First of all I would like to appreciate for HSB for this initiative, especially for students.
I am currently on my OPT ( Optional Practical Training ) , expiring on Aug 2013. My employer has filed my H1B for 2013, and it has been selected and is pending with USCIS.
- As my H1b petition is filed with USCIS, I asked my university to issue my cap-gap I-20.
- As per my university, for some reason my SEVIS record is not reflecting my cap-gap eligibility, without which they cannot issue my cap-gap I20. They have raised a ticket to get this corrected on my SEVIS record, but no changes so far.
- So, as a matter of fact, my university suggested me to apply for OPT STEM extension [as I am eligible for it], so that I can continue working till my H1b gets approved and effective.
- As per with discussions with my university, I have applied for OPT STEM extension as well.
Now, the scenario is my both OPT-STEM extension and H1b are filed and pending with USCIS.
I have a question, if my H1b gets approved first, and my OPT STEM extension later, then will my OPT-extension cancels my approved H1b status? If yes, then what can be solution for this? Once if my H1b gets approved, shall I pull back my OPT STEM extension file from USCIS?
H1B Visa Application and OPT Extension
You have to consider few possibilities here with concurrent H1B Visa application with COS and 17 months STEM OPT extension application with USCIS
- First H1B is approved before then STEM OPT extension is approved before October 1st ( No problem)
- First OPT Extension is Approved and then H1B is approved with before or after October 1st (No problem)
- H1B is approved after October 1 then followed by STEM Extension Approval ( Is it possible? If so, this could be a problem)
In first and second scenario, you shouldn’t have any problem. Because your H1B Approval will have start date after October 1. Change of status to H1B happens only from the start date in H1B application (typically October 1, 2013).
If your OPT Extension gets approved before or after H1B, but before October 1, 2013 or H1B start date, then you shouldn’t have any issues with your status.
Scenario #3 – First you have to figure out if USCIS can approve your OPT extension after COS to H1B have occurred. For instance, if your H1B Visa application is approved after October 1, say on Oct 5th. You will be automatically converted to H1B Visa on Oct 5th.
Next logical question would be – Is it possible for USCIS to approve STEM extension when you are already on H1B or would they know your status is already changed to H1B and deny STEM extension. I have to *assume* the later will happen, but I don’t know the answer. Best bet is to ask your immigration attorney who applied for your H1B Visa.
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