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F1 to H1B (2.5yrs) to F1

Charlotte, NC |

Hello All,
I came here as a masters student with an F1 visa and am now working on an H1B. I want to pursue another masters degree as a full time student and I understand I need to covert to F1 for that.

I have 2 questions in this regard.
1. I worked on my OPT (5months) after my first masters and converted to H1B, so is there any rule that says OPT is only valid for 1 masters degree in which case i will not get an OPT after i graduate from my 2nd masters?

2. How many years of H1B will I get after I graduate from my 2nd masters. I have been on my current H1B for 2.5years now.


Attorney Answers 1

  1. Tough questions, and you should speak directly with an immigration lawyer and/or the foreign student officer at the school to which you are applying about the specifics of your situation. I can give only general answers here.

    Normally, you can get 12 months of OPT at the end of each LEVEL of education - meaning you could get a year of OPT at the end of a U.S. Bachelor's degree and then again at the end of a U.S. Master's degree. However, you would not get a second year at the end of another course of study at the same level - another Master's program. You may be able to get back the seven months of this OPT that weren't used at the end of the second Master's, if you can convince USCIS that it wasn't used.

    As long as you don't spend a year or more abroad between now and switching back to H-1B, you have 3.5 year left on H-1B once you switch back at the end of the second Master's, PLUS any time spend abroad during the last 2.5 years or those 3.5 years that can be recaptured, PLUS - if you start a green card case and have something on file before the beginning of the sixth year of H-1B time - additional time until processing of the immigrant visa petition and any required prerequisites (such as a PERM case) is complete and an immigrant visa is available for you such that an Adjustment of Status case can be filed.

    Again, these are all general answers, and you should speak with an attorney and a program officer about your own case to get specifics.

    Good luck!

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