Currently on OPT, applying for H1b in 2014 and travelling to India

I am currenlty on OPT - STEM extension (F1 visa). My employer will file my H1b in April - 2014 mostly under premium processing. I am planning to travel to India for a month from 15-May-2014 to 16-Jun-2014 for marraige. In this regard, I have following questions based on different situations I could think of:

1.A  I get the decision before I travel to india and:
1.A.a> If it is approved:
             -> I should be fine travelling to India. However, I still cannot get it stamped before 60 days of my start date (10/01). But, I can return to US on my F1 visa as my OPT would be still valid until 09/30. Please confirm.
             -> My wife can apply for H4 and if it is approved, she can come to US on/after 10/1. She can get it stamped before 60 days from 10/1. Please confirm.
1.A.b> If it is rejected:
          -> I should be fine travelling to India return to US on my F1 visa as my OPT would be still valid. Please confirm.

1.B The application is still in process, no decision has been made, I travel to India and:
1.B.a> The decision is made before I return to US. What happens then if:
           -> My application is approved
           -> My application is rejected 1.B.b> The decision is NOT made by the time I plan to return to US. Will be able to travel back to US on my F1 or what will happen then?

Any other details I should know to plan my travel?



Hi Rumit,

I guess you are in the same situation as of mine or even more difficult I guess. I know one thing for sure, answer to your 1.B: You should not travel out of USA when some application is pending at USCIS, see to it that you receive some decision/. I have heard, when u leave the country your I94 or something is updates and USCIS will consider that you are gone out of country (USA) and will not process the applocation further.

Best option would be to contact the lawyer to whom you have applied for H1B. Good luck, please send me your email id and share your experience. My email id :


Prabhu Adithya

I have just posed the above scenario to my attorney (Scene 1.B:) as I am in a similar boat.

Although he did recomend not to travel at this critical time, my lawyer stated that the COS will be abandoned not the entire H1b Petition (Should it be selected and approved) Subsequently, upon your arrival, you will need to switch from COS to CP, leave the US, get the H1b stamped to be in valid status for work.

That being said, and assuming these risks, traveling should be considered only if really necessary.

Please let me know if anyone has other interpretations.

HSMK, your lawyer gave you the right advice. COS is abandoned and H-1 petition is continued to be processed w/ consular processing option. So one needs to enter on stamped H-1 visa or file a separate COS to H-1 in order to work on H-1.

Saurabh - Thanks again for your comments and activity on this forum, its greatly appreciated (You also answered this standalone question on my post on another page)

As a follow up, I just want to make it clear, that in the scenario above, the applicant can return to the US with valid OPT/I-20 combinations, contune working on a valid status until such time that they apply for CP Prior to Oct 1st

To apply CP, you need to leave US, visit a US consulate outside US and then return to US. You can appear for visa stamping at most 90 days prior to H-1 start date, and can enter US at most 10 days prior to H-1 start date.