H1B -> F1 -> H1B continuation after MBA


yashsharma91

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I am planning to go to business school next year at a top 5 school so am really considering this, however I have a couple of logistical issues which are somewhat concerning to me at this time, I am hoping you all can help me out a bit here.

Most discussions I've seen about this are a bit old and the link stated in those forums have expired so I can't get a straight answer yet...

 

I finished MS in Dec'2009 & started OPT in Mar'10 (processing took time and OPT start date was mid-Mar'10) valid until end-Feb'11 (12 months). My employer filed for H1 that year and I got H1 approved that year itself, so I started on H1 from Oct'10, using 6 months of OPT.

 

The 6 years on my H1 will end in Sep'16 so right now I have ~2.5 years left and when I enter the MBA program I'll only have about 1 year and a month remaining on it. I read somewhere that the OPT is 1 year for each degree level (BS/MS/PhD) and can be split between degrees at the same level. So by that logic I'll have ~5.5 months remaining on my OPT as well when I graduate in May'17 (2 year program). Not sure if this OPT thing is correct though, and whether or not I can still use the STEM extension from my previous MS (unlikely but I thought I'd ask)

 

My question is, can I then get directly back on my H1B visa after school or get on my remaining OPT & then H1 (this way I maximize the OPT period use and H1 so my post-MBA company has enough time to begin GC process).

 

I also read somewhere that if one completes the 6 years on H1 and remains out of H1 status for 1 full year, they lose their cap and will be subject to the quota again. Not sure if this is correct but given that by May'17 I'd have been over 6 years from Oct'10 and on F1 for 2 years from Sep'15-May'17, I am concerned that I might lose the cap I already have and being subject to lottery is no fun. I'll really appreciate any help you can provide. 

 

 

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My question is, can I then get directly back on my H1B visa after school or get on my remaining OPT & then H1 (this way I maximize the OPT period use and H1 so my post-MBA company has enough time to begin GC process).

 

I also read somewhere that if one completes the 6 years on H1 and remains out of H1 status for 1 full year, they lose their cap and will be subject to the quota again. Not sure if this is correct but given that by May'17 I'd have been over 6 years from Oct'10 and on F1 for 2 years from Sep'15-May'17, I am concerned that I might lose the cap I already have and being subject to lottery is no fun. I'll really appreciate any help you can provide. 

Your OPT was gone once you started working on H1. No more OPT for you.

 

Yes, after 6 yrs on H1 you need to be outside of US for one to get fresh 6 yrs of H1. But if your I140 is approved by that time then you can get H1 ext beyond 6yrs.

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Thanks for the reply. I have a couple of followups though:

 

I thought the OPT period of 12 months could be split between 2 masters degrees. Is this not correct?

 

Technically, I would've been on H1 only for ~5 years (Oct'10-Aug'15) since in aug'15 I will need to get a COS to F1. Wouldnt this mean that I'll be able to use the remaining 1 year and 2 months (6 years minus the ~5yrs already used) after graduating?

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I thought the OPT period of 12 months could be split between 2 masters degrees. Is this not correct?

AFAIK, that's not possible.

 

 

 

Technically, I would've been on H1 only for ~5 years (Oct'10-Aug'15) since in aug'15 I will need to get a COS to F1. Wouldnt this mean that I'll be able to use the remaining 1 year and 2 months (6 years minus the ~5yrs already used) after graduating?

Yes you can.

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Thanks for the reply. I have a couple of followups though:

 

I thought the OPT period of 12 months could be split between 2 masters degrees. Is this not correct?

No. The OPT is gone, because it was a 12-month OPT (even if you didn't use all of it.)

This splitting would be possible if, for example, you only applied for a 6-month OPT. Then you could use the other 6 months later.

Once you got granted a 12-month OPT, that's it for the particular academic level.

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