Cap-Gap Extension

The US immigration regulations specify that the duration of status (D/S), and any post-completion OPT work authorization, will be automatically extended for an F-1 student who is in a valid period of OPT, has timely-filed an H-1B petition requesting change of status and an employment start date of October 1 of the current year. An automatic cap-gap extension of an F-1 student's duration of status also applies to the duration of status of the student's dependents in F-2 status, but does not grant work authorization to the F-2 dependents. Please submit a Cap-Gap I-20 Request Form.


The student must be in a valid period of OPT (end date is April 1 or later) and have filed an H-1B petition that:

  • has been timely filed. "Timely filed means that the H-1B petition (indicating change of status rather than consular processing) was filed during the H-1B acceptance period, which begins April 1st, while the student's authorized F-1 duration of status (D/S) admission was still in effect (including any period of time during the academic course of study, any authorized periods of post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), and the 60-day departure preparation period, commonly known as the 'grace period'".
  • requests an employment start date of October 1 of the current year  
  • requests a change of status, NOT consular processing; and
  • the student must not have violated the terms or conditions of his or her F-1 status.