OPT Stem Extension and H1B from non everified employer


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My current opt expires in Feb and I have applied for a STEM extension through a consultancy for which I am voluntarily working. Recently, I got an offer from a non e-verified employer who is ready to process my H1B.  I am aware that this process starts in April. I am not sure how can I work for them from the period Feb To April. Can anyone please suggest any alternatives? I can foresee 3 options but I am not sure whether they will work. 

 a)Can this happen that I ask them not to include me under their payroll till April and once my H1B gets approved , I come under H1B cap gap.

b) Or what if I work for a non e-verified company under STEM extension for 2 months and then they process my H1B in April. Is that possible?

c) I got this opportunity via a recruiting firm which is e-verified. So, should I work with this recruiting firm for 3months and then my employer processes my H1B in April and once it gets approved I will come under H1B cap gap and be no longer in STEM extension?


Please guide asap.




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There a few potential issues with your situation and the options you are thinking about ...


 "A consultancy for which I am voluntarily working".  The USCIS is counting unpaid training, internships, volunteering with an employer while on OPT employment authorization as not being employed (unemployed time). Further, it has been ruled on multiple occasions that such unpaid work violates labor / employment laws, and is thus illegal.  An OPT STEM extension application maybe denied for more than 90 days unemployment on OPT employment authorization.


(This is a scam disreputable employers are using to get free labor out of foreign graduates on OPT employment authorization. They then turn around and bill the client for the work. Those who willing participate in this practice are party to the scam.)


"Ask them not to include me under their payroll till April".  This is not legal, and would be labor / employment, tax, and immigration fraud.


"Work for a non E-verified company under [OPT] STEM extension".  You cannot work for a non E-verified company on OPT STEM extension employment authorization.  (in other words, you can only work for an E-verified company on OPT STEM extension employment authorization.)


 "Opportunity via a recruiting firm which is E-verified".  "Recruiting" firms are notoriously problematic, and often raise flags with the USCIS especially for things like employer-employee relationship.


It would seem your option is to find a job in your field as a direct employee of a real, reputable employer who is E-verified, and get your OPT STEM extension employment authorization based on that job and employer.  If another real, reputable employer files a H-1B petition for you -- and it is selected in the lottery (which will likely again happen this year) -- and it is approved, then you can change to that employer on October 1.  Working voluntarily for questionable employers, signing up with recruiting firms, trying to get around employment / labor, tax, and immigration laws by being off payroll, and other ways that are not straightforward and 'by the book' will only hurt you in the long run with respect to immigration.


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