When should i apply for h1b visa


I completed by bachelors degree and i am currently working in a company on my post completion OPT. I still have my OPT extension left which will expire in January 2015. I wanted to ask everyone when would be a good time to apply for my h1b visa as i am getting confused wheter to apply this year or next year as i do not have in depth knowledged this topic.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Things to think about:

  • what will be the job market in 2014

  • whether your employer will still be willing to file in 2014

  • what may happen to immigration rules in 2014

  • how many petitions will be filed in 2014

  • will OPT extension go through

If you are ok to handle the uncertainity related to next year’s filings (primarily b/c it is still long time away), you can wait for next year. However, if you want to play safe then have it filed this year.

Is the purpose of staying on OPT is to minimize taxes, then there is another thing you can try. Have the H-1 filed this year w/o COS from F-1 to H-1. This way you can remain on F-1 even after H-1 gets approved. Later when you are ready to start working on H-1, the employer can file the COS. Check w/ your attorney about its possibility.

Hi Saurabh,
Thanks for the reply. My F-1 visa got expired right after my graduation and i am currently working on OPT. So in this case can i still file my H-1 this year and have the option to start working on H-1 at a later period or do i have to start working on H-1 asap.


If the H-1 is approved w/ COS (change of status) then you need to start working on H-1 from COS approval date (usually Oct 1 or later). If COS is not approved, then you can continue to work on OPT.

Considering your F-1 has expired, do you have any plans to travel outside US? If yes, then its better to move to H-1 rather than going for F-1 visa stamping w/ an approved H-1 petition w/o COS.