OPT GAP after MBA Graduation

Raghuram Sukumar F1 Visa 8 Comments

Here a question from a reader:

Thank you for your useful information about OPT and H1B.
I have a question: I am graduating in May 9th, 2009 for my MBA degree; and I am thinking to have a delay in OPT start date on July 9th, 2009.
However, even if I can find an employer who is willing to apply for H-1B for me in next April, I will still be out of status between July 9, 2010 and October 1, 2010, right?
What should I do in-between those three months?
Will I be illegally staying in the U.S?
Your reply will be greatly appreciated.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced a new rule last year to eliminate some recurring OPT Cap Gap issues.

So, after you file an H-1B visa application and until you hear from USCIS, you can continue to work and stay legally in the U.S. You will still be considered in a legal status.

If in case you get an H-1B denial notice, you will be out of status. Read the articles under OPT category for more details on the OPT cap gap.


  1. Hi,

    I will be completing my MBA in March 31, 2009 and will be in OPT status from April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010. I need to visit India in next couple of months, please let me know that if we can visit our home country during OPT, will it create any problem while returning to US.


    1. Leaving the country while on OPT is not advisable. You can still go if its an emergency, but you should avoid it if you can. You might face some problems at the port of entry as its hard to explain why are you returning to the US with only fews days left on the visa. So unless its absolutely neccessary, it is not advised.


  2. Well, I was in your same situation and I went to India. I did not have any question at the port of entry. But it is recommended you have a valid F1 visa, I20 with OPT, Job offer letter and EAD

  3. I would say enroll in a vocational school which will provide you with an I-20 And that should take care of your cap.

  4. Hi, I have an important question???……

    I have my OPT card that starts at the end of October and I have a job offer as a restaurant server…I need to go to my home country before my OPT starts since my dad is reaaly sick…

    I finished my MBA..would I have problems to re enter to the US?? because my job offer is server..and my degree is MBA????


    1. @Vanessa – Having MBA and job of server doesn't go well. There are many students who came to US even without Job offer during OPT. Si, it really depends on your situation at Port of Entry. You can travel before OPT start date. If you still have concerns, consult an immigration attorney.

  5. Hi,

    I have quick question i got my OPT in the month sept and it is going to expire. i have graduated my MBA from small college in south florida. I am getting a position in a gas station will that affect my opt status, Since i have graduated MBA in Project management. and my college has not informed me about the formalities to be filled out!

  6. hi …..i am planning to do my mba in us and i just want to know the correct opt period which is provided……the maximum extension after the completion of masters

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