If you are an F-1 student who has recently graduated and are in post-competition optional practical training (OPT), you may have a gap between when your F-1 or OPT status ends and your H-1B status will begin, if selected.
Fortunately, USCIS has a policy in place that can allow you to stay, and often continue working, in the United States while you wait for news on your H-1B filing.
- Be the beneficiary of an H-1B petition;
- Have timely filed a request for change of status;
If so, your F-1 status and current employment authorization, if applicable, should be automatically extended until October 1st.
The cap-gap period begins when your F-1 status / OPT work authorization expires and ends on October 1st, unless otherwise terminated. During this gap-cap period, you should stay in touch with your school and explore options if you’re not selected under the H-1B lottery.
You can learn more about the specifics of USCIS’s cap-gap policy on their website.