Can I travel on R1 visa that will expire in a month? 2 Answers as of June 22, 2011

I came here on R1 visa which will expire end of July. Now I filed I-539 application to change to F1 status. I am planning to go to a mission trip outside the US for a week in the middle of July (not to my home country). If my application will still not be processed by that time can I leave US and come back on R1 visa?

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World Esquire Law Firm
World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
I see why not if you come back before the expiration of the R-1 visa. But as a rule of thumb, I recommend to my clients that they not leave the US if they have an application pending with USCIS. In your case, I would say that you cannot rely on the fact that you filed a change of status and leave the country while your status is in limbo. It only makes sense that you secure your status before leaving the US. If the R-1 runs out while you are out of the US, you will be refused admission since you will not have a valid status in the US. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/22/2011
Baughman & Wang
Baughman & Wang | Justin X. Wang
If you leave the US while your change of status application is pending, your application is deemed abandoned. You should either apply for F-1 visa overseas or return to the US before your R1 visa expires and then immediately file I-539 to change status.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/21/2011
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