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Options for Those Not Selected in the H1B Lottery

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This week, Murthy Law Firm attorneys will be answering your questions about what options you may have if your cap-subject H1B petition is not selected in the lottery. 


You can also refer to http://forum.murthy.com/index.php?/topic/75573-alternatives-to-h1b-if-not-selected-in-the-lottery/ where we had a previous discussion on this topic.




  1. Attorney’s postings contain general information only and are not a substitute for case-specific legal advice.
  2. The attorney will answer only those questions that relate to the main subject. If you have a question on some other issue, please start a new thread in the appropriate section of the forum.
  3. The attorney will not necessarily answer every question posted and may provide a single answer to a group of similar questions.
  4. Please do not include information that would identify any specific company, university, or individual (including yourself).

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We have been receiving questions from F-1 students whose employers filed H1B petitions on their behalves, requesting a change of status to H1B, but whose petitions were not selected in the lottery. This issue affects students in post-completion Optical Practical Training (OPT) and who were in the cap gap period, as well as those students who are still pursuing their courses of study, or who have unexpired Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) for OPT.


For those students who are still in valid F-1 status, the most important question is, "What can I do to maintain my status after my current program ends?" Some options available include (1) transferring to another program of study, or (2) changing status to another non-immigrant status, such as H-4 or F-2.

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Some students in this situation are eligible for CPT and look to transfer to another program and immediately apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT).  


It is important to keep in mind that CPT must be an integral part of the established curriculum so if the plan is to continue with the previous OPT employment, that employment may relate to the previous program of study and not the current program of study. These issues may present a problem for the change of status request if the student’s employer intends to file another H1B petition next year.

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