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?

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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
is
1. will his H1B visa be valid even after he gets F1 visa stamped to his
passport?
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

Answers:

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.


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