Travel to India on OPT with F1 expired


My H1B is not selected in lottery. Now I extended my OPT (STEM extension) by going to contractor as my current employer is not E-verified.

Soon my F1 visa will expire but I need to travel to India in December. I believe I need to apply for new F1 visa. Is there risk of denial as I already graduated and working with contractor (not big business)?

Anyone with first hand experience?


I have not read in USCIS website that visa will not be issued, but it is a general understanding that you will not be granted F1 visa when your purpose is to work and not study.

F1 is a student visa for studies which is generally extended when the University issues you a letter that you require more time to complete your studies, you cannot get that letter now as you have already graduated. As you are currently working you will be required to go for H1 and not F1.

Unless you get your H1 approved and stamped, you cannot re-enter USA if you leave as your F1 visa expires shortly.

OPT specifically allows you to work on an F1 visa (for a limited time after graduating) so that alone is not a problem provided you have a job offer.

Travelling on OPT can be risky. Make sure you have all your necessary documents. Check with your international office if possible.

	22. In what ways is my application to the embassy for a new visa stamp affected by being on OptionalPractical Training?The risk of denial of an application for a renewed visa stamp for Optional Practical Training is somewhat higher than whileyou are in your active student program. The F-1 student visa requires that the applicant must intend to return to the homecountry at the end of the program, and if the embassy official is not convinced of your intention to return home, the visaapplication will be denied. It is possible and many students on OPT get their F-1 visa stamps renewed. You do have to becareful to demonstrate non-immigrant intent. Please see an ISSO advisor to discuss in more detail.