I797B received with one year validity


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Hello. Here is my situation

Aug 2013 - Started my 1st Masters (STEM) and completed it on May 2015.

Used one year OPT till April 2016. Employer wasn't ready to file H1B so resigned and left the job.

Lost my OPT- Extension (STEM OPT) since was out of a job hence got admit into a college for my 2nd masters with full time CPT from Day 1 from Aug 2016 to maintain status.

Aug 2016 to May 2018 - was in my 2nd masters studying and working . In May 2018, I converted the 2nd masters to PHD program and transferred all the credits to the PHD at the same university.

April 2018 - Got my H1B picked in April and after 2 RFE's (1 for establishing employer-employee relationship and 2nd for establishing university and course credentials for my 2nd masters/PHD program ), finally received an I797B with one year validity and consulate that i have to get it stamped from is Mumbai.


My questions -

1. Is there any way i can avoid going out of the country ? I have an expired F1 visa and a valid I-20 from my PHD course. I have at least a year more on my PHD with full time CPT on it for work authorization.

2. Why have i received an I-797B and not an I-797A? Since i dont think i was ever out of status or wasn't working with someone during this whole period, so why did they gave me an I-797B? 

3. Can my employer or any other employer file another H1B this year for 2019 with premium processing and it might get picked up ? Will that make this current H1B go away?

4. Should i check the SEVIS with my university? That might be the issue of getting the I-797B?

5. Is there a deadline when i have to leave the US or can i stay and work here for the next 4-5 months on my Full time CPT with the PHD program?

6. How can i know how and when i went out of status and if i have accrued any unlawful presence ?

Kindly help.



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got admit into a college for my 2nd masters with full time CPT from Day 1 from Aug 2016 to maintain status. - looks like shady university. From your post you did masters than PHD and yourself are telling that you just wanted to maintain status but in fact you want to work get money and for that you need to maintain status. I would seriously advice you to consult an immigration lawyer. Have a 60 mins call with them and ask all your questions.

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