Question: I am a graduate student who has completed all course requirements for my masters degree. The only thing pending is my thesis defense which I expect to complete in May. Can I apply for an H1B in the Master’s quota before I defend my thesis?
Answer: Unfortunately, you must have completed all course requirements for a Masters program before you can apply for a H1 under the Master’s quota. Since thesis is a part of the program, you do not qualify for the Master’s quota till you complete it.
CIS has held in past cases that they will accept letters from the university confirming that all course requirements have been met. Cases have only been approved when the student had grades for all the courses, and was only waiting for the commencement ceremony to receive their degree.