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OPT to H1B Status Change

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  • OPT to H1B Status Change

    I am employed right now in Boston and have my H1B (no change of status) approved. My OPT is expiring on June 19th 2012 (next month). I just had a meeting with my HR who wants me to go to india or a foreign country to get it stamped before my OPT expires on June 19th although my H1B is already approved from Feb 2012 and is valid till sept 2014. I am really confused as what is the rule. I had always assumed that I can get it ( H1B) stamped and activated whenever I go back to india (As I am planning to go in Nov 2012), but seems like I have to go before my OPT expires. Is that true/ or a new rule ?? I would really appreciate if I can get some guidance and advice on this ASAP so that I can take further action as needed.

  • #2
    It is not a new rule. It has always been like this. You need a valid status to stay in U.S. If your OPT is expiring, then what will be your status if you continue to stay in U.S? If you want to legally stay and work after the OPT period, then you have to switch to a different status. Since you have a H1B approved for consular process, leaving U.S and returning back in H1B visa will put you in H1B status (as you will get an I-94 associated to H1B at the POE) allowing you to stay and work for the H1B sponsor. If this is your first time H1B stamping, then you have to go to your home country to get the H1B visa stamped.
    Not a legal advice. Use of this information is strictly at your own risk.


    • #3
      Just the H1B approval doesn't not invalidates the OPT. If the H1B is filed under a new CAP which will be effective only from Oct 1st, the person will remain to be in OPT until the H1B becomes effective. And in this case, the H1B was approved for consular process. Advisable to check with the DSO though.

      Originally posted by donsmith
      my understanding is that once H1B is approved it invalidates your OPT
      Not a legal advice. Use of this information is strictly at your own risk.