Extension of OPT when H1B application is filed--cap -gap extension

Those students who get benefitted due to the timely filing of  H1-B application, and those who will be able to have a break in between the close of their OPT approval and the 1st October begin date of  H1-B are entitled to a Cap-Gap expansion of their OPT. 

The status’s duration and work approval will get extended for those students who are authorized for OPT, who are the beneficiaries of filing of H-1B of petition in time applying for   an employment begin date of 1st October of the ensuing fiscal year. This is applicable to all the students who are on OPT, not merely the STEM students. The expansion of the duration of the status and work approval would naturally end upon the refusal, rejection, or revoking of H-1B application filed on behalf of the student.

 The stipulations that should be satisfied for this automatic extension of the status and work approval encompass:


  • The student who is recipient of the H-1B petition submitted prior to the end of the lawful F1 status of the student
  • The H-1B petition requiring a change in the status effective from 1st October of the ensuing fiscal year;
  • The F-1 student who did not dishonor the rules and regulations relating to that status; and
  • The H-1B application is not refused rejected or got revoked


The job providers must understand that this expansion is mechanical (by enforcement of regulation) when the terms are satisfied, so that no fresh Employment Authorization Document is needed for I-9 use. Also, this expansion is applicable to all F-1s chosen to get an H-1B for the ensuing fiscal year, if the F-1 functions in a technology, science, mathematics or engineering domain or not. Such an expansion of status also encompasses the spouse as well as children of the student in F-2 status.

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