When to schedule first H1B Visa appointment - Is it after H1B extension or before?

I came to United States on F1 visa in 2015 & completed my masters in 2017. I was in initial F1 OPT and OPT extension until Oct 2019. H1B approved and the I797 has dates June 2019 to May 2022. Until now I did not travel to India for visa stamping because of pandemic. Now I’m due for H1B extension which is yet to be applied.

Question is, when is the best time to schedule visa appointment? Is it before H1B extension or after H1B extension?

If I schedule a visa slot before H1B extension, then visa will be valid for only 6 months. If I wait for H1B extension and then travel after it’s approved, then the start date will be after May 2022 i.e after expiry of first I797.

Anyone in same situation or been in same case? Can you suggest the best path here.

After extension is better so that you can get Visa for 3 years. Otherwise the validity will be shortened based on current I94.

You can do premium processing for the extension to get it approved quickly.