Start to work relying on OPT, during H1B petition withdrawal process?


  1. Applied for OPT in March and OPT period started in late July (90 day unemployment period ends in late October)
  2. H1B petition filed by Employer in June, and NOT approved yet
  3. Employer requested to withdraw H1B petition in early September (by which point of time this petition had not been approved yet), because I would not join them as previously planned

I understand:

  1. This H1B withdrawal process may take a while (up to 2 - 3 months).
  2. My SEVIS record may still change to H1B in October, despite the withdrawal request filed in September.
  3. My university would need to help me correct my SEVIS record (from H1B to OPT).

Question: BEFORE USCIS completes the H1B withdrawal process and BEFORE my SEVIS record is corrected, can I start to work for ANOTHER employer in reliance upon my OPT (within the 90-day unemployment period), say in October?

Thank you.

Technically you can work for anyone as you are on OPT and it is valid before October 1st. The trick is what you will do after October 1st. As your COS may kickin, you could exit the country before the approval of H1B and abandon the COS. This way you will be back on OPT. Discuss with your company attorney and plan it out.