Employment / H1B Cap-Gap Extension
H-1B Cap-Gap Extension
The H-1B cap-gap extension is a period in which eligible F-1 students can bridge the gap between the end of F-1 status and the start of H-1B status.
To be eligible for Cap-Gap Extension, you must meet the following criteria:
- Have a pending H-1B petition with USCIS that was filed prior to the expiration of your OPT/STEM OPT or 60-Day Grace Period. (An I-797 Notice indicating H1B "Registration Selection" does not make you eligible for Cap-Gap)
- Your H-1B petition indicates change of status, not consular processing.
- Your OPT/STEM OPT or 60-Day Grace Period expires before September 30.
Types of Cap-Gap Extensions
The type of Cap-Gap Extension depends on whether you were in your 60-day grace period or on approved OPT/STEM OPT at the time of filing the H-1B petition. Refer to the "Received Date" on the I-797 Receipt or Approval Notice.
If the "Received Date" on your I-797 Receipt or Approval Notice is before the expiration date of your OPT/STEM OPT, the Cap Gap Extension will extend your work authorization to September 30.
Extension of F-1 Status/Grace PeriodIf the "Received Date" on your I-797 Receipt or Approval Notice is after the expiration date of your OPT/STEM OPT but before the expiration of your 60-Day Grace Period, your F-1 status will be extended to September 30, but your OPT/STEM OPT work authorization will not be extended.
How to Request an H1-B Cap-Gap I-20
To request an H-1B Cap-Gap I-20, submit the request form below. You will be required to upload a copy of the I-797 Receipt or Approval Notice for your H-1B petition.
Reminder: Documentation indicating your H-1B registration was selected does not make you eligible for Cap-Gap Extension.
Your updated I-20 will be sent to you by email as a PDF attachment. ISS is only permitted to send your I-20 to the email address associated with your SEVP Portal.
Note: Once you receive the I-797 Receipt or Approval Notice, Cap Gap Extension is automatically applied to your record. You are not required to receive the updated I-20 in order for the Cap Gap Extension to be valid. Students who are eligible for extension of their OPT or STEM OPT may continue working while their updated I-20 is being processed.