Immigration Issues/OPT / H1B

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Question
Hi Mr. Arora.

My Name is Brennan Monteiro. I am from India. I just graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering. I've currently just started my OPT effective 08/15/2005 to 08/14/2006. I just found out that the USCIS had issued a statement to the press this Friday 08/12/2005 that the H1B cap for the fiscal year Oct 1, 2005 - Sept 30 2006 had been met and they will no longer be accepting applications for the upcoming fiscal year.
Now given that my opt expires before on 08/15/2006 ,before October 1 2006, the start of the next fiscal year, am I eligible to apply for an H1b through a sponsoring company for that fiscal year. Will I fall out of status between the gap and will my application be denied on these grounds. If so what are the different options I might have to make sure my H1B application gets processed. Also is there a grace period after my OPT expires that will keep me in status while my H1 is being processed. (I haven't yet found a sponsoring company)
Also, can I still apply for this fiscal year (through an extended quota, if available) provided I find a sponsoring company that is willing to put in the H1 petition immediately .

All advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Brennan Monteiro.  

Answer
Hi Brennan,

An H-1B petition can be filed for you anytime starting from April 01, 2006. The petition must request an employment start date of October 01, 2006.

There is a sixty-day grace period in F1 status. This means that an H-1B petition can be filed for you before August 15, 2006, and you can remain in the U.S. and then you will automatically be in H-1B status in October 01, 2006. You must discontinue work from August 15, 2006 until October 01, 2006 (since your OPT will have expired) but you can remain in the U.S.

Regards,
Ajay K. Arora, Esq.
www.H1B1.com

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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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