H1B Consular Notification - OPT Travel/Changing Employer


I just had few related questions that are pretty specific to my situation

Here are the situation:

  1. I am currently on OPT and have made request for extension for STEM OPT
  2. Was picked in 2021 H-1B lottery. My firm and attorney said given STEM OPT, I will be going through consular notification

Here are my questions:

  1. If I get H-1B consular notification, can I travel abroad and come back as STEM OPT, meaning do I not have to change to H-1B while I am on 2 year STEM OPT?
  2. If I have consular notification H1B approved but am still working as STEM OPT status, can I change the employer/firm and change myself to H1B?

Thank you very much! These answers will help me greatly!


  1. Yes you can travel abroad. With consular petition it is completely okay since you have valid EAD when you enter back.
  2. Once your H1b is approved (after RFE and everything) and you have worked at-least 1 day on H1b, then you can change employer not before. Your new employer will file H1b transfer.
    You can change before as well on OPT but won’t get H1b cap exempt.