My wife is on OPT and good till March 15th 2013. She was not able to file for H1b before the cap exhausted. I understand that she has to file for change of status to H4 on that date. What are her other options if any. I would assume she might have to quit her job on or before that date. How would she be able to file for H1 next year , I fear the same might happen next year as she would have to be hired only after October 1 and if the cap exhausts before that time. Please advise.
Well it depends if you want to file COS to H4 or if she can find an employer willing to sponsor her H1 you can file her petition during the first week of April as she would still be in the 60 day grace period. Once you receive the receipt she can apply for CAP Gap OPT as a result of which she could continue to maintain F1 status till the beginning of Oct 1st or till the time her petition has been adjudicated which ever is earlier.
The only issue would be since she would be applying in the grace period she would not be able to work with an expired EAD and hence she could only start working from Oct if her petition is approved. Other options would be to looke for cap exempt employer like a University/Non profit org or look to going back to school for double masters