I'm currently 4 months into the 2 year OPT STEM extension (holder of US Masters degree) and have just received word from my employer that they'd like to sponsor me for an H1B visa. At this point, they're waiting for my decision on whether to apply now and hopefully get it out of the way if the application is successful, or wait until the final year to apply.
I've always been under the impression that it's better to try for the visa in the first year of the extension and then try again in the second and final year if the first application is unsuccessful.
I was just wondering if anybody has experience with this and can confirm it to be the case? Besides losing my exemption from FICA ad social taxes sooner if I do move onto the H1B visa, is there anything else I should watch out for?