FAQs for Cap Gap Extension

Cap Gap Extension Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to USCIS’s Extension of Post-completion OPT and F-1 Status for Eligible Students under the H-1B Cap Gap Regulations Questions and Answers for additional information regarding the Cap Gap Extension.

  1. Do I need to apply for the Cap-Gap Extension with IPS?

No, the Cap-Gap Extension is automatic, so there is no need for you to apply for it. Once a timely filed petition for H-1B has been made by your sponsor, the automatic Cap-Gap Extension will be reflected in your SEVIS record. There is no need to let IPS know of this change.

  1. What is the duration of the Cap-Gap Extension?

The Cap Gap Extension is between the dates your sponsor’s petition is received at USCIS and September 30. By law, it cannot continue beyond September 30.

  1. My employer/lawyer needs a new I-20 reflecting the Cap-Gap Extension. What do I do?

An I-20 reflecting Cap-Gap Extension is not necessary, but if your employer requires proof of the extension, please have them email the IPS Office with proof of your Receipt/Approval Notice. We will issue an I-20 then.

  1. Can I travel while I’m on Cap-Gap Extension?

No, if you are on the Cap-Gap Extension you should not travel internationally, if you wish to return before your H-1B status begins. Please refer to Question 6 on the USCIS FAQ page.

  1. I’m not sure if my H-1B petition will be approved. Should I apply for the STEM Extension while I’m on Cap-Gap Extension?

Students with a pending or approved H-1B petition and on Cap-Gap Extension are not eligible to apply for the 17-Month (STEM) Extension while the Cap-Gap is in place. You will need to withdraw the H-1B petition before you apply for the 17-Month Extension. For more information, please refer to Question 10 on the USCIS FAQ page.