There are significant risks to many F-1 students who travel after an H-1B petition has been filed on their behalf. Those who travel internationally should make sure they have all necessary documents and should be prepared for possible reentry delays.
If you are an F-1 student who is (or will soon be) the beneficiary of an H-1B petition and request a change of status to H-1B for employment starting October 1, 2015 and planning to travel internationally between now and October 1, we recommend that you carefully consider whether such travel is necessary. Traveling abroad during this time poses significant risks and possible delays.
If you cannot postpone travel until after October 1, you should be aware that you may not be able to reenter the United States in F-1 status before your H-1B petition takes effect. Instead, you may need to wait outside the United States and apply for an H-1B visa to reenter in time for your H-1B employment start date. If you do decide to travel abroad, you must make sure to have all necessary travel documents and be prepared for possible delays at U.S. consulates and ports of entry.
If you have questions about your specific situations, make sure to consult an experienced immigration attorney to discuss any travel plans.