Travel abroad in F1 while H1B petition is pending


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I am on F1 OPT (until Nov) and have a F1 visa (until 2023). My employer has applied for H1B visa on my behalf under Change of Status (COS) category.

I understand that if I travel abroad during the time my H1B petition is pending, the COS portion will be considered abandoned. In that case, I will have to travel to my home country for H1B stamping before Oct 1.

My questions are (assuming H1B is selected in lottery):

  • While my H1b petition is pending, can I travel to Mexico for a short visit (2-3 days) and re-enter US using my F1-OPT and F1 visa?
  • Since my COS will be abandoned after my first travel to Mexico, does this mean I have the flexibility to travel abroad multiple times on F1 OPT/Visa before Oct 1?
  • However, if I wait until my H1B petition is approved (or denied), can I travel abroad multiple times on F1 (until Oct 1) without abandoning COS.
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