Can a prospective employer apply H1B for me in 2021 lottery while I am nearing graduation in May 2021 on F1-CPT?

I came to US in Aug 2018 on F-1 Visa for Master studies in STEM Engineering. My US F1- Visa expires in Aug 2023.

I have been interning on CPT since last two semesters and would be doing another CPT intern in Spring 2021. Simultaneously, I would graduate by end of May 2021. Thus I won’t have a US degree in hand and EAD before end of May 2021.

Given this, if an employer is ready to file an H1B for me …and hires me early next year (say in Jan 2021), is it possible for the employer to petition for me in Mar 2021 H1B lottery ?

  • Until which month and year I can work on OPT ?
  • How many H1B chances I have remaining to apply if I lose chance to apply in Mar 2021 ?

Can someone reply please ? Thanks