STEM extension denied based on approved H-1B pending for withdrawal at a USCIS service center

Question details

I am in the initial OPT which expires on November 30, 2021. My STEM extension has been denied based on an approved H-1B which has been pending for withdrawal at the Texas Service Center for the last five months. My current employer’s attorney raised the Ombudsman request on Oct 25, 2021 and I’ve taken a U.S. state senator's help to submit an inquiry on October 19, 2021. I have received no response so far from USCIS orthe online forums.  It seems it will  take 30 days to get a response at least from the Ombudsman and the case inquiry but I’m running out of time.  My previous employer's attorney is not willing to join a call with a Tier -2 officer and they're not helpful at all. My current employer is re-applying for my STEM OPT extension on November 24, 2021 with all the evidence possible but it's already past 60 days. I can't get a new I-20 because my SEVIS record is closed and they're not sure I'll get a favorable discretionary decision because my H-1B is still approved.

I am hoping the USCIS officer would show some discretion but from past experience I am afraid they will not. I am not really sure what to do here. I might end with a financial loss.  Please guide me with your suggestions.


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You have done everything that you can. But there are a couple of things I would suggest. The first thing I would suggest is that you talk to your DSO and explain to them the situation. Have them talk to the civic people and see if they can allow your service reinstatement based upon evidence of withdrawal or request for withdrawal. They may not be able to but it's worth a try.

The second thing you can do is try to reach the Tier-2 USCIS officer over the phone with your employer, manager, HR person or somebody from the office. Once you get to a Tier-2 officer, talk to them and explain the situation and ask them for a suggestion.


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