Frequently Asked Questions - OPT

OPT to H-1B
I am currently on my Post-completion OPT. I was recently hired as an IT by a company which agreed to sponsor my H-1B. My OPT expires on January 2013. I’ve done my Associate Degree in Computer Science. Also, I have BS in Computer Science but from foreign country. Seven year experience in IT.I had my BS evaluated recently. It is equivalent to US Bachelors Degree in Computer Science Computer Technology. Q1: I will have a gap of 3 months before April 1. How to maintain my status? Q2: I am under STEM not with my US AAS but with my foreign BS degree. Can I extend my OPT with my evaluated diploma?

A1. You can consider going back to school or B-1/B-2 status. There is information on our blog on B-1/B-2 to maintain status.

O-1B Extension and Authorized Period of Stay
I have been in the US for six years. First O-1B expired on Feb15, sent in application for the 2nd O-1B already in December. The itinerary wasn’t sufficient, response due by April 26th, ready to send in the completed itinerary plus additional letters of intended employment. My household is in New York. I am still here. Am I illegal now? Is there a grace period?

As long as you had filed your extension application before expiration of the current status, you are not illegal as long as the case is pending. You are in

OPT - H4 - H1
I am currently on OPT, expiring on 23 May 11. I am currently working but my current employer is not willing to file for my visa and I am unable to find an employer who can file for H1B. I have following questions: 1) If I am not able to find a company-how much time ahead of my visa expiration I will have to file for H4? 2) How difficult it is for an employer file for H1 from H1 and what is the process? 3) If I have to travel out of country before the OPT expiration-do I need to have another visa approved to re enter before my OPT expiration?

1. Your H-4 application must reach USCIS before expiration of your OPT (although it could be argued that you have an extra 60 days, but I stay away from having to argue).
2. No different than filing a new H-1.
3. You could have a difficult time entering if cutting too close the end, although, legally you are entitled to it as long as you have a job in your field that you have been performing on your OPT.

CPT, OPT, Unlawful Presence
As I have used my CPT for more than 1 year at the same master level and already completed OPT for the 1st master and currently working on CPT for almost 2 years. As per Aug 8th, 2018 Memorandum Am I violating the rules and will start counting Unlawful presence from FEB 5th 2019? Or Unlawful Presence should be count from 6 months from FEB 5th 2019 which is AUG 5th 2019? If this is true then what are my options here?
The New Restriction on 12 Months of CPT OPT Combined – – Consequences of H-1B Denial on OPT
I am currently on F1 visa and working on CPT. My H1 petition was picked in the lottery this year and status changed to RFE 2 weeks ago. I wanted to know if August 9 unlawful presence rule applies in my case i.e; if I get a response for RFE after Feb 4 2019, that completes 180 days.
Starting Business While on Student Visa
I am from India, and I am currently doing my masters in the U.S. My goal is to build my startup as I m doing my masters. Therefore, before coming to the U.S, I have incorporated a C Corp in Delaware with me and my brother as the owners. I don’t want to violate my F1 status, therefore, even though I have incorporated the C Corp, We are not actively doing any work since I am not sure working on my startup in University will violate my status. I have tried getting in touch with International student services but I have not gotten a clear response on how I can run my startup as an international student while being on F1.
Status of Off-site Placed STEM OPT Extension Students
USCIS now interprets the 24-month STEM OPT extension rule from 2016 to require a STEM OPT worker to be placed only at a worksite of the employer. In other words, the USCIS now says that any offsite placement, including at a third-party worksite, is prohibited. Will this affect the H1B petitions filed by employers for such opt students, where they are working at an end client location (not employer location) and the H1B petition was filed with end client details.
H-1B and Green Card Transfer From a Non-Profit Organization to For-Profit
I am currently working for a Non-profit org on a cap-exempt H-1B. and my company initiated my GC processing. Below are the few questions: 1. Is the GC processing any different thru a non-profit from a for-profit organization? meaning, is it any advantageous to process my GC thru a non-profit? 2. Can my I-140 from a non-profit be transferred to a for-profit org, if I was able to move to a for-profit org? 3. What are the possible ways that I could move to work for a for -profit organizations? From your previous calls and thru my research I found out below few ways that I could to that. Please give your inputs a. Finding a profit employer to file my cap-subject H1 (Can I start working for my new employer as soon as my H1b is picked in the lottery or approved, instead of waiting till Oct 1st?) b. If a new employer sponsor my cap-subject H1 and if I dont move to the new employer, will my current cap-exempt H1 be still active and should I have to go under the cap next time I file a Cap-subject H1 c.applying for concurrent H1b d. Moving on to H4EAD and filing a H1b next April e.Joining a Masters CPT college and filing a Cap-subject H-1B next year

Watch the Video on this FAQ: H-1B and green card transfer from a non-profit organization to for-profit

Video Transcript

1. The answer is No. There is no advantage in going through for-profit or non-profit that's just irrelevant.

STEM OPT Extension for Consulting or Staffing companies
Can I apply for STEM OPT, if I work for a E-Verified staffing agency (similar to Aerotek, Kelly services) on contract basis that is related to my STEM field of education at a client location ?. (I along with staffing agency will fill out I983 form) I read online that USCIS has regulated “Certain Types of Employment” for STEM OPT in this new rule. So am worried that working for a staffing company at a client company location is therefore invalid :/ ((If so, I think then all the staffing companies would suffer as well)) I have attached hereby the snippet from Federal Register: “”“”“”There are several aspects of the STEM OPT extension that do not make it apt for certain types of arrangements, including multiple employer arrangements, sole proprietorships, employment through “temp” agencies, employment through consulting firm arrangements that provide labor for hire, and other relationships that do not constitute a bona fide employer-employee relationship. One concern arises from the difficulty individuals employed through such arrangements would face in complying with, among other things, the training plan requirements of this rule. Another concern is the potential for visa fraud arising from such arrangements. Furthermore, evaluating the merits of such arrangements would be difficult and create additional burdens for DSOs. Accordingly, DHS clarifies that students cannot qualify for STEM OPT extensions unless they will be bona fide employees of the employer signing the Training Plan, and the employer that signs the Training Plan must be the same entity that employs the student and provides the practical training experience. DHS recognizes that this outcome is a departure from SEVP’s April 23, 2010 Policy Guidance (1004-03).”“”“” It would be really helpful if you could explain what the above paragraph means.
Green card pending conversion to and from H-4 EAD – H-1; Filing green card while in F-1 status
1) My wife is currently on H-1B. I am also on H-1B with approved I-140. My wife’s employer is willing to Start GC process for her. I understand that GC is for future employment. My wife is willing to Move to H-4 EAD. Say my wife’s employer initiated her GC process when she is on H-1. Once the perm is filed by wife’s employer, will she be able to convert from H-1 to H-4 EAD. Does this has any affect on her ongoing GC process. Is it safe for some one to changes status from H-4 to H-1 and H-1 to H-4 in between PERM and I-140 process. 2) My brother is on F-1 in OPT status. Can my brother’s employer start GC process for him while he is on OPT. I have some knowledge of the complications involved in Starting GC process on F-1. The main reason behind this question is to reserve a spot for GC process. That way my brother can get a earliest priority date, his employer would start GC process 2 years down the road when he is on H-1B. What is the safe route for some one like my brother to get a earliest priority. Do they have to wait till H-1B to get in to GC process Queue

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://youtu.be/H_VV9kV_lOg?t=65 

Reentry for F-1 Nonimmigrants Traveling Outside the United States
What are the basic requirements for an F-1 to reenter the United States after traveling abroad on pleasure or personal business?

This section of the FAQ applies to continuing F-1 students who travel outside the United States for five months or less.