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Cap Gap Extension

The government has provided an extension of work authorization or legal stay for students on post-completion OPT, known as the "cap gap" extension, who filed a timely application for an H-1B with an October 1 start date. This does not apply if your employer has filed for consular processing. Your employer may ask you to request an I-20 from the OGS so that your work eligibility form (Form I-9) can be updated.


Who Can Apply

First, confirm with your employer that the organization is not considered exempt from the H-1B quota. Students who work for exempt employers are not eligible for an OPT extension. Your employer should also make sure you qualify for the H-1B cap-gap extension: 

  • You must be the beneficiary of an H-1B change of status petition that has been filed either while your post-completion OPT is still valid, or within 60 days of your post-completion OPT expiration date;
  • Your employment start date must be October 1.

You and your employer or attorney must review the cap-gap extension information at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

You must not have violated the terms or conditions of your F-1 status while on OPT. Contact us if you have any concerns.


How to Apply

Step 1

Update Information

Update your employer information and address on our OPT Reporting Form.


Step 2

Confirm your H-1B Status

Consult with your attorney or employer in order to confirm your H-1B petition status and get proof of your pending change of status application.

  • For a filed H-1B petition:
    • A statement from the employer that you are the beneficiary listed on a filed H-1B petition
    • Proof of delivery to a USCIS Service Center showing the date of receipt.
  • For a receipted or approved H-1B petition: 
    • A copy of the Form I-797 and/or the I-797 receipt number.

Ask your employer or attorney if you are not certain which category you fall into if you are not sure.


Step 3

Write and send an email to the OGS stating:

  • your employer's name and full address (what was used for your H-1B application)
  • the date you started your employment with your H-1B employer
  • your supervisor's name and contact number
  • your job title
  • your current mailing address, email address, and phone number

Your email should include these attachments:

  • a copy of your current I-94 record
  • a copy of your current passport expiration/biography page
  • a copy of your H-1B petition status (see step 2)
  • a copy of the FERPA Request Form.

Brooklyn School of Engineering Students, email your application to All other NYU students, email your application to

  • Your new I-20 will be ready within 2-3 weeks. We will email you once it's ready.
  • You must inform the OGS if your H-1B petition is denied or withdrawn.
  • The US government does not recommend travel outside of the US during the cap gap extension period. Consult with your attorney for guidance regarding any travel outside of the US.

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