I entered the US on a F-1 visa several years ago. Whilst on OPT, my employer submitted a I-129 Petition for Change of Status to E-3, for which I am the beneficiary.

I was recently notified that my case was approved(!), and expect to soon receive a I-797A with a new I-94 with validity period corresponding to the period on my LCA.

Visa Type/Class

Now, keeping in mind that "status" is a separate from a visa (i.e. see this answer for example), what is the class of my existing visa after my status was changed from F-1 to E-3?

visa overview

In my case, my visa stamp says

Visa Type/Class
R    F-1

How would you refer to my current visa, after a change of status, before the visa expires? Here's my best guess as to how one might describe my current document:

It's a visa that permits entry to the US under F-1 status until mm/dd/yyyy.

Is this correct?

1 Answer 1


Your current visa has regular (R) visa type, and F-1 visa class. That's what it says on your visa. That doesn't change, no matter what you do with your status in the US.

A US visa is for entering the US. Having an F-1 visa means if you leave the US, you can use it (before it expires) to enter the US into F-1 status if you wish to continue studies in the US and you have a valid I-20 for the educational program you will be pursuing. That seems unlikely for you at this point since you have already finished your studies and you have started working and your employer has gone to the trouble of getting you a work status that lasts a few years. Therefore, your F-1 visa is basically useless, even though it is still valid.

If you ever leave the US during this job, you will probably want to return to the US into E-3 status. Therefore, you will need to get a new E-3 visa at a US consulate outside the US before you can return. When you apply for the new visa, they may or may not cancel your existing F-1 visa (if it is not already expired at that point).


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