Here is a detailed background:Before coming to the US:
I worked in several computer science related positions for 3 different small businesses since high school until I worked at the headquarter of a group of companies with 3000+ employees until I received a fully paid scholarship to study abroad.Coming to the US:
I got to the country on 2007 as an F-1 student. Studied English then became an undergraduate student. I graduated in May 2014 with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Information Systems.Working in the US:
I applied for OPT in March or April and received the OPT card on August but it already started on Jun. I got employed right away with no pay for 2 weeks period to evaluate my skills and prepare me and my resume for the job market. Then, I became a full time consultant and landed my first contract (software engineering consultant at a telecommunication) in mid August. I applied for a 17 month extension and got approved and my contract got extended; so, I am still working on that same project. I have maintain my F-1 status the entire time and never went into an illegal status.What I have considered:
-I explored the possibility to extend my OPT. I cannot apply for another extension. The deadline to turn my 17 month extension into a 24 month extension has already passed.
-I checked if my company can sponsor me for a H1-b visa. But I do not think this is possible before April 1, 2017. which about 5 months after my OPT expire.
-I checked if there is enough time to file for a green card
. But based on the flowchart I was given, there is barely enough time to finish the labor certification process. WITH the 60 days grace period, there is barely enough time for the recruitment process.
-My employer suggested me getting into a Master degree on the same visa and apply for another OPT (pre completion) so that I can continue to work. However, I am not sure if I would need to finish 1 academic year before I'm eligible for OPT or if my previous studies would suffice. Could you please address this for me?
- Are there other options I haven't considered?Today, I had to turn down a very appealing contract at one of the biggest US telecommunication companies, that I spent 3 months of tests, interviews, and conferences trying to land, because I'm not certain I would be in position where I can work legally in the US.