Applying for H1B visa, currently on OPT - Travel to India


I am currently on OPT extension period which expires in Oct 2013. I am applying for H1B visa on April 1st through premium processing. I will be getting the decision by 3rd week of April.

Now, I am planning to travel to India in June/July. Since I already have OPT valid until October, do I have to go for stamping in India while coming back to USA. Please let me know.

Thank you,


You can return on OPT/F-1 visa stamp and still be on H-1 from Oct 1 based on your earlier COS approval. Get the OPT card endorsed for travel from your school. You should also carry other documents related to your OPT employment.

Thank you for the reply, could you please elaborate on the COS approval part? I am essentially looking at what/how it needs to be done on my part.

Appreciate your help on this again !

Your H-1 will be filed w/ COS from F-1 to H-1. If filed w/ PP, it will get processed within 15 calendar days. Assuming it gets approved, it will be accompanied w/ an I-94 mentioning your status as H-1 from Oct 1. In other words, you get a COS w/ effective date of Oct 1.

If you then leave US and return on F-1/OPT, you will receive another I-94 at the PoE. This COS will have effective date of your return date and will be prior to Oct 1 (assuming you return in Aug/Sep).

You will then remain on F-1/OPT until Oct 1 based on COS, and then will be on H-1 when 1st COS becomes effective on Oct 1. Does that clarify?

When leaving US in June/July, submit the I-94 attached in your passport but keep the one that will arrive w/ 797 (as this will become effective in Oct).

Thank you much for a brief explanation. So, I need not go for stamping in India since I will be returning on F1/OPT status correct?

When are you planning to return to US?

I will be returning back in July/August.

No need to go for H-1 stamping then, return on current F-1 visa stamp and work on OPT until Oct 1. Then start working on H-1. Just make sure your H-1 gets approved w/ COS before leaving US. Also keep your DSO updated w/ your immigration status and travel plans.