OPT to H1b and more including Cap Gap information

Hello, first of all thank you for so much information on this website.

I have a job starting with my OPT in August, 2013. My EAD expires 6/20/2014, which gives me the option to hopefully get sponsord H1b visa prior to April,2014. And then I plan on applying for cap gap until Sep 30,2014, which will enable me to begin work with new H1b without any gaps.

1st question is, I understand that H1b has to be stamped. When do you leave the US to go and do that? Is it after approval in October? or when you apply in April?

2nd question is, employer has to pay for the cost associated with visa filing, but do employees generally take a paycut when you ask for this?

3rd question is, how do you go ahead and make that ask to sponsor when you are on OPT working if the employer has no previous experience of hiring foreign workers.

Last question is, in case your H1 might get denied, isn’t it better to not file for premium processing, since that allows you to work until Sep,30 with cap gap?

Thank you for your kind answers in advance.



  1. If H-1 gets approved w/ COS, then you can start working on H-1 from Oct 1 w/o getting it approved. However, if COS is not approved or when you travel outside US next (after COS approval), then you need to go for stamping.

  2. No, they don’t. By law, they are required to pay for the fees and cannot take that money from employee directly or indirectly.

  3. They should hire an attorney to do the paperwork

  4. That is correct. However, quite a few petitions get approved in 1-2 months. So you may still lose the cap-gap. When the time arrives, you can decide to file PP later in order to maximize cap-gap and still get the decision before Oct 1.