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Immigration Issues/When to apply for H1B1?

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Question
I am a Singapore citizen under F1, OPT till January 30, 2012. I currently hold a job and my employer has agreed to sponsor my H1B1 visa. In order to not discontinue working, should I apply immediately and enter a start date of January 30, 2012? Or should I enter an even earlier start date? It does not matter to me whether or not I use up my OPT as I intend to leave in 2 years.

Thanks so much!

Answer
Hi,

It is recommended that H1B1 petition be filed soon so that approval occurs prior to OPT expiration on Jan. 30, 2012. Please not that premium processing, whereby the USCIS will make a decision within 15 days of filing a petition in return for additional filing fee, is not available for H1B1 (Singaporean and Chilean nationals) petitions.

Allow about 3 months for approval after filing, but it can be longer if the USCIS has questions prior to approving H1B1 petition. It is OK to enter start date of Jan. 30, 2012, as you will continue to be in OPT until that date, and subsequently you will automatically be in H1B1 status on Jan. 30.

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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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