Where an employer subject to the H-1B visa cap properly files an H-1B petition requesting an October 1 start date and a timely change of status on behalf of an F-1 student, student’s F-1 status and employment authorization (if in Optional Practical Training) is automatically extended until September 30, thus eliminating the “gap” between the time the F-1 status would have expired and the October 1 start date of H-1B status. If the H-1B petition is not filed before the OPT expires, the student may not be employed again until October 1. Cap-gap does not apply to cap-exempt H-1Bs.
Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice from our law firm. We simplified the law to provide general information about one aspect of the H-1B visa. If you would like to discuss if you qualify for the cap-gap or need help obtaining an H-1B visa, schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer in Scottsdale, AZ today or call our office at 480-425-2009! We look forward to talking with you!