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The Cap-Gap Relief Needs H-1B Filing for F-1 Student in the OPT

Hi William,

I am a F-1 student in the OPT, which will expire in 3 months. Since my MS degree in US is non-STEM degree, so I can not get OPT extension after it expires.

My OPT employer just filed the H-1B application for me, can I continue to work for this employer after OPT expires and before the H-1B starting time of October 1?


In some instances, a F-1 student with OPT and a non-STEM degree can obtain an automatic extension of status and work authorization based upon the filing of an H-1B application. It is known as cap-gap relief, this provides permission to remain in the U.S. beyond the expiration of the OPT until October 1, provided the H-1B case has been accepted for processing and is either pending or approved. 

Additionally, if the H-1B application is filed before the OPT expiration date, the cap-gap relief also extends permission to work until October 1st, if the H1B case is accepted, and either pending or approved. 

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