Hi, I have my 12 months OPT to expire in July 2018. At the same time, my H-1b is got picked in the lottery for this year so my employer is not applying for my OPT extension as H1-B is picked in the lottery. is it legal to apply for STEM OPT extension during CAP-GAP, even though my primary 12 month OPT period is expired, in case H-1B gets rejected at a later stage?
It is perfectly legal to apply for STEM OPT extension during cap gap period. You should request for STEM OPT extension before your current OPT expires. Even, if your H1B got picked, there is no guarantee that it will be approved, so to be safe, you should apply for STEM OPT. If your H1B is approved, COS gets kicked in and from then onwards your status changes from F1 to H1B, so you are fine. You can check expert opinion to be sure : Eligible Students Should Request STEM OPT Extension - Murthy Law Firm | U.S Immigration Law
My current employer is not e-verified so I’m kind of stuck. My thinking was, if my H1-B don’t get approved, I will change my employer during CAP-Gap and apply for STEM extension?
Do you have any suggestion for me?