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F1 student - Can I file OPT and H1B simutaneouly

Chicago, IL |


I am a student currently on F1. I am about to apply for OPT with start date as 4 months from now (July 2013) . I also have a full-time offer from an employer who wants to file my H1B in the current cap in this week.
I would like to know:
1. Can I file for both OPT and H1B at the same time?
2. Since both applications might reach USCIS around same time, does it negatively affect my OPT?
3. In case H1B is approved before OPT, can it be the case that the OPT approval will face problems.?

Please advise. It is really urgent as I need to take a decision at the earliest.


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Attorney answers 3


You can but that process may have unintended circumstances. A nonimmigrant can hold multiple visa stamps in his or her passport and use those in accordance with the purpose of a particular trip. A nonimmigrant can only be in one status at the time.

A nonimmigrant cannot change status unless the status from which the change is sought is valid on the day when the change of status application is filed. Traveling outside of the country while COS application is pending, renders the COS application abandoned.

The last action rule applies unless additional H1B employment is claimed instead of change of status. This is why it is always dangerous to file multiple petitions at the same time.

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.


1) If H-1B is accepted, OPT will not be extended.
2) It may
3) OPT will not be approved if H-1B is accepted

This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. Any comments offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. If you would like additional information based on this response, please contact my office at 510 657 7665 or 415 902 0832 to schedule a consultation.



Hi Tripti, Thanks for your response. Would appreciate if you could please help me understand this better. - So if H1-B is approved ,I will be on H1-B starting October 1st of this year. - I am applying for OPT starting July so I can work till October on OPT. So, are we saying that I will not be granted this OPT if H1B is approved? If Yes, what will be my status after graduation from July to October? Please advise. Thanks.


Try discussing your plans in person with a qualified immigration attorney. Filing random applications pro se may bring complexities to your future.

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