Originally Posted by theseeker
As a follow up to this conversation, I am curious if the following can be done.
1. The company files for my Labor Certification (I get a Priority Date).
2. They do not file for I140.
3. I join a full time MBA program (switch from H1B to F1)
In this way, I should be able to retain the Priority Date, and at the same time be eligible for switching to F1 from H1B. Can anyone please let me know ?
As long as you have not filed for I-140 you are OK to switch to F1. Not knowing other details of you or your nationality, in my opinion, you must really consider the following:
1. If you leave the US and go to your home country and apply for F1 visa, there is a good posibility that the F1 will be rejected (not sure of your home country but in India, which is my home country, when I applied for F1 many of the people in the Chennai consulate who applied for F1 and had more than 2 yrs of employment experience got their F1 visa rejected as they showed "immigration intent")
2. If you apply for labor certification and if your labor is approved - you have 6 months (or 180 days - not sure which) to apply for I-140 after labor approval. If you do not apply for I-140 within the prescribed time limit, your LC will "expire". If the LC expires, you will have to start all over again and you will not be able to "port" your priority date.
3. One option would be for you to apply for F1 visa in your home country when your labor is pending and really, really hope that your F1 visa is granted. After that, you can enter the country and file for I-140. As far as I know, once you are already on F1 status, there is nothing to prevent you from applying for I-140 or I-485 later on.
4. If you are able to file your I-485 later on, then you are in what I call "no man's land". From what I heard at the International Student's Office at the University I went to, once you have filed I-485, you no longer need to have a valid I-20 to study full time. However, I think (not sure again - but to the best of my knowledge) one of the requirements of I-485EB is that you have to have a full time job when you are adjusting status. The case @ the university was for the spouse of a friend of mine. She was pursuing a Master's degree and she wanted to get her I-20 extended as she wanted to join the Ph. D. program and that was when the ISO told her that she did not require an I-20. But since her I-485 was derivied from my friend's EB, she did not have to worry about having a full time job.
If you are really serious about your MBA, I would sugest you talk to the advisor at the International Student's Office or a really good lawyer. The advisor's advise is free so there is no harm in listening to him first. Then you can decide if you want to still talk to a lawyer.
Good luck on your MBA.