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What Is the Eligibility for Cap-Gap Extension of My F-1 Status?

Hi William:

I am a F-1 international student, and my potential U.S. employer will file H-1B status application for me. How to get the Cap-Gap extension for my F-1 status? and what is the eligibility for Cap-Gap extension of my F-1 status?


The "Cap-Gap" is known as the period of time when a F-1 international student’s status or work authorization expires to the start date of approved H-1B employment. 

The Cap-Gap occurs because the earliest date that an U.S. employer can file an H-1B status petition is April 1, for the following fiscal year, starting October 1. If USCIS approves the H-1B petition and the change of status request, the earliest date that the student may start the approved H-1B employment is October 1. 

The USCIS regulations allow H-1 international students with approved H-1B petitions to remain in F-1 status during the cap-gap period, which provides a way of filling the "gap" between the end of F-1 status and the beginning of H-1B status, that might otherwise occur if F-1 status is not extended for qualifying students. H-1B petitions that request a change of status to H-1B on October 1 qualify for a cap-gap extension. 

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