Can I join company after Oct. 1st which is the start date on my H1B petition


I have a question of the start date on H-1B petition. If the start date on my petition is Oct. 1st, do I need to start work (join company) exactly on Oct. 1st? Someone said the H-1B visa using consular notification can be activated after Oct. 1st, that is, I can join company after Oct. 1st even the date on my petition is Oct. 1st. Is it correct?

Thank you for your answer!

Are you currently inside US or outside US?

If you are inside US and H-1 is approved w/ COS, then you need to start working on H-1 from COS effective date, which is typically Oct 1.

If you are outside US or inside US but H-1 is approved w/ consular processing, then you cannot start working on H-1 until you enter US on stamped H-1 visa. So this date can be well after Oct 1.

Makes sense?

Hi Saurabh,

Thank you for the comment.

I am currently inside US on F1 status, but I will be traveling abroad and come back at the beginning of Sep. on F1/OPT status. I plan to join company on Oct. 3, which is later than Oct. 1, using OPT/EAD, and will go back to my home country to apply H1B visa and activate it on Feb. 2017.

Please let me know if my plan cannot work. Thank you!

Yes, it would work. Make sure you leave US before your H-1 gets approved. Also after returning, your COS would be considered invalidated. Run it through your DSO to confirm that your SEVIS end date has been removed from Oct 1.

In future, you can apply for COS from F-1 to H-1, or enter on stamped H-1 visa to work from Feb 2017.

Hi Saurabh,

Thank you for the prompt reply! My H-1B will be approved (hopefully) w/ consular processing, so I don’t need to worry about the validation of COS.