Best F1 OPT to H1B transition timeline


I am a current Masters student in the US anticipating graduation in May of 2013. I have received a job offer from a US company with a start date of July 1st, 2013. In anticipation of the start date, I have now filed for OPT with a start of July 1st, 2013 as well. My question is what is my best option for legal employment post OPT expiration on June 30th, 2014? Assuming I want no gap in employment.

  1. Have the employer file H1B on April 1st, 2013?

  2. Have the employer file H1B on April 1st, 2014?

Under option 2) I could continue to work under cap-gap extension, correct?

OPT-STEM extension is not an option.

Your help is much appreciated!

1) Yes you can do that.


2) Yes if your employer files h1b before your OPT end date(or during the 60 day grace period) you are elligible for cap-gap. This will be a change of status.


Both the options are open for you.

Thank you for your swift reply.
Can you see any strategic advantage for either option? All I can think of is option 2 would potentially result in 1 extra year of work eligibility due to delayed H1B filing. Would the 20,000 advanced degree cap potentially impact the strategy I would pursue (I can’t see how)?

you are right about extra year of work eligibility. advance degree cap can only have a positive impact in your case.