Due to the reason that the H-1B visas for corporate starts on October 1 and the students mostly complete their graduation in the month of May or in December, most often there is a breathing time in between the end date for OPT and the beginning date for H-1B. As a remedial measure for this, the USCIS offers a provisional F-1 status extension as well as work authorization at the time of the processing of the H-1B application.
- This advantage is extended only from the month of April 1 to October 1 and only offered in combination with an application for the H-1B visa which is awaited or sanctioned with a start date of October 1.
- The extension facility commences the very same day after the conclusion date of OPT EAD date and closes on the 1st of October.
- You are facilitated to access an I-20 which shows such an extension.
- Your status stays as F-1 till the beginning date for H-1B.
- In case your H-1B application is rejected or kept pending and in case you have finished your OPT, then your status closes 60 days beginning from the date indicated on your rejection/ held back. You need to inform the International students service facility of your University.
- Always there is a risk for a student facing refusal to re-enter U.S. provided, the student makes an international journey, when the application is kept pending.
What is meant by “Cap Gap” Extensions and Who are all Entitled?
- In case you satisfy all the ensuing entitlement conditions, then you stand a god chance of getting eligible for F-1 status extension and entitlement for employment, in order to wrap “cap gap “time period:
- You have maintained in a proper manner the F-1 status
- You are in a job which is as per H-1B cap
- Your job provider has filed an application for H-1B for getting “Alteration of Status” (it is not a “Consular Notification”) either on the 1st of April or after that.
- Your EAD closes in between the 1st of April and 30th of September.
- You have filed an H-1B application prior to your EAD expiry.
What should I do in case my Cap-Gap Extension appeal is still waiting with USCIS in case my OPT ends?
As per the new regulation, the extension for Cap-Gap is a time period in which the status of an eligible F-1 OPT student is naturally get extended in order to cover the gap between the close of the F-1 status and the beginning of the H-1B status. In case the student comes under a period of approved post-completion OPT on the date or after 1st April, the student is entitled for extension, the post-completion OPT of the student is naturally get extended. Hence, the student gets permitted to pursue his job with his employer during the time when the request for Cap-Gap is awaited.