H-1B and Cap Gap Extensions


If you have or plan to apply for another immigration status, please notify ISS as soon as possible and submit the following if you have it: 
  • A copy of the official receipt notice or approval notice for your new status (including approval notices for consular processing).
  • A copy of your new visa and I-94 indicating you obtained the new status through travel.
  • A copy of any cards (front and back) if you have received them (i.e., Permanent Resident Card).
  • ISS will "complete" your F-1 SEVIS record if it has not been auto-completed already.
H-1B and the Cap-Gap Extension:
Some international students obtain H-1B sponsorship during or after their OPT period, which allows them to continue to live and work in the U.S. under another type of work authorization. H-1B is a temporary work visa that allows nonimmigrants to continue living and working in the U.S. under government guidelines. You must maintain your F-1 status until your H-1B status is active. Even if your H-1B has been approved, your H-1B status may not be active yet. If you have filed the H-1B petition BEFORE you apply for 24-Month STEM OPT Extension:
  • Make sure you submit a complete 24-Month STEM OPT Extension request to ISS.
  • Your STEM OPT recommendation I-20 will include the cap-gap on the second page.
  • You will also receive a letter from ISS, in addition to your I-20, to be submitted to USCIS along with the rest of your application
    • It is not possible for ISS to input the correct STEM OPT dates due to the cap-gap. This lettter will explain what the proper dates are.
If you have filed the H-1B Petition and you want to apply for a Cap-Gap I-20:
  • Submit a copy of your H-1B receipt notice to ISS.
    • ​If you are currently on Post-Completion OPT:
      • ​Make sure you are up-to-date with your OPT Employment Reporting.
    • ​If you are currently on 24-Month STEM Extension:
      • ​​​Make sure you are up-to-date with your STEM OPT Employment Reporting.
If your H-1B has been approved:
  • Submit a copy of your H-1B approval notice to ISS.
    • ​If you are currently on Post-Completion OPT:
      • ​Make sure you are up-to-date with your OPT Employment Reporting.
    • ​If you are currently on 24-Month STEM Extension:
      • ​​​Complete your End of Empoyment reporting requirements:
        • ​STEM Extension Employment Reporting Form (section 5)
        • I-983 FInal Evaluation (page 5)
        • End of Eomployment form (if applicable)
    • ​​We will complete your F-1 SEVIS record and update your school record accordingly. Additional documents may be required.