How to maintain status before H1 approval?

Nina writes, "I am currently on H4 status in the United States but an employer has filed an H1B petition for me.  My H4 status expires in a few weeks but because my H1 may not be approved for several months, I took steps to attend a university and have an I-20.  However, I did so not because I genuinely wanted to study, and therefore, would rather not pay the tuition to drop out as soon as my H1 is approved.  How can I remain in lawful status while I wait for a decision on H1?  Would it help if I defer my admission by a year?  Would that allow me to be in lawful status?

Your lawful status in the US will expire the day your I-94 indicates which should be related to your H4 status expiration.  In order to be here lawfully, you will need to be in another visa category and if you wish to use your F visa, you must enroll in college and take required number of courses.  If you would rather not spend the money on tuition, it is best to ask for a deferral from the university, leave the country till the H1 is approved, and return on that visa.  In any case if your H1 is denied, you can come back as a student.

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