International Students Immigration Blog

Do Multiple University Transfers on Day 1 CPT Increase Your Risk of an H1B RFE?

In the world of immigration and visas, there's a lot of buzz around the H1B visa process. Specifically, we're going to delve into the intriguing question: Is it easier to receive a H1B Request for Evidence (RFE) during a change of status while on Day 1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

RFEs are a big concern for individuals applying for H1B visas, and Day 1 CPT combined with a school transfer can sometimes raise eyebrows. In this blog post, we will explore this topic, examine some statistics, and provide practical advice for those navigating school transfers during their Day 1 CPT period.

Table of Contents:

  1. Understanding RFEs in the H1B Process

  2. Day 1 CPT and School Transfers: A Potential Red Flag?

  3. 8 Tips navigating School Transfers during Day 1 CPT

  4. Conclusion

Understanding RFEs in the H1B Process

Before we dive into the specifics, let's briefly understand what an RFE is in the context of the H1B visa application process. An RFE, or Request for Evidence, is a formal request by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for additional documentation or information to evaluate an H1B visa application. It's essentially a way for USCIS to seek clarification or additional proof before making a decision on your case.

Day 1 CPT and School Transfers: A Potential Red Flag?

So, is Day 1 CPT (Curricular Practical Training) combined with a school transfer a major red flag? Frequently changing schools during your Day 1 CPT period is not advisable. It can lead to increased documentation requirements for an RFE and potentially raise suspicions about your intentions for F1 studies. However, let's look at some numbers to get a clearer picture.

 
H1B RFE Rate
 

 

According to data released by USCIS in March this year, during the 2022 fiscal year, USCIS received a total of 470,000 H-1B visa applications. Out of these, only 43,000 received RFEs, accounting for just 9% of cases, and most of them were ultimately approved.

So, looking purely at the numbers, receiving an H1B RFE isn't necessarily terrifying. It just means that the immigration agency needs more documentation to review your case. With this perspective, let's explore how to navigate school transfers during Day 1 CPT more effectively.

8 Tips Navigating School Transfers during Day 1 CPT

If you find yourself needing to change schools during your Day 1 CPT period, there are crucial steps to follow to ensure a smooth transition while minimizing the risk of an RFE. Here are some essential guidelines:

1. Keep Admission Documents and Transfer Records: Preserve all documents related to your transfer, such as admission letters, school transfer paperwork, and I-20 forms.

2. Collect Proof of Maintaining Legal Status: Gather materials that demonstrate your maintenance of F-1 student status, such as syllabi for each semester, transcripts, attendance records, and any other relevant documents that prove you maintained legal student status during CPT.

3. Retain School Communication and Records: Keep all communications with your school, including emails, letters, and any correspondence related to CPT transfers. This can serve as evidence that you cooperated with your school and followed their regulations.

4. Preserve CPT Approval Notices: If you've previously used CPT, hold onto CPT approval notice emails and I-20s containing relevant information. This proves you received approval and used it according to regulations.

5. Maintain Course Schedules and Descriptions: Prepare course schedules and descriptions detailing the courses you plan to take. These materials can demonstrate the legitimacy of your study plan and CPT.

6. Work and Employment-Related Documents: Organize and keep documents related to your work, such as employment contracts, job descriptions, and pay stubs. These documents can help prove that your CPT is related to your field of study and complies with legal requirements.

7. Provide Sufficient Financial Evidence: Show proof that you have enough funds to cover tuition and living expenses, which can support the legitimacy of your student status.

8. Prepare a Statement of Transfer Reasons: Create a clear statement explaining why you decided to transfer from your previous school to the current one, including academic goals and major choices.

If you have a history of transferring schools during Day 1 CPT, it's crucial to consult with an immigration attorney when applying for an H1B visa. They can provide personalized guidance and ensure that your application is strong and well-documented.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while the idea of Day 1 CPT and school transfers during the H1B process may seem like a potential red flag, the statistics show that receiving an RFE isn't as dire as it may appear. By following the guidelines outlined in this post and seeking legal advice when necessary, you can navigate the process more confidently and increase your chances of a successful H1B visa application.

We hope this information helps you on your journey to securing an H1B visa and achieving your career goals in the United States. Until next time, best of luck in your endeavors!