I initially came to the U.S. in F-1 status to work on my master’s degree in computer science. …

… I successfully completed my study and was authorized for Optional Practical Training (OPT) upon graduation. While I was working on OPT as a computer analyst, my employer filed an H1B petition on my behalf. Unfortunately, my employer’s petition was rejected in the lottery as there were more petitions filed during the initial filing period than the number of visas available. As my OPT was ending, I decided to transfer to a new program of study in business administration with a concentration in information technology (IT). I obtained authorization for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and continued working for my employer in the same position of computer analyst. My employer will try to file another H1B petition for the start date in the next fiscal year. Will my employment and study history present any problems for me to change status to H1B?


Based on the information you provided, you may be in violation of your F-1 status because your CPT does not appear to be related to your new program of study in business administration. In similar cases, USCIS has rejected an argument that a concentration in IT would make CPT authorization proper for an IT-related job if the major program of study is in business or other unrelated field. This means that, even if the H1B petition is approved, the change-of-status request from F-1 to H1B may be denied based on a status violation finding. (13.Dec.2013)

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