H-1B Cap Gap Frequently Asked Questions
Can the cap gap extension of OPT be extended beyond September 30 if my H-1B petition is still pending?
No, the cap gap extension is only until September 30. If the H-1B petition is pending beyond October 1, you can remain in the U.S. based on the pending change of status petition. However, you must stop working until the H-1B petition is approved.
Will I receive personal notification of my cap gap extension?
No, you will not receive automatic notification. You must be in close communication with your employer's immigration specialist so you know the status of your H-1B petition. When you are eligible for the cap gap extension, you must contact email an ISSS advisor if you want documentation of the extension.
What happens if my H-1B petition is rejected, denied, or revoked?
You will have a 60-day grace period from the date of the notification of the denial, rejection, or revocation, during which time you can make preparations to depart the U.S., transfer to another full-time degree program, or change visa status.
Can I travel outside the U.S. during a cap gap extension period and return in F-1 status?
ISSS recommends that you consult with your employer's immigration specialist before traveling internationally during the cap gap extension period.
Does the 90-day unemployment limit apply during the cap gap extension period?
Yes, the 90-day unemployment limit continues during the cap gap extension period.
Can I apply for the 24-month STEM OPT extension while I'm within a period of cap gap extension?
Yes, you can apply for the 17-month OPT extension during the cap gap extension of OPT. However, you must ensure that your employer requests the withdrawal of the approved or pending H-1B petition in time for USCIS to officially accept the withdrawal prior to October 1-otherwise, your H-1B will begin October 1, which cancels your eligibility for the 17-month OPT extension.