Bridging the OPT / H-1B Gap

Question: I am a Canadian citizen who, after completing my baccalaureate degree in the USA, have been on 12 months of OPT work status. I have been working for the company that I interned for and who were the subject of my economics and international relations independent study work. My OPT expires May 31 and if I apply for and receive the H1B it will not begin until October 1 and I have a gap from June through to September to contend with. I am concerned about qualifying for the TN visa in the position of management consultant. Should I apply for the TN visa before April 1, and then apply for H1B? Or can I apply for the H1B and then, if it is rewarded, apply for the TN in May to bridge the four month gap?

Answer: You should file for the H-1B on April 1, 2008, to ensure you have the best chances of receiving an H-1B visa number. Once your OPT expires then you can apply for the TN. Although, Management Consultant TNs can be difficult for recent grads, even more so if you worked on OPT for the company sponsoring you for the TN. The M/C is considered an “expert” in the field who is hired by a company to tell it how to run its business. You can see the incongruity here for you to be a M/C for a company you’ve just completed training with. What’s your degree in? Perhaps an Economist TN may be worth looking into?