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From H1B to F1 to H1B again - I've used up OPT

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  • From H1B to F1 to H1B again - I've used up OPT

    Dear all,

    I have a situation that needs your help/advice.

    I graduated in May 2014 with HR Master degree and worked for 2 years (one year on OPT and one year on H1B). I am currently on my 1st year of H1B VISA.

    I want to switch my job area to supply chain management, so I plan to apply another Master degree this fall. After two years program, I envision finding a job in supply chain company that support H1B.

    Here are my questions:
    1. When I graduate from my 2-year supply chain Master program, do I still have 5-yr H1B left? In other word, do I need to go through lottery again?
    2. Can there be gap between my graduation and my new job, or I must find a job before graduation?

    Question 2 is more of my concern. Because I already used all my OPT, so I assume I must find a job before I graduate otherwise I won't maintain any legal VISA after graduation. Can anyone tell me how will it work out in terms of transitioning from F1 to H1B again without the OPT buffer? For example, what is the latest time that I need to get a job offer. Also, I know I need to file another change of status after graduation, but can I start working when the application is pending? If not, when can I start working?

    Thank you very much in advance!