Someone I know is in a bit of a spot. He has an F1 Visa expiring in May and is also in the final year of the PhD program and looking to graduate in june. So he is thinking of going for renewal in April immediately after his thesis defense. Reason for renewal is so that he has flexibility to travel home in case company doesn't file h1b in first year or he doesn't get the lottery. Now there is a high chance of 221g also. Also he is expecting a job offer soon. How should he go about it so that there is no chance of Visa rejection or any risk of not being able to come back and start working. Friend is not on blind hence posting. Also friend from India. Any context or experience is helpful. One option I suggested is get the opt and then travel for renewal.
Yup OPT is the way to go. Once he has the job offer, he can file for OPT. I would suggest he does it before traveling home. Once he gets the OPT approved, the travel will involve less risk .. visa wise