F1 to H1, can i work voluntary


I am on F1 visa. However I am getting a job offer and I want to drop F1 and accept the offer. The employer is ready to file H1b visa. Since it is for a higher educational institution, it is cap exempt. The paper work and finger printing checks will take at least 4 to 6 weeks. However my employer wants an employee from August 5th. Can I work voluntary without benefits till my H1b is approved? If the H1b application is filed and pending aorund August 25th, do I have to join Fall semester at school to be in status or is it automatic while application is pending? I am not eligible for cpt or opt.

  1. For you to be legally eligible to work during your F1 the job needs to be either an on-campus job or the employer needs to be affliated with the university you are attending or you need to be on your CPT. From you question I am assuming the institution you want to work for is different from the one you are currently attending.

  2. You would have to be in F1 status till Oct1,hence you need to register for the Fall semester to maintain your status. H1b petition doesn’t grant you any special privileges.