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Cap Gap Extension

  • Overview


    The Cap Gap is the period after F-1 students’ Optional Practical Training has expired, but before their H-1B work authorization begins on October 1st.

    The Cap Gap Extension automatically extends F-1 students’ immigration status and work authorization in order to bridge the gap between the end of their F-1 status and the start of their H-1B status ensuring the students’ employment and stay in the U.S. are not interrupted.



  • When to Apply

    When to Apply

    You should apply for a Cap Gap Extension as soon as you have proof that your H1-B petition is pending or was approved. In order to continue working on OPT, your H-1B petition must be filed before your Post-Completion OPT ends.

    Please keep in mind that we cannot extend your I-20 for the cap gap period unless we have proof that your H-1B petition was properly filed, is pending, waitlisted or has been approved.

    If you do not have an I-797 receipt notice and your OPT will expire before June 1st, we can extend your I-20 based on proof that your H-1B petition was timely filed. Such proof should include:

    1. A statement from your employer indicating that you are the beneficiary listed on a properly filed H-1B petition, AND
    2. Proof of delivery of your H-1B petition to a USCIS Service Center (e.g. Express Courier Delivery Receipt)
  • How to Apply

    How to Apply

    F-1 Students wishing to request an H-1B Cap Gap Extension should submit the H-1B: Cap Gap Extension Request accessVIS

    Step 1: Log on to accessVIS using Limited Services
    Step 2: Complete the Cap Gap Extension request in accessVIS
    Step 3: Upload copies of your documents
    Step 4: Collect your new I-20


  • FAQs

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How long does the Cap Gap Extension application process take?
    Can I work while my Cap Gap Extension is in process?
    How long will my OPT be extended?
    What happens if my H-1B petition is withdrawn, denied, or rejected?
    Can I travel outside the U.S. during the Cap Gap Extension?