Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Are you still waiting for your H-1B decision?

I hope the situation I am about to describe does not apply to you. But if it does, you might want to pay attention.

Are you in this situation:
- Your OPT ended this year on or after April 1.
- Before your OPT ended, your employer filed a cap-subject H-1B petition for you.
- You are STILL waiting for a decision on your petition.

If you are in this situation, then you had received a "cap gap extension." The idea of this extension was to allow you to continue working, even past the end of your OPT period, by extending your OPT to September 30. This extension was accomplished by the filing, by your employer, of a "nonfrivolous" H-1B petition prior to the end of your original OPT. Then, in theory, the day after September 30, that is, October 1, you would continue in your job, but now in H-1B status.

The problem for some people is that their petitions are taking a LONG time to be decided on. I have heard that several thousand petitions, even those filed in early April, still are awaiting a decision. This amount of time is FAR beyond the government's stated objective of two months.

I feel badly for you if you are in this situation.I feel even worse to have to tell you that unfortunately, you were required to stop working on September 30. Only after you receive a favorable decision on the H-1B petition may you begin working again.

Sorry to have to share this news.