Can someone be holding a stamped F1 visa, and an approved H1B petition at the same time? Can he switch from F1 to H1B after entering the US?

My friend hails from India, has a stamped F1 visa and is yet to enter USA. He has
an approved H1B visa petition but hasn’t got it stamped yet. My question to you
1. will his H1B visa be valid even after he gets F1 visa stamped to his
2. If yes, can he travel to the US on F1 visa and switch to H1B visa after
entering the US?
3. Also the other scenario can be have both F1 visa and H1B stamped to to his
passport at the same time? If yes which would be considered for entry?

Asked on June 8, 2017 under Immigration Law, California


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

YOu can have two different visas in your passport but only one is active at any given time.  If he enters the US on a f-1 visa and then wants to change to H-1B, it will involve a whole new petition to change status from F-1 to H-1B and all the same filing fees, which seems like a crazy thing to do if he already has an approved H-1B visa petition and just needs to get the H-1B visa at the US COnsulate abroad.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.