One of our readers asked :
“I just have a quick question I came to America on F1 October 2009 and I am on CPT from Jan XX 2010 and this will expire on Jan XX 2011 right now I am working with XXXX as a consultant. However My Company says they are ready to sponsor my H1B on premium. My question is because I am on CPT and I have 1 more semester to go, does it impact my H1B “
This is a general question and might help others as well in similar situation.
Applying for Change of Status to H1B, while on F1 visa studying Masters ?
Some of you might have been working on CPT and got a fancy offer from the company to hire you as a full time employee with H1B sponsorship, while your Masters (either MS or MBA) is in progress… You might be in a tricky situation trying to decide, should I take the offer or not ? Will it impact my H1B approval ? What should I do ?
I am not a lawyer by any means…but, here is my understanding based on USCIS rules.
What is H1B Program’s basic rule ?
Fundamentally, H1B program’s aim is to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require advanced expertise especially in roles like scientists, engineers, computer programmers, etc…The basic rule for applying H1B visa petition is “ you MUST either have a bachelor’s degree from US or a degree equivalent to U.S. Bachelor’s degree …or equivalent experience as they mention on USCIS website”. Also, some positions require certain license, experience, etc…Also, USCIS says that the job description of potential offer should require you to have that bachelors degree and may be experience…
Does studying MS impact my H1B petition’s decision ?
As per rule, if you already have a U.S. equivalent bachelors degree in that technical field and enough experience as listed on the specific job requirement that the company is offering you, it should not have any impact… It might only have impact when the job requirement explicitly says that the position requires a Masters degree…
How about H1B Visa Stamping ? Will I have any issues if I do Change of Status (COS) and not complete MS ?
This can be very tricky at H1B visa stamping…if you have completed MS after COS from F1 to H1B, you may be fine…you can explain to the Visa Officer with your reasons for taking up the job offer and then completing the Masters degree….But, just in case do not complete MS after taking up job and COS to H1B, you may have to explain the Visa officer valid reasons for discontinuing higher education (MS) in US and doing COS to H1B… You ought to be careful what you say… Ideally, the recommended path is to work on CPT, complete Masters degree, start to work on OPT and then do COS to H1B when on OPT…
Do you know anyone who converted to H1B while studying ? Any experiences ?
References : USCIS H1B Visa program Requirements
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