OPT H1B Cap Gap Extension

Automatic extension of work authorization through start of approved "cap subject"** H1B for F-1 students on OPT in ALL fields

If you are on F1 post completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), and your employer files for an H1B for you, and you get a reciept notice, then as long as that H1B application was filed with a “change of status” and is part of the H1B quota, then your OPT is extended through September 30th (the H1B will start on October 1). Check with your employer about whether they filed your H1B with a change of status. Read below on how to extend the I-9 for work authorization.

**"Cap subject" H1B refers to any H1B applied for that must be counted against the annual quota or limit imposed on the number of H1B visas granted. Some employers are "exempt" from the cap or limit. These employers may apply for an H1B to start at any time, and are not limited by the October 1st start date, and may NOT take advantage of the "Cap Gap Extension" of OPT.

Extending the I-9 for the Cap Gap extension and getting an I-20 showing the extension

Please note that your work authorization is automatically extended as long as a viable H1B application is filed for you BEFORE the end date of your current F1 OPT. You do NOT need an I-20 showing this cap gap extension in order for your work authorization to be valid. In order to extend the I-9, your employer should reference the case number listed on the receipt notice of your H1B application AND keep a copy of the relevant section of the regulation itself with the original I-9.

We can create an I-20 for you which records the OPT cap gap extension if it is shown in your SEVIS record. Before we are able to do that, you must update your employment information on our OPT report form. Once you have done that, then email your request for a new "Cap Gap Extension I-20" to the ISSO email. Please include "CAP GAP extension I-20" in the subject line, and include the address to which you would like us to mail the new I-20, and let us know if you just updated the employment information.