QUESTION: I am currently on OPT till 9/30. I have been working for a compnay on my OPT for 6 months now. The company filed for my H1-B this year and I have recieved the reciept number and it says "case approved" in the online status on USCIS website.
I need to travel back to India (my home country) for 10 days in early August. My HR recommended that I do not take the trip, for I will be running the risk of returning on an F1 (OPT) when I have completed my education here. Hence no temporary intent as an F1 student.
Is is possible to travel for me if I carry my valid OPt card, a letter from my employer, paystubs proving I am working as well as my H1 reciept notice?
Your HR person's concerns should be listened to. Since you will have almost completed your OPT, the immigration officer may not let you back in. To prevent this you should take all of the items that you have listed but you need to understand that it will ultimately be the officers final call. If you are turned down then you will have to wait to enter the US on your H1. The earliest you could do this would be ten days prior to the effective date of the H1. I would suggest that you postpone your trip for a month if possible to not have to face this problem.
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QUESTION: Thanks. When I joined this company in November, I travelled to Japan for a month training, and I reentered the US on my OPT in January without any hassles. I was on OPT then as well. Thats the only reason I figured this situation of me travelling to India should be alright as well. Does it make a difference, that I am towards the end of my OPT now versus I was in the middle of my OPT then?
The fact that you OPT is almost finished is the only difference. I am only speculating and you may not have any trouble re-entering. The immigration officers have some discretion and that is what is my concern is.