The government has provided an extension of work authorization or legal stay for students on post-completion OPT or the STEM Extension of 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 or STEM OPT extension is still valid, or within 60 days of your EAD end 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. You don't need to submit a new form if you have already reported your current OPT employment to us.

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 (extension to June 1 only. If your current OPT expires after June 1, you must wait until you receive a receipted or approved H-1B petition for an extension beyond June 1):

    • A statement from the employer that you are the beneficiary listed on a filed H-1B petition with Change of Status.
    • Proof of delivery to a USCIS Service Center showing the date of receipt.
  • For a receipted or approved H-1B petition (extension to September 30)

    • A copy of the Form I-797 and/or the I-797 receipt number.
    • Please note, the I-797C with the "Notice Type: Registration Selection" is NOT the receipt notice. This is only your confirmation that you are advancing to the next step in the H1B process. For OGS to issue a cap gap I-20, we must have a copy of the Form I-797 that indicates "Notice Type: Receipt Notice."

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

Step 3

Submit a Request to OGS

Complete the Cap Gap I-20 Request Form.

In order to submit your request successfully, you will need to upload scanned copies of your:

  • Most recent EAD card
  • Current I-94 record
  • Proof of your H1-B petition status (see step 2)

  • 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.
  • OGS 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.