An F-1 student who is the beneficiary of a timely filed H-1B cap-subject petition requesting a change of status on October 1st can have his or her F-1 status and any current employment authorization automatically extended through September 30th. This is often referred to as the “cap-gap.” The “cap-gap” period starts when an F-1 student’s status and work authorization expire, and extended through September 30th, with October 1st being the requested start date of their H-1B employment. For example, if an F-1 student has a pending H-1B petition with a change of status request that was filed before the OPT expiration, and the student’s OPT expires between April and October 1st, the student is automatically eligible for “cap-gap” extension until September 30th.
If you are currently an F-1 student with an H-1B cap-subject petition still pending, your cap-gap will expire next month on September 30th. This means you will no longer have employment authorization beyond that time. However, you can stay in the United States in a “period of authorized stay” based on the pending H-1B cap petition.
F-1 students with upcoming cap-gap expiration should consider discussing with their employers about possibly upgrading the petition to premium processing so that the petition can be approved as quickly as possible to minimize the amount of time the student cannot work.
If you have any questions regarding the cap-gap or H-1B cap subject petitions, you can set up a consultation with any of our Reddy & Neumann, P.C. attorneys.