Immigration Issues/opt h1b gap

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Question
Mr. Arora,

I am student from India on OPT here. My OPT expires June 19 2006. I recently got H1B approval(regular quota) starting date October 1 2006. Unfortunately, my grace period will only cover
till August 19 2006. What are my options regarding the gap, if I do not want to leave the US in that period (Aug 20 to October 1st). Is it possible to change to visitor visa? Also may I seek admission in another school and get a new I-20?

Thank you,
Vasilli

Answer
Hi Vasilli,

Because the 60 day grace period does not take you to at least October 01, your H-1B approval notice does not have a new I-94 attached to the bottom (in other words, you were not granted change of status).

In order for you to continue to remain in the U.S. beyond the sixty day grace period, an application to change status to visitor should be filed (preferably before June 19) on Form I-539: http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/formsfee/forms/i-539.htm or else you can continue being a full-time student (see the international student advisor at a college or university for this).

You will automatically be in H-1B status on October 01 (if that date is stated on the H-1B approval notice). However, since you can hold only one status at a time, it is important that the visitor visa application be approved prior to October 01. If it is approved after that date, you will go from H-1B status to visitor...and that is very risky. Unfortunately, there is no "premium processing" available for visitor visa application, but if you file soon the probability is very high that it will be approved prior to October 01. If it is not, then I recommend that you apply abroad at a U.S. Consulate for an H-1B visa sometime in October or November.

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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