What are my options? STEM OPT with H-1B picked and approved but needs Consular Processing

Hi! Just wanted to get some second opinions on what my options are considering my situation right now

I’m in the US, working on my STEM OPT which is valid till May 2021. I got picked in last year’s H-1B lottery and was due to travel to India (home) a few months ago to get stamping done but due to COVID everything got messed up. My company lawyers have asked me not to worry and have advised me that we will re-evaluate the plan of action in a month, depending on the situation. However, considering that they are my company’s lawyers in the end, I wanted to get an idea of what my options are. The way I see it (and mostly what the lawyers agree with too), I have the following options:

  1. If things reopen, I can go to India and get stamping done well before May 2021 (best case)
  2. If things are okay but India itself is a risky destination to visit a neighboring country, probably Canada and get the stamping done (not a bad scenario)
  3. If travel is not possible for the near future, I apply for a Change Of Status. Travel wouldn’t be an issue here but the risk here is of it being a new petition and possibly attracting an RFE. In normal circumstances this would not be an issue since my role and company are pretty legit, with a history of successful and in fact nearly perfect attempts as far as H-1B goes. But given the current climate and weekly threats from You Know Who on immigration, this seems slightly worrying.

I guess what I’m asking is, have I missed out any other option or have I evaluated my current options wrongly?

Also, my company’s policies actually allow me to request Green Card petitioning now. Will this help in any way in terms of the immediate status? I know it makes sense to file anyway because there’s nothing to lose and I intend to initiate this right away but is there any way where applying for it can be leveraged to lessen this risk of anything untoward happening by May 2021 (my STEM OPT expiration date)

You have all of the options evaluated correctly.
If you work for a good company, the odds of RFE are low and you should be fine with COS.
You have enough time until May, so take time for it and pick Canada as an option…many have good experience in there, if you have done MS.

GC Processing may not help now. But, you should ask them to start the processing though. In all reality, now may not be the best idea to start GC Process. The reason is when you go through PERM process, you need to prove, there is no one local in US available for your role…with high unemployment, it may be tricky. so evaluate that and plan timing based on your attorney’s advice.

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Thank you, that last part was really interesting. Did not think about that.