Frequently Asked Questions

Q. As we approach the FY2015 H-1B filing season, I am asked, how does someone on OPT/EAD ending prior to October 1, 2014 bridge the cap of time between the end of their OPT and the beginning of the cap-subject H-1B status?

A. Current regulations allow for eligible F-1 students to have their OPT/EAD status automatically extended to bridge the “cap-gap” between the end of their F-1 and the start of H-1B status. Eligible students must have a timely filed H-1B petition requesting a change of status while the students’ F-1 status is current.   If the student was in valid OPT/EAD, the student is allowed to continue to work while the change of status is pending.  If the student had entered the 60-day grace period when the H-1B petition is filed, the student will receive the cap-gap extension of time but will not be work authorized.   During this cap-gap period, students must update their DSOs of their H-1B filing status.

If USCIS denies, rejects or revokes the H-1B petition filed on behalf of the F-1 student covered by the cap-gap extension, the student will have a grace period (from the USCIS notification date) before he or she is required to depart the U.S.  For additional information, click here