Immigration Issues/F1-OPT to H1B

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QUESTION: I recently graduated with a Ph.D. from a top us university. My OPT is valid till July 2012. My employer is ready to file H1B right away or they suggested i can use cap-gap to file April 2012.
1.I want to be on F1 as long as possible since I am waived of social security and medicare.
2. I need to visit india the 1st week of september.

Given this, can I apply for H1b in Nov 2011, with a start date in April 2011. or what would be the best in light of the above 2 conditions and availability of visas.

Thanks.

ANSWER: Hi,

It is OK to travel in September and enter on unexpired F1 visa stamp. Then the H1B petition can be filed in November (the visa cap will probably not be reached by Nov.) as per your plan and requested start date can be up to 180 days from Nov. 2011. This way you will be on OPT until May, 2012 and H1B status will take effect in May, 2012. There will be no interruption in your employment.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the answer.

I just had a quick follow-up on this. If the masters quota runs out in November 2011 and I get a H1B visa under the general h1B quota, would this have any implication on my green card application later.i.e.
During the green card processing, is it likely that those who got a H1B under masters quota enjoy some preference over others who got one in the general quota.

Answer
Hi,

It makes no difference to your green card process later whether the H1B was accepted in the master's visa cap or regular visa cap.

What will determine the green card case is whether it is filed in employment-based 2nd preference (EB2) or EB3 category: http://h1b1.com/employmentbased.htm

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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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