F1 Visa

H-1 Visa Approved, OPT Expiring & Out of Status 5+ Months

You got to read Sherry’s situation. She’s in a very desperate state and needs urgent help from an immigration attorney to sort out her current status and give her direction the right direction.

Her H-1B is approved, OPT is expiring, but her school says she’s been out of status over 5 months. Sherry @ H-1B Approval Notice Sent

Hello to all!
Mine is one of the worst situations that any international student can face. So read this carefully …really.
I finished my master’s in 2007 in Ohio, U.S.A. and filed for my H-1B in April 2008.
However, I didn’t receive even a receipt number!
I filed for my H-1B again in 2009…got approved, but USCIS told me that I need to go to Nepal for stamping. So far I’m really okay and happy.
Now my consultancy tells me that because I have a gap from August (my I-20 expires) until October (my H-1B starts), the USCIS had asked me to leave the country.
After staying up all night, I found out that students are given a 2 month grace period to switch between statuses.
But until now the consultancy hasn’t told me anything…I called them and tell them all what I’ve found out, and then they call back only after 2 days to say that I just need to get my I-20 extended until October so I’ll be fine.
Now I called the college and believe it or not my school told me, that since I’ve been out of status for 6 months already, where I’ve been paying fees, taking classes, doing everything that I could to keep my legal status, never got a formal letter, met my advisor after every semester, did it all…I was finally told to file for reinstatement of my studentship.
Then my school will tell me that they found out that if I’m out of status for more than 5 months so I have 80% chances of being denied!
Someone please help me, please send me emails, contact numbers, lawyers, suggestions, feedbacks, etc.
I’m on the verge of breaking.

USCIS – “Get Stamping from Nepal”

If you are in the U.S. and if you go for an H-1B visa approval with an I-94 attached, then your status from F-1 (OPT) will automatically change into H-1B from the H-1B start date.

I haven’t come across any situation where the USCIS had directly asked someone, an H-1B visa applicant, to go to Nepal just for stamping. The USCIS in general suggests applicants to get stamping from their home countries.

OPT to H-1B Cap Gap

If your H-1B was applied in a timely manner, you can stay in legal status even after OPT had expired.

The USCIS published the new OPT to H-1B Visa Cap Gap Rule just to address this issue.

Since, you already had your H-1B visa approved, you can continue to work and be in legal status until October 1.

Out of Status for 5+ months

Well, you have to find out from your school how you went out of status, while you had been paying the fees and your I-20 is still not expired.


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  1. I had a job in US till mar 2010. I had to come back to India due to personal problems. I was on OPT. Now, a company is making an offer to join full-time in california. I am currently in India. I have misplaced my ead(valid upto july 2011). Now if the company decides to go ahead with my H1-B, can I enter US with the h1b receipt number. Also, since I was in India, will that count towards unemployment or being out of F1 status? Please help me. I do not want to miss out on this opportunity.

  2. Hey,

    I think you can enroll in a vocational school which provides you an I-20. Although your H1 is approved its better to have yourself enrolled in a school which will take care of the 5 months cap.

  3. Hi,
    I think what might have happened is that your SEVIS might have got terminated once your H1b was approved and thus your H1 one was approved but not your change of status. You need to tell your DSO to send a fax to SEVIS to have your data fix and you might need the I-797 for that. Also get a letter from your dean and adviser that your were enrolled full time. Then you will have to go to your home country and get the h1b stamped or you can get an info pass from the USCIS website and see the immigration and present your case with all the documents and see what they have to say.
    Generally,USCIS mentions that it will send your I-797 details to Toronto Canada unless you have mentioned any specific US mission in your I-29.

    Good Luck

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