Information on the Cap-Gap Extension
If you are currently on OPT and your company has sponsored you for an H-1B visa (current fiscal year), you may be eligible for a “Cap-Gap” extension on your OPT. The length of a cap-gap extension will depend on the current status of your H-1B petition. Because not all students are eligible for the cap-gap, do not assume that the cap-gap extension is a guaranteed extension of your OPT, nor that you can automatically continue working if your OPT has already expired.
If you have filed an H-1B petition in a timely manner, please contact an international student advisor to talk about your eligibility for the cap-gap extension. Note: If you are eligible, please provide an international student advisor with a copy of your H-1B receipt or approval notice, and a new I-20 will be printed for you. The OIP is not automatically notified of students on OPT who have applied for H-1B visas and are eligible for the cap-gap extension, so please let us know if you would like a new I-20.
Please note: The U.S. government makes a limited number of H-1B’s available each year, but there are exceptions for certain employers who are not subject to this limit or “cap.” If your H-1B petition will be submitted by a “cap-exempt” employer, the “cap-gap” extension does not apply to you. Such cap-exempt employers include higher education (universities), certain non-profits related to or affiliated with higher education, and certain non-profit or research organizations within the government.
For more information on the Cap-Gap rule, please go to the USCIS.gov website and search for the word “cap-gap” and you will find information on this extension. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please visit with an international student advisor in the OIP.
How to apply for the Cap-Gap Extension
If you qualify and wish to request a cap-gap extension noted on your I-20, please fill out this application and scan/email it to your international student advisor and we will be in contact with you. Please put "Cap-Gap Extension Request" in the subject line. Thank you!
Download here: Cap-Gap OPT Extension Request Form