H1B Cap Reached; F1 Expiring; Options to Stay in USA?

Following Question  about H1B Visa and expiring F1 Visa is answered by an Immigration Attorney.

h1b cap reached optionsMy employer delayed it to file H1-B, and now the cap is reached so I lost that option, and my F1-visa is expiring in June 2013.

At this point I have an option of going back to school but a Masters again would be too expensive.

My question is that if I get into an associate degree just to maintain the status and then file the H1-B next year will I be considered under the Masters quota as I already have a masters degree from US. Your response is appreciated, Thanks


Dear Reader,

I am sorry to hear you missed the opportunity to file.

In all fairness to the employer, it was not clear until the USCIS announcement that visas would run out so quickly.

Also, even if you did file, there would have been a chance that your petition may not have been randomly selected

It would be best to consult your attorney about your options.  For anyone in this situation, the following options would be worth considering after H1B Cap is reached:

  1. Go back to your home country.  This is not the ideal answer of course. However, some people may not have other options.
  2. Go back to school and maintain F1 status.  If you have obtained your Master’s degree, then you should still fall within the Master’s  category for an H1b petition next year.
  3. It might be worth considering an H3 or J visa if the employer is still willing to sponsor for employment.

Good luck!

Tahmina Watson is an immigration attorney and founder of Watson Immigration Law in Seattle , Washington.  Disclaimer: Please note that no client/attorney relationship has arisen and that the above content is not legal advice.

Next – H1B Cap Reached : Should I Marry an American Citizen to Stay in USA?


  1. Archangel on April 19, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    I have heard about the CAP GAP I20… Not too sure how it could help but if the blog creator could advise us as to how the whole thing with that works.

  2. Sri... on April 13, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Hello… If F1 visa expiring means it doesn’t mean you are getting out of status. If you are on OPT then it not at all a problem. F1 status and F1 visa both are different. I don’t know what you mean exactly… If your OPT also expiring and you don’t have STEM OPT extension then you are having problem. Hope it helps!

  3. s.k on April 13, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Harry– I contacted Coleman university and they said the student must be working in California, is that true? and also the classes are twice a week.

    Do you know any other universities that provide CPT from day one? I’ve heard there are universities in Virginia that provides one–do you know any other??

    Much appreciated

  4. harry on April 12, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    hi, u can try taking admission from Coleman university, san diego, they give CPT from day one.

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