H-1B Cap Gap Relief
Because corporate H-1B visas begin on October 1 and most students graduate in May or December, there is often a gap of time between the OPT end date and the H-1B start date. To remedy this, USCIS provides a temporary extension of F-1 status and work authorization while the H-1B petition is being processed.
- This benefit is offered only from April 1 to October 1 and only in conjunction with a corporate H-1B petition that is pending or approved with an October 1 start date.
- The extension begins the day after the OPT EAD end date and ends on October 1.
- You can obtain an I-20 that indicates this extension.
- You remain F-1 until the H-1B start date.
- If your H-1B petition is denied or withdrawn and your OPT has ended, your status ends 60 days from the date posted on your denial/withdrawal. Please notify the ISSO.
- There is always a risk you will be refused re-entry to the U.S. if you travel internationally while a petition is pending.
New Form I-20
The gap relief extension of status and work authorization is managed by USCIS and automatically tied to your H-1B petition. If you would like an I-20 that documents the USCIS extension you can obtain one from the UT Dallas ISSO. Submit the following to the ISSO:
- Complete I-20 Request Form.
- Copy of the H-1B receipt or approval.
The ISSO will generate an I-20 that resembles your previous OPT I-20, with a paragraph on page three indicating the extension. The ISSO will send you an email when your I-20 is ready for pickup. Processing time is three business days.
For more information, contact an international student advisor.