F-1 Visa

J-2 or J-1 with 212(e) HRR converting to F-1 student

I want to pursue MS Degree from US and presently I am living in the US on J-2 visa. My wife is working as a Post doctoral Fellow here on J-1 visa. We both are subject to two years Home Residency Requirement. My concern is that how can I change my visa status from J-2 to F-1. Do I need to get a waiver before applying -F1 visa?

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://youtu.be/ZvUVIGTM-Kk?t=520

Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments and blog on immigration.com

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Federal Register: Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students With STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F-1 Students

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations on optional practical training (OPT) for certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from U.S. institutions of higher education. Specifically, the proposal would allow such F-1 STEM students who have elected to pursue 12 months of OPT in the United States to extend the OPT period by 24 months (STEM OPT extension).

Team Notes: 
Nonimmigrant Visas: 

New Rules for 17-Month STEM Extension (Ongoing Updates until completed)

24 December 2015

DHS has asked for an additional extension of stay to 10 May 2016 of the court order under which the STEM extension of OPT was invalidated by the DC federal court.  DHS needs time to review appx. 50,500 comments they have received on the new proposed regulations.  Historical discussion pertaining to the lawsuit is at this link: http://www.immigration.com/blogs/17-month-stem-cap-gap-opt-extension-voided-court

DHS proposes changes related to on-the-job training program for STEM students

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  proposed changes to its regulations that would strengthen and enhance the process for foreign students with science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degrees from a U.S. college or university to get practical training experience in the United States.  The enhancement of this regulation was announced as a part of President Obama’s November Executive Actions. 

Agency: 
Nonimmigrant Visas: 
Substantial transcription for video: 

Topics for Discussion:
FAQ: J-2 or J-1 with 212(e) HRR converting to F-1 student; FAQ: For PERM is formal certificate required or completion of degree is enough; Correcting dates on I-94; Travel while H-1 extension pending – change in I-94#; Changing employers - what immigration documents should I keep; FAQ: Maternity leave on H-1, FMLA and status.
Other: Multiple I-140 approvals; I-140 denial; Cap-gap extension; Effect of change in citizenship on H-1; PERM/AC21 and multiple I-485 filing; Family-based green card change in category; Child turning 21 – CSPA and derivative non-immigrant status loss; L-1A visa and EB-1C filing; Filing I-485 for spouse; PERM more than 50% different job; Cross chargeability; I-130 fraud by spouse; Maternity leave on H-1; AOS filing; F-2 COS; H-1quota, etc.

17-Month STEM CAP GAP OPT Extension Voided by Court

A Washington DC Federal court has held that DHS improperly promulgated the 2008 regulations creating the 17-month OPT CAP GAP extension for STEM graduates (strictly speaking, this is not reallly "CAP GAP" issue).  According to the court, DHS should have placed the proposed regulation before the public, allowed everyone to comment, considered the comments and then published the final regulation.  Thus, DHS violated the procedural mandate requiring "notice and comment."  According to the court, there was no good reason to skip the "notice and comment" mandate.

Nonimmigrant Visas: 
Substantial transcription for video: 

Discussed: FAQ: Refiling I-140 using old PERM (after 180 days); 
Calculating recapture time for H-1; Form I-864, affidavit of support; maintaining green card; green card for parents; H-4 EAD; L-1 to F-1 to H-1; H-1 COS denial; simultaneously filing H-1 amendment and extension; H-1B amendment out of status; starting business on H-1; appeal/MTR against H-1 denial; marriage on B-1/B-2 visa; OPT eligibility; medical insurance; eligibility for naturalization; eligibility for EB-1C green card;

Substantial transcription for video: 

Discussed: CSPA for EB-3 to EB-2; H-1B amendments; Marriage on B-2 visa/H-4; Consequences of travel without advance parole; Following to join process; H-1B liquidated damages contracts; Moving temporarily abroad while I-485 is pending; Relocation while green card is pending; Checking which MSA we are in; What is an H-1 amendment? Getting student visa while green card pending; L-2 EAD, etc.

Substantial transcription for video: 

FAQ: US Citizen applying for Green Card for visiting family member (spouse/parents); Birth and Marriage Certificate Issues; FAQ: Getting nanny/domestic help from India; FAQ: After getting Green Card - how long do you have to stay with your employer.

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