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When should I apply for OPT STEM Extension with H1-B application still pending?

New York, NY |

I am currently on initial post-completion OPT which expires on Sep 1, 2013.
My employer has made a timely application for H1B with a start date of Oct 1, 2013 and hence I qualify for the cap-gap extension till Sep 30, 2013.

My employer is currently in the process of responding to an H1-B Request for Evidence and I'm worried that it may take too long by the time USCIS reviews the evidence and reaches a decision. To ensure that I can continue working in the event my H1B application is denied, I am planning to apply for an OPT STEM extension.

1. Say my H1B gets denied on Aug 20, 2013. Can I still file a STEM extension between Aug 20, 2013 and Sep 1, 2013?

2. What happens if I file STEM extension before H1B decision and later:
a. H1B gets approved?
b. H1B gets denied?

Thanks in advance!

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Before September.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.


  2. You should file for the STEM extension before your current OPT expires. You will need evidence that you work in a STEM field and your company must sign off on a verification of employment for you.


  3. Yes file for your STEM extension before September.

    Alexus P. Sham alexuspshamesq@gmail.com (917) 498-9009. The above information is only general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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