The OPT I'm on is from my Master degree program I recently finished.
Then it will probably be even worse news. What country are you from? What is your degree program?
I'm from China. The degree program is called Master of Interactive Technology. (http://www.smu.edu/Guildhall/AboutUs/Curriculum/MastersInformation)
Well, you have a few not so good options:
1) You can apply for a B-2 visa to try to cover you from the end of your OPT until October 1, 2014.
2) You can apply for a new program under an F-1 or M-1 student visa to cover you from the end of your OPT until October 1, 2014.
3) You can leave the U.S. until you can come back a few days before October 1, 2014.
4) You can apply for a cap exempt H-1B at any time, but those are jobs at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities or a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization.Those are not subject to this numerical cap.
Like I said, the options are not good.Option number 2 is ok if you can find a program but you won’t be able to get OPT through that program unless it is a higher degree than your masters degree.Also a J-1 is a possibility, but I recommend that you find a program that does not have the 212(e) two year home Residency requirement. I am truly sorry but the options are limited.I wish I had better news for you.
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Thanks for the answer. I'm not entirely sure I understand the options. I believe I can still legally stay in the US, because by the time I apply for H1B, I'm still in the 60-days grace period, so I can stay until I get the result of H1B, is that correct? If that's true, it seems to me that the option 1, 2, and 3 don't really help me.
Could you please also comment if the following will make me qualified to work while waiting for the result of H1B:
According to USCIS website: "If their post-completion OPT expires while the 17-month extension application is pending, students who timely filed their STEM extension applications with USCIS will receive an extension of employment authorization after their current employment authorization expires, but for no more than 180 days."
So can I apply for extension at the end of my OPT period, and use this extension to cover the little gap between the expiration date and H1B filing date (April 1st), so I can be qualified to work during the cap-gap?
No I don't qualify. I'm just applying to extend my OPT for a little longer, so it covers my H1B filing date. I want to know if this works this way.
H-1B petitions must be timely filed on behalf of an eligible F-1 student. “Timely filed” means that the H-1B petition (indicating change of status rather than consular processing) was filed during the H-1B acceptance period, while the student's authorized duration of status (D/S) admission was still in effect (including any period of time during the academic course of study, any authorized periods of post-completion OPT, and the 60-day departure preparation period, commonly known as the “grace period.”)"
However, you would not automatically be allowed to work:"What if the post-completion OPT expired before April 1? It appears that F-1 status would be extended, but would OPT also be extended?
A student who completed his or her post-completion OPT and who subsequently was in a valid grace period on April 1, would benefit from an automatic extension of his or her D/S admission under the cap gap, if the H-1B petition is filed during the H-1B acceptance period, which begins on April 1. The employment authorization, however, would not be extended automatically, because it already expired and the cap gap does not serve to reinstate or retroactively grant employment authorization."
You can work closely with your Designated School Officer (DSO) in that regards XXXXX XXXXX if they can get you an EAD during that period, but you may not be able to get one.
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Thanks for the info. I understand that I will be covered by cap-gap and won't be able to work during that. That's the problem I'm trying to solve. By applying to the STEM extension, I'm trying to extend my EAD for a little while, to cover April 1st, the date of filing H1B application. My question is, will this make me qualified to work during cap-gap? Thanks.
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