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H-1B Cap Gap Extension

Effective April 8, 2008, a student on post-completion OPT, who is the beneficiary or a timely filed H-1B petition requesting an employment start date of October 1 of the following fiscal year, can continue their employment and have continued duration of status while awaiting a decision on the H-1B petition. The extension of duration of status and work authorization would automatically terminate upon the rejection, denial, or revocation of the H-1B petition filed on behalf of the student. Students will not receive a new EAD. However, with proof of an approved H-1B, students may request a new I-20 from your international student advisor.

If a student participates in the Cap Gap, they should not leave the United States after the expiration of the EAD. If a student decides to leave the U.S., they will not be allowed to reenter the United States as an F-1. If the student has an approved H-1B, they will need to obtain a new visa stamp and can only reenter under the auspices of the H-1 which is 30 days before the start date. This is important and should be discussed with the employer if the student’s position requires international travel.