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Immigration Issues/International travel on OPT with approved H1-B but no stamp

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Question
Hi,
I am currently on OPT and posses my EAD card. I also have H1B approved which will be effective Oct1, 2012(no stamp on my passport yet). I want to travel on OPT before Oct.1 ,2012.

My concern is: If I travel outside US, how will I convince the immigration officer while returning back as students on F-1 OPT should not have any intent to stay long term in US, while he could see that my H1B is been approved for three years. So, I do have that intent. What to do in this scenario?
Is it advisable to travel?

Thanks!

Answer
Hi,

It will be OK to travel and enter the U.S. on unexpired F1 visa stamp, assuming that you have maintained your F1 student status and the intention at time of entry is to resume OPT. The H1B approval notice will not negatively impact your entry, as H visa status is a nonimmigrant visa status as well, and in any case it takes effect in the future only (on Oct. 01), and your intention at time of entry is OPT, for which the F1 visa category is appropriate.

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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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