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Immigration Issues/L1 to F1 to apply for OPT

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Question
I changed my status from H1B to L1A last year. Altogether I have been in Us for 4 years 5 months now.

I am going to start my fulltime comp sc MS this fall while I am on L1 and working. So after three semester ( roughly 1.5 years, when my total stay will be 6 years by then on H1 and L1A) can I change my status to F1 and apply for OPT so that I can continue to stay and work here in US?

I heard that I have to be atleast one academic year full time student on F1 to be eligible for OPT.

Is this right? or the statement should be like "I have to be atleast one academic year full time student on F1 to be eligible for OPT but to apply for OPT I need to be on F1 status"

For e.g - I start my fulltime MS september 2009, so at the end of spring semester of 2010, if I change my status to F1 will I be eligible for OPT ?

I would really appreciate your help on this.

Answer
Hi,

You can change to F1 status after completing an aggregate of six years in H1B/L1A. However, you will not be eligible for OPT unless you are a full-time student on F1 status for at least one academic year. Thus, being on L1A or H1B while studying and then applying for OPT is not allowed.

Regards,
Ajay K. Arora, Esq.
www.h1b1.com

Immigration Issues

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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