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How can I abandon my F-1 status if I have a pending I-485?

I am an EB-5 investor and currently staying in the U.S. under an F-1 visa. I already had my I-526 approved and have a pending I-485 submitted on March 21. I have received my EAD card and advance parole on April 21. My question is, can I quit school, abandon my F-1 status and stay in the U.S. while my I-485 is pending? Or do I have to keep my non-immigration status valid during the whole processing period of I-485?

Answers

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Since you have a pending I-485, your status is now authorized for stay as a pending adjustment of status applicant during the processing. Since you have been issued the EAD and AP, you are also authorized for work/travel during this time. Upon filing of the I-485, you no longer need to maintain the non-immigrant (F-1) status.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You have multiple options. For instance, it is advisable that you should remain on F-1 until the I-485 is approved even though you are about to secure an approval. Advisably, you should consult an immigration attorney for analysis of several options you may pursue, such as abandonment of continuous schooling or working full time with your approved EAD, or even traveling with your advance parole out of the U.S.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can abandon the F-1 and cancel your SEVIS record, but note if the adjustment is denied you will be in deportation, so no safety net. Before you do, make sure your case is approvable; that is, not one day of out of status or unauthorized employment and have your lawyer make sure there is no basis for denial.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    One is not required to continue maintaining non-immigrant status once one has filed for adjustment.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can leave school, but if all of this goes south and you try to get back onto the F-1, you have shown USCIS that you have immigrant intent, which is going to be hard to overcome to go back to an F-1 or another non-immigrant visa.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I normally advise my clients to maintain the current status until they have the green card (I-485) approved. However, since your I-526 is approved and if you do not have any inadmissibility issues, which your lawyer must have checked before filing that I-485, I would say it may be OK for you to stop going to school if you are only doing that to maintain your status instead of truly studying.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Best and most conservative approach is to maintain F-1 until permanent residency is actually granted, but yes, it is possible to quit school. If I-485 is denied, you will need to leave immediately and will have future possible status issues. I-485 pending is not a status but it is a period of stay authorized by the attorney general.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Best practice would be to keep your underlying F-1 status until your I-485 is adjudicated, but you can abandon F-1 and will be in an authorized period of stay while your I-485 is pending.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In general, once you file I-485, your status changes to "adjustment pending" and you no longer have to maintain the non-immigrant status. However, you should discuss with your filing attorney who is familiar with the particulars of your case.

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    Kyle Barella

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you wish, you are certainly able to quit school, as the pending I-485 temporarily prevents you from going out of status. Nevertheless, if for some reason your I-485 is refused, you will be out of status if you have no immigration status to fall back on.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, if you have a pending I-485 application based upon an approved I-526 petition, you may quit school and thus automatically abandon your F-1 non-immigrant status. You do not have to maintain your non-immigrant status while your application of adjustment of status is pending. You should not depart until you have your advance parole, as you would otherwise be deemed to have abandoned your application for adjustment of status and most likely would not be readmitted on your F-1 non-immigrant student visa even if it appeared to be valid in your passport.

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