F1 OPT to H1B change of status, Traveling to India - No visa interview dates

Hello Everyone,

I’m very confused and in tough spot. I’ve travel to India for urgent family matter in October 2016 for 15 days. I’ve a full time job with a big reputed company and holds valid F1-OPT till December 2017. Recently, my H1B also got approved, though I would have changed my F1 to H1B status. But there are no Visa Interview dates available in India for whole month of October. Please advise and help:

Can I return to US on my current F1 OPT without changing status to H1B? Is there a way to get interview dates at US consulate? Any hacks or way around?Background: Valid F1 visa till Dec 2017 and valid OPT (EAD) card till August 2017. Have a full time job in silicon valley with big-name company. H1B got approved in April 2016 lottery and just received confirmation.

Please help and advise. Much thanks to everyone in advance.

If your H-1 is already approved, why don’t you go to a nearby country like CA or MX and get the visa stamped there. Later, you can continue w/ your India travel plans.

Thanks, Saurabh. This is my first time change of status, so I don’t wanna complicate it by applying in MX and CA. Plus I just joined company not sure if I’ll get that much holidays.

Can I just return back from India on my F1 OPT without going for COS? I’ve valid OPT till 2017

Get in touch with your DSO and ask them to look at your SEVIS record. As your COS was approved, it should have an end date of Sep 30th. You will not be able to use OPT after this date.

As you have done Masters in US, you are in a better position to apply for H-1 in CA or MX than others. Also, new dates are becoming available in India off late. Keep looking and you may see something pop-up for a sooner date.