CanI change to an H1B while my OPT is processing?

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CanI change to an H1B while my OPT is processing?

I have completed my master’s recently in the US. I have applied for OPT but before the approval of OPT, I want to apply for an H1B visa and my employer is interested in filing for me. Can I file for H1B before the approval of OPT or by requesting to cancel my OPT.

Asked on October 31, 2011 under Immigration Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can have the employer file for your H-1B while the OPT application is pending.  Keep in mind that it typically takes longer to get the H-1B application approved 4-6 months through regular processing than OPT EAD approved (typically 90 days) so I would probably suggest that instead of canceling the OPT, you just have both of them be pending and if the H-1B is approved before the OPT, the OPT will essentially be  nullified anyway.  If the OPT is approved first, you can start working pursuant to it right away and then when the H-1B is approved, it will take over from the OPT.


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