 2014 till 13th September, 2017. This was through the lottery system.
    • This was for a role of software engineer.
    • Due to some changes in the employer’s plans, I never went to the US and never worked for the employer. SO, I don’t have any pay stubs from the employer.
    • Now, I intend to pursue a full time one year MBA course in the US.
    • I want to know the following:
    o Will I still hold the H1-B which I got earlier?
    o Post my MBA, will I have to go through the lottery again?
    o In case my previous H1-B status holds or I don’t have to go through the lottery again, what would be time period for which I can work in the US?
    o Post the expiry of the visa, will I have to go through the lottery?

    1. Harshal

      I forgot to mention that I currently work in India.
      Also, does it matter if the previous H1-B was for a software developer role but post MBA, I would want to switch to finance/ consultancy?

      1. Guest

        o Will I still hold the H1-B which I got earlier?
        >> No, the visa would not be valid if the offered position no longer exist, but the important thing is your petition(I-797) would still be valid.

        o Post my MBA, will I have to go through the lottery again?
        >> No, you can use the same I797 petition for filing cap exempt H1b with the new employer. That would be a new visa but cap exempted.

        o In case my previous H1-B status holds or I don’t have to go through the lottery again, what would be time period for which I can work in the US?
        > Time period will depend on the new approved visa. Overall H1B validity would be 6 years from the day you enter US, but you might need to extend your visas to get whole of 6 years.

        o Post the expiry of the visa, will I have to go through the lottery?
        > After 6 years if you have not yet applied for green card then you need to exit the US and re-enter with a fresh lottery based H1B.

        Hope it helps!

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      Harshal,

      An employer would be able to file a cap-exempt petition for you in future. You don’t need to go through lottery again. Just submit a copy of previous approval notice, and you will be considered cap-exempted.

  16. Hello

    Dear Kumer,

    You might have answered to someone about similar question. But i want to clear my own question.

    So, I am H-1 visa holder. My education background is Education. I earned elementary/kindergarten education licence in Japan. also I earned Master degree of Educational Technology in Michigan, U.S.A.
    I currently work for a Japanese School, though would like to work at a public school in the U.S.
    For the position, I need a teaching license issued in the U.S.A.

    Therefore, my question is if I can take online course to get teaching license in the U.S. while working on H-1 visa?

    Also, you are talking about MBA or MS, though is the conditions and requirements same for the other majors?

    Sincerely

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Hello,
      You can study online or take classes at a University when on H1B. The key requirement is to maintain your current status of H1B by working full time. The major does not matter, it is same for MS, MBA or any other course too. I always recommend that you speak to the DSO at the school or online university you plan to apply to get more clarification.

  17. Mausam

    Hello,

    My name is Mausam holding a bachelor degree in CS from India. I am doing a professional course from UCSC which will provide me OPT of 12 months. This course will not give me any degree. My question is can i study for MS part time while working under OPT phase.
    Please help!

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Mausam,
      Technically, you are free to study MS. I suggest you check with DSO at UCSC once on the requirements just to double check.

  18. Ani

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am an international student working full-time on H1B visa in the U.S., and I was hoping to do a full-time MBA program sometime in the next 2 years. My question is – if I change my status back to F-1 to qualify myself as a full-time student, do I need to go through the H1B lottery again when I get a job post-MBA in the United States?

    Does it depend on how much time I have left with my current H1B visa? I will have been working for 3 years before matriculating at an MBA program.

    (*I’ve already gone through the lottery system to get my current H1B visa.*)

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ani,

      You don’t need to go through cap again based on your previous approval. You will be cap-exempted for 6 years from the last day you held H-1 status. You can stay at most 6 years inside US on H-1. Your new petition in future will be 6 years minus time already spent inside US on H-1.

      1. Ani

        Thanks, Saurabh,

        3 follow up questions –

        1. If I study MBA on H-1, do those two years in school count towards the total of 6 years? Do I need to subtract those two years from the 6 years max that I am allowed to stay inside US on H-1?

        2. Since I am studying on H-1, am I still considered a student? If so, can I still get the 12-month OPT time that F-1 students can get? I am thinking the answer is no because I am technically not an F-1 student. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

        3. Do I need to stay with the same company if I am being sponsored a green card? I am assuming that if I choose to go to MBA before my green card is approved, the process is automatically terminated and I need to find a new company that can sponsor me post-MBA and restart the green card application, right?

        Thanks again!

        Ani

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Ani,

          1. Yes as your visa status will be H-1. If you move to F-1, then those years are not counted

          2. You are not a student but a worker. You have to maintain your LCA requirements by working. No OPT privileges as well.

          3. If you leave the company, they can stop processing the green card. Under certain scenarios you can port the priority date to new employer if your I-140 is approved. However, if your status remains H-1 ensure that you are employed with at least some employer.

  19. kumar

    Hi Saurabh,

    i am a H1B holder, did my Btech and MBA in INDIA, i am interested to do phd programme in USA with h1b status, is that possible?
    if i eligible its parttime or full time?
    it will any affect to my H1b status?

    Please let me know, thanks,

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      kumar,

      You can study part-time as long as your are able to maintain your H-1 status. So if you have H-1 which requires you to work 40 hours, then you should still be able to do that while doing your PhD. This typically means part-time studying.

    2. administrator
      Kumar

      kumar,
      To add, from the school’s perspective, if you enroll over 9 credits, it is typically called full time enrollment. Do not be confused with that. You can enroll as many credits as you want and still work full time on H1B, The trick is managing the study load along with your full time job.

  20. Amit

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have a question regarding pursuing a full-time 2yr MBA on H-1.
    My H1 would expire in Oct 2019. Can I enroll for a full-time 2yr MBA in Aug 2017? Will I be eligible to do the same in Aug 2018? I will be remaining on the payroll of the co throughout my degree program, though 2019 onwards would require filing for H1 extension and there is no certainty that I’ll get it.
    Pls advise.

    Greatly looking fwd to your reply.

    Thanks,
    Amit

    1. Amit

      Oh, and yes, I forgot to mention, I already hold a Master’s degree from the U.S. and have exhausted about 90% of my OPT (OPT + STEM Extn) So, how would this impact my post graduation status in 2019?

      Thanks,
      Amit

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,

      You can enroll in school in Aug 2017/2018 while continuing to maintain your H-1 status.

      If the H-1 extensions continue to be filed, you can study part-time until course completion.

      If the H-1 extension is not filed, then you can move to F-1 status. Once course is done, you can move back to H-1 using cap-exempt petition as long you have not spent 6 years inside US on H-1 or have a pending green card application.

      Note that you cannot study full time on H-1. H-1 requires person to be working full-time as per the LCA and gives that the option to study part-time.

  21. Nivy

    Hi Saurabh…!!
    I’m Nivy and i’m on H1 from October 2013, I started my PhD from Jan 2015. I have cleared all my core courses and entering to candidacy this May after my proposal defense. I asked my employer to file Green card for me and he says that I wont get any Green Card because I don’t qualify . I have my Undergrad in Biotechnology, zoology & Chemistry and Masters from India in Environmental Science and I’m pursuing my PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering taking 9 credits every semester and transferring few credits from Masters, I have cleared 48 credits so far and will receive 8 more this semester and I need 60 credits to clear my PhD. Can the recommendation letters from Professors work to help me in getting a Green Card. Is it true that I dont qualify for Green Card??

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Nivy,

      I am not sure why you don’t qualify. It is possible that you don’t qualify for a EB category they file GC in, but you should be qualified in general. Did he say you don’t qualify for GC in EB-1 or EB-2 categories, or just GC in general?

      Ask him for specific reasons or contact your company’s attorney for a more meaningful respose.

  22. Chloe

    Hi Saurabh,
    I am now a full-time graduate student holding F1 visa , if I can get a job and the employer will sponsor me to get H1 visa , but I still need to finish my MS program . After I get the H1 visa, can I still get other internships before I graduate ? As I am business major , but this H1 job opportunity is not related to business ,so I’d like to take other internships to enhance my business background and after I graduate then I transfer my this H1 to another H1 .

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Chloe,

      When H-1 is filed, there will be 2 options – filing w/ consular processing and filing w/ COS (change of status).

      If filed w/ consular processing, your status will remain F-1 even after H-1 gets approved and you can complete your course. Once you graduate, you can avail OPT or file COS to move from F-1/OPT to H-1. You can move to the same employer who filed H-1, or another H-1 (in this case it will be COS + cap-exempt H-1).

      If filed w/ COS, your status will become H-1 from the H-1 effective date. Your onus would be to work fulltime for your H-1 employer and not study. You cannot work for any other employer except for the one who has filed your H-1.

      From your question, it looks like consular processing would be more appropriate in your case.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Jay,

      It is not required H-1 visa covers the entire duration of the course. H-1 is primarily for work and Masters is a tangential benefit. Is your school asking for visa validity for entire course?

  23. Akshay

    I am right now on H1B visa which got approved this year and i didn’t stamp yet. I was working on F-1 OPT in manhattan and then company filed H1B in april-2105 and fortunately i got approval. On 27th of october my company told me to let go due to financial issue with company. In this case how much time i can take to apply H1B transfer? FYI i am out of payroll.

    I was thinking of taking part time course and go back to F-1 is it possible ? If its possible then how do i process my new f-1? Do i need to go back to india?

    Please respond if you have genuine answer for me. Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Akshay,
      You need to find an employer ASAP as being out of payroll implies out of status. Even after you find an employer it may take 2-3 weeks for them to get to the filing stage (you can join them soon after H-1 petition has been filed).

      If you want to move to F-1, then COS needs to be filed which may be difficult as you are out of status. Get in touch with an immigration lawyer who can tell you the chances of success for COS

      1. Akshay

        Okay good to know saurabh. I have one more question: If I applied for H1B transfer and USCIS found that my payslip is one month back and through I94 they will have not been out of US
        So in this case what will happen ? will they reject my H1B transfer or would they will say go back to home country and come back again with stamped H1B visa with the employer I got rejected for H1B transfer ?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Akshay,
          Your H-1 transfer consists of 2 things – 797 and I-94. In this case, they would issue new 797 but not I-94. You will have to leave US and return on the new 797 to get the new I-94. Makes sense?

  24. charan

    If I can’t handle 9 credits with h1 and wish to change to f1 then after completion of my mba ..do I need to apply h1 and wait for lottery or I still have my h1?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Charan, you do not need to go for lottery again, if you already have H1B. You will just apply for transfer or extension using the old petition details.

  25. Pratik

    To be eligible for in-state tuition on H1B is it necessary to be in the same state or any other US state will do?
    e.g. I am in Washington DC and I get admission to MBA program in California then I am considered as in-state student or international student?

  26. Abhishek Sharma

    Very informative post!!!
    I am working on H1B and planning for an MS. Does anybody have a list of colleges or any suggestions around as to where I can enroll for a MS program being a working professional?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Abhishek, There is no specific list of colleges for H1B holders. You can study in any of the colleges that offer the degree, there is no restriction as such. It is up to you on your preference based on various factors like courses, professors, program quality, etc. You will need to do your research for the same.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          We do not advise on colleges. I suggest you look for colleges based on what you want to do. You have some really good schools in Houston.

  27. Grego

    I have currently been approved for a H1-B visa. It is in the approved status and will take effect on October 1st. Can I apply for a M.S.E.E. program now or do I have to wait until October 1st?

  28. Raju

    Hi Saurabh

    I have recently moved to US with H1B from one of the india company. Now i want to persue MS here. Can i write GRE here in US…? Will the fees be high when I shift from H1B to F1..? Also right now i have exactly one year valid H1B visa from now. If i graduate from any college here and get a job in any company will they apply H1B again for me.. Is this all possible..? Could you please help…

  29. Nawras

    Hi,

    H1-B kicks in on October 1st, is that right? if so, most Fall semesters begin on early September. Can I attend classes for the Fall or do I have to enroll in spring, if possible, or next Fall? If not possible to attend starting September just before my H1-B kicks in, is there a way around it. For example, can I pretend to be auditing classes before October 1st, or something like that?

    Thanks a lot,

  30. Shish

    Hi,
    First of, thank you for the information. It has been really helpful.
    My question, I am on an H1B visa working full time after getting my MS CS. I now intend to apply for a PhD, the PhD offered by the university I am interested is a full time course. I want to continue working full time and pursue my PhD as well. Would there be any legal implications if I were to pursue PhD full time and work for my employer full time as well, keeping my H1B status valid? I know it will be difficult to do both simultaneously, but, all I am wondering about are the legality issues here.
    Your help is much appreciated.

  31. Saurabh

    Hey,

    I am currently working in US on H1B and wanted to know if i can do MS or MBA here itself. I don’t want to get restricted to the colleges my company would sponsor me and wanted to know other methods (like loans, scholarship etc.) of payment in case i want to pursue higher education without my company’s sponsorship.

    Regards
    Saurabh

  32. Sarah

    1. I used to be on F1 for undergraduate studies.
    2. I got hired after I graduated. I was on OPT for about half a year. Then I got approved for H1b (selected in the “lottery/cap” and approved).
    3. Now I’m on H1b.
    4. I want to go back to school for full time. I’ll be on F1 again which comes with OPT again.
    5. Question: If I graduate again, get a job again, and file for an H1b petition, am I subject to the annual cap? I read somewhere before that in some circumstances, if one has been subject to the H1b and successfully got through, he/she won’t be subject to it again should he/she apply for H1b in the future. Please let me know if this is true. Thank you so much.

      1. sujit

        Hello Ana/Sarah,
        I am in the same situation. Did you guys get your H1 B back.
        I heard from one of my seniors that the H1 B is not cancelled but temporarily suspended. you can re-activate that once you are done with your study.
        Is that correct?

  33. Gabriel

    I’m currently working as an H1b holder and would like to pursue a masters. My question relates more to the SSN we are issued as H1b which is limited. Can we used this (work only SSN) to apply for entry into a masters? I tried mine and it was rejected in the application (the number).

  34. Nuna

    Hello,
    I am an h1b cap exempt holder. I would like to work with another employer. I found a job with a non cap exempt employer. I was told about the h1b transfer. I know that I cannot do it in my case. What other alternatives I have to get an h1b???? Thanks a lot.

    1. Arjun

      Hi Nuna,
      I am looking for H1B cap exempt employers. Can you please provide me the information/contacts of those employers who can sponsor cap exempt H1B? That would be really great. Please email to [ email removed spam ]
      Thanks !!

  35. Nina

    I am an H1B holder willing to pursue my education( PhD). My program is a full time and I am not allowed to work while studying Phd. In this case, what do you recommend, should I change my status to F1 or remain in H1B? Thanks a lot.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Nina,
      If you cannot work, then you need to move to F-1. If you remain on H-1, then you need to get paid and work for the regular H-1 hours.

  36. Anoop

    Hi,

    Can you give me details like timeline to finish the MBA, Cost and whether it has to be paid in full . from when i can start to apply, do we have any start date for application of part time MBA.

  37. Navin T

    Hi Saurabh,
    My wife is on H4 visa and wants to join a state college. She submitted copies of her passport, I-94 & I-797 A. but the college is now asking for H4 visa stamped in passport. The school says they can not use I-797A in place of visa as it is boldly printed in the it. She entered US with F2 visa and has not left the country. so no h4 stamp. Is there anything she is missing in her documents for admission?

    Navin

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Navin,
      This is strange. Why do they need H-4 visa stamped? I didn’t get their reason “as it is boldly printed in the it”.

      IMO, F-2 stamp shows she entered legally, and her 797A COS shows that she is legal H-4 status.

      1. Navin

        They are referring to the sentence in 797A which says that “This form is not a visa and may not be use in place of a visa”. I believe they have never had any H4 student or the student advisor is fairly new. I will talk to them again.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Navin,
          Looks like that. May be you can try to explain the difference b/w visa and a petition. If your H-1 lawyer can provide some legal text around this, you can share that as well.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,
      Depends upon the school’s requirements. Some schools waive off GRE for MS when you have prior experience and letters of recommendation.

  38. kjain

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am planning on taking up a full time MS course here in the US starting september 2013.
    However ,I have a full time offer with a company but my H1B will start only in October 2014 as this year my H1B could not make if thru the lottery and my company has kept my offer in place saying they will apply for my H1B next year.I wanted to know that next year when i convert to H1B can i still continue my masters part time or will I have to take 9 credits as what course I am enrolling in is actually designed as a full time course.I spoke to the advisor at university and the international student services office and they say that there is no restriction as such but they sound pretty unclear.
    I would really appreciate advice from your side.
    Thankss..

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kjain,
      When you move to H-1 status next year, you can continue MS on a part-time basis. As your status would have changed to H-1, your main focus will become working full-time and then study on the side. You will have to check w/ your school on many credits you still need to take to remain enrolled. Also check w/ them about the fees as you will change from F-1 to H-1 as may be subject to in-state or out-of-state tuition fees vs international fees on F-1.

      1. kjain

        Thanks for the information sourabh.
        I was reading an article on redbus where it says that if you do change to H1B before completing masters ,which is my case,it can raise a red flag with USCIS.
        Is that true?
        Furthermore I am currently on H4 would you advice to convert to F1 or remain on H4.The only reason I am doing so is cause there is no gurantee that next year H1B will not go into lottery.With f1 i will have more options open.
        Please suggest

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          KJain,
          It depends on the case. When someone moves from F-1 to H-1 within few days/weeks/months of landing in US, then it can cause USCIS to question the intent of taking up the F-1. However, if the person continues studies for a long time and then moves to H-1, then the question is not asked that much. There is a general 30/60/90 principle, according to which, chances of them questioning the intent is pretty low are staying on F-1 for more than 90 days.

          My suggestion will be to move to F-1 as it opens up more avenues like CPT, OPT and Advanced degree quota for you. Although the fees might be more but one can get little creative w/ it. Check w/ school what OPT requirements are. If they need 1 year of F-1 term, then you can study on H-4 for first year and then move to F-1 from second. You can similarly check for CPT requirements.

          Lastly, do not fall in trap of schools that flaunt CPT from day 1.

  39. Krishanu

    Hi Saurabh,

    I want to study MBA in US. Currently I am doing fulltime job in US. My employer would not allow me to study in US. I know it. Can i do fulltime/parttime MBA in US without my employer’s help? One option is to study MBA in F1 visa. Can I do it with H1b too? Does it require any employers approval? If I do MBA with H1B visa will i get change to participate in on campus job opportunity? My biggest question is do i need GMAT and TOEFL score to study MBA in a standard school with H1B visa?

    Thanks in advance,
    Krishanu

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Krishanu,
      You can continue to work full-time and study part-time on H-1. As long as you are working full-time, this should be fine. You cannot take any financial assistance from school for this (CPT, OPT etc). The fees can be paid either by you or the employer.

      1. Krishanu Maity

        Thank you Saurabh for your reply. I have two more questions.

        If my H1b visa get cancelled while applying for extension, then what will happen? Can I covert it to F1 Visa?

        If I do MBA with H1B visa will i get change to participate in on campus job opportunity?

        My biggest question is do i need GMAT and TOEFL score to study MBA in a standard school with H1B visa? Could you please recommend any university where I dont need to have GMAT score?

  40. Fernando

    Hi. I got a MS degree 2.5 years ago in an american university and after that I was enrolled in both OPT and Post-Completion OPT since my Master is in Chemical Engineering. My OPT extension expired on November 22 and now I am full-time student in a PhD program in the same university. However the company for which I worked during my 29 months of OPT wants to be my Sponsor for the H1-B Visa, and I am willing to accept the job offer. Some questions in my case are:

    a. In case H1-B is approved, what is the date when the F1 Visa is cancelled due to the approval of the H1-B?

    b. When working for a company under H1-B status, is it completely necessary be a formal employee or is it possible to be hired in professional services basis?

    c. If H1-B is approved and I want to keep studying partial time (or full-time if possible), Do I will still be elegible to receive Research Assistanships and/or tuition exeptioms from the University? Is this regulated by USCIS or by the University itself?

    Thanks in advance.

    Fernando.

  41. Nimmy

    Hello!!

    I m in h1b status. I was on b1-b2 when i entered USA. Then i changed my status.
    I m working fulltime right now. I want to learn cosmetology. Can i?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Nimmy,
      You can take up courses on cosmetology while maintaining your H-1 status i.e. by continuing to work full-time as per the filed LCA.

      1. nimmy

        i have already filed I140 ( last week)
        i wanna go to india for my brother’s wedding end of this month ( january 2013)
        is it safe to travel? will they let me enter in USA again? i have a 10 months old baby so i just dont want any problems.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Nimmy,
          You will have to appear for H-1 visa stamping. If that goes successful, I don’t see any issues happening at PoE. Chances of stamping varies from case to case and depends upon your scenario and submitted documents.

  42. Sany

    Hi Saurabh,

    Thanks for elaborative explanation.Is it necessary to give GMAT/TOEFL scores for all courses? Any courses we can simply attend without to worry about GMAT/TOEFL?

  43. Raman

    Hi saurabh
    I am on ead now applied for h1b , now i have 2 questions
    1. my ead will expire 10 months, I have MBA admit in hand , I applied for it for a safe hand if I get h1b rejected, so my questions is if h1b is accepted how can i change my status to f-1 if I want to study
    2. If my h1b is denied i can study right , do i need to get my visa stamped? if yes do i need to go to India or any other place is also fine?
    3. I have my student visa for 1.5 yrs still so even if i go to India before this duration do I need to get my visa stamped?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Raman,
      1. File COS from H-1 to F-1 if you want to become fulltime student. If you want study parttime and still be a fulltime worker, then you can do that while continuing to be on H-1.
      2. You can study on L-2 and later either file for L-2 extension or move to F-1.
      3. Check w/ DSO about this.

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