Currently, I am on an F1 OPT visa and I have just graduated in May 2020, I have 3 years of OPT (including STEM extension). Currently, my H1B is pending for approval and its withdrawal is already filed which was received by USCIS last month (2nd August).
In this regard, I have the following questions:
Is it possible that USCIS still approves my H1B visa overlooking the H1B withdrawal petition?
What if no further action is taken on by USCIS till 1st October? Will I be still on F1 OPT or will I be transferred to an H1B visa?
If in any case, my visa status is shifted to H1B, is there a procedure to go back on my F1 OPT due to termination of my previous employment given I have new employment?
- Yes, they can. Withdrawal may or may not be processed on time.
- If your H1B is approved, you will be on H1B status. Yes, you will lose your F1 status and OPT.
- No, you would not be able to as you already moved out and again moving to F1 status needs I-20 and everything. DSOs may or may not give and very much grey area.
The fix for this, is to exit the country before approval and re-enter on F1 OPT, this way you abandon COS. Discuss with your DSO and plan.
Thanks, @Kumar for your reply.
I am confused because of the USCIS website (Extension of Post Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 Status for Eligible Students under the H-1B Cap-Gap Regulations | USCIS Column: “Changes in Employment”) reads otherwise. Please find the screenshot below.
I think my case is exactly the same, i.e., my previous employer filed the H1B and during the current status (which is H1B is pending for approval) they have filed a withdraw petition which is received by USCIS on 2nd August. Since I have just graduated in May 2020, I think I have 3 years of OPT (including STEM extension). Hence, given all this, I have these concerns related to my status changing to H1B after October 1 and the applicability to go back to F1 status in case the withdrawal request is accepted.
Also, my H1B was filed with consular processing, so will H1B approval trigger a change of status?
Re: Exiting the country and reentering on F1-OPT
So, does this mean that if H1B is approved after rentering, it will not trigger COS?
What you said is all right. But, the fact on the ground is USCIS may or may not process your H1B withdrawal petitions on time…There is no SLA for these requests.
It may be likely that they may process as they have about 3 months.
One thing you can do is wait until the last week of September and if you do not hear back from USCIS or you see the status online that it is not withdrawn, then you can discuss with DSO and plan to travel out and come back.
Yes, when you leave the country when F1 COS to H1B is pending, the COS part is abandoned as you left the country and you will only get the approval and not with I-94.
Thanks a lot, @Kumar for your suggestion. I will definitely check with DSO in this regard.
Actually my H1B is filed with consular processing. So, will it also trigger COS once H1B is approved?