I am a student in F-1 status. I completed my study and applied for optional practical training (OPT). I just learned that my application was denied. I will be filing a motion to reopen / reconsider the denial soon. …

… However, I would like to transfer to another program and apply for reinstatement as a back-up plan. Can I pursue both of these courses of action? Are there any downsides?


It is understandable that you want to increase your chances of being able to maintain your F-1 status by pursuing both options. However, filing multiple applications with the USCIS for different benefits may have an undesired result because it is unclear exactly what benefit the applicant is seeking. In your particular case, pursuing transfer to a different program may make your claim for OPT moot (i.e. nonexistent). This is because, in general, transfer to another program of study terminates one’s OPT authorization. Therefore, it is advisable for you to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to decide on the best course of action in your particular situation. (11.Mar.2016)

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