Do I Need to Maintain F-1 Status While Waiting for Green Card Approval?

Nowadays, a large number of students study in America as international students. During completing studies or studies, most of them make plans to work there and fulfill their American dream. But being a permanent resident is not that easy. If a student lives in the US with an F-1 visa, some restrictions.

For instance, the students can’t work more than 20 hours a week. If students want to work off the institution, they will need approval from the campus as evidence and many more. They usually ask Do I need to maintain F-1 status while waiting for green card approval?. Students can apply for a green card and live there permanently and legally. Ways of F-1 getting a green card include winning the green card lottery, sponsorship, marrying US citizens, and seeking asylum.

What Is the Difference Between f1 and Green Cards?

The F-1 visa is made for international students who want to study in the certified institution of the US. It can either be for a diploma, linguistic training, elementary or high school. F-1 students can’t go for activities off the institution. Still, after the first year, they become eligible for some off-campus occupation.

On the other hand, having a green card means having the permanent opportunity to live in the United States. It is just like having permanent citizenship and lifetime residency to work and live in the US. It gives us the right to vote, be elected, sponsors family members, gets possession for children not from the US, and be safe from expulsion.

Should I Maintain Nonimmigrant Status After Filing I-485?


As I-485 can take several months to get approved, it indulges the applicant in a difficult situation. However, it is not obligatory for them to maintain their nonimmigrant status, but quite beneficial if they retain it. For instance, after filing for the I-485 form, we can’t return to our F-1 status if we go outside the country temporarily.

Not returning to the previous status after the denial of I-485 causes expulsion from the country. To avoid these tragedies, acting upon the responsibilities of the nonimmigrant status is favourable.

Causes of I-485 Application Denial:

Sometimes a slight mistake can cause the denial of the I-485 application. Let’s have a look at some of the causes.

  • First of all, any criminal background and violations become the primary reason an applicant committed any criminal offence or entered the country illegally through the wrong visa process.
  • Nowadays, the vaccination process has much to do with the visa process. If the applicant doesn’t pass a medical test, he is more likely to be rejected.
  • The other reason is nonconformity with the requirements of the application. Not attending interviews and other meetings on time and unable to provide evidence of family relationships.

I-485 Has Been Pending for Five Years:

It is unusual if a person’s i-485 application has been pending for more than one year. It is the time when you can’t do anything except waiting. Sometimes it may be because of an FBI background check.

What you can do besides waiting is consider federal mandamus court and involve any professional.

Maintaining F-1 Status, Do I Need to Preserve the F-1 Position While Waiting for Green Card Approval?

Well. It is not necessary to oblige the rules of F-1 status anymore, but it is pretty beneficial to maintain. It is in case our I-485 or green card application gets rejected. Applicants are advised not to travel when the application is pending, as it can be risky. The applicant should wait for the receipt and interview for a positive change in the school record.

Rejection of the Green Card:

There are several reasons behind green card rejection. If any applicant is found violating any of the US laws, there is no chance of approval. US government is quite strict in terms of its laws. Suppose the applicant is involved in totalitarian and genocide groups. Moreover, including in sabotage and affects the rules of exports and imports. In that case, his green card will be denied right away.

Change of Status From F-1 to a Green Card by Marriage:

A student having F-1 status can change the situation to a green card through marriage. It is called a status adjustment. When a student marries a US citizen or has a green card, his status changes, the person will have to apply for a marriage-based green card. It is not a piece of cake as time matters a lot here.

Suppose he applies for this card before completing 90 days of his entry. In that case, he will be interpreted as coming to the US solely for marriage purposes, not for studying. So the applicant must be conscious of the date and time while applying.

Visa Expires While Waiting for Adjustment of Status:

Sometimes while waiting for the green card, our visa’s expiry date comes near. If the expiry date has already reached, there is only one way to solve the problem: an attorney. Suppose we don’t take advice from the attorney. In that case, our late departure can also affect the whole process and even future travels. An Attorney will guide us on how long we can stay there.

Renewing Existing Immigration Status:

Suppose an applicant has plans for status adjustment, but the visa will expire soon. In that case, it is better to contact the attorney for the solution right away before it gets late.


Can I apply for the green card being on F1?

Yes, it is possible, but the F-1 visa holder must apply for an E-b1 visa. This visa is applicable for persons with extraordinary qualities like excellent researchers, medals recipients, etc.

Can I switch from F-1 to green card directly?

The direct way to turn to the green card is to marry a US citizen or a green cardholder. Then you will go for Form I-130 and I-485.

What if I don’t continue my studies while waiting for the I-485?

As the application is still pending and you are not sure of its case approval or disapproval, you can be dropped out from the school. It is better to keep the studies continued.

Can I study during my status adjustment?

Yes, it would be best to skip school while waiting for the application approval. AOS allows you to study even after your visa expiry.

Wrap up:

Most of the applicants feel worried during their educational processes in the US. They are unaware of the operations of getting a green card. All the guidelines mentioned above answer everything about questions like “Do I need to maintain F-1 status while waiting for green card approval?”

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