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Immigration Issues/H1B Filing while in F1 status and travel on OPT

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Question
Hello Sir,

I have just completed my graduation and have got a job. I have an approved OPT card which expires in June 2013. However, my employer has not filed for an H1B yet and I see that the cap for 2013 has ended as per USCIS. I have to go to India in December 2012.

1) Is it OK to travel on OPT without an H1B filed? My employer has initiated the H1B filing process through a law firm. But the process is still not completed.

2) In case my H1B is filed for next year, can I work from June 2013 to October 2013? (I have done my MBA and hence do not fall under the STEM extension).

Many thanks for your response.

Answer
Hi,

It is OK to travel outside the U.S. while you are on OPT, but it is not OK to travel on OPT cap-gap extension. Thus, since you have OPT until June, 2013, you can travel until then.

As you are aware, the H1B visa cap was reached on June 11, 2012 and you are also aware that an H1B petition has not been filed for you by that date.

The filing of an H1B petition next year prior to June, 2013 will extend your OPT under cap-gap provisions, allowing you to continue to remain legally in the U.S. and to be employed until H1B status can take effect on Oct. 01, 2013 (assuming that the H1B petition is approved). General information about the F1 visa category is here: www.h1b1.com/F1visa.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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