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What You Need to Know about This Years’ Cap-Gap and H-1B Cap Petitions Pending Adjudication

by | Jun 9, 2020 | FAQ, Immigration, Students/CPT/OPT/STEM

We are happy to report that we have begun to receive receipt notices for some H-1B FY2021 cap-subject petitions! Below are answers to FAQs to help employers and their F-1 cap-gap students continue to plan for the H-1B cap-gap.

Have receipt notices from the Vermont Service Center come in yet? 

No. We’re still waiting for the receipt notices for the H-1B cap petitions filed with the Vermont Service Center (VSC), which has reported having issues processing these receipts. 

Do you still need to keep your school advisor updated during this time?

We encourage F-1 students in the cap-gap period to stay in contact with their international school advisor during this period and update them on their H-1B processing status. 

What happens if the F-1 student was in a cap-gap EAD extension but their H-1B petition is not adjudicated by September 30 and the student does not have any other employment authorization coverage, such as CPT, OPT, or EAD?

Unfortunately, that F-1 student will not be authorized to work beyond September 30. 

Can that student above still legally remain in the US while the H-1B petition is pending?

Yes, the F-1 student can stay as long as the petition is still pending. However, he or she cannot return to work until the petition is approved.

Can that student travel outside the US while the H-1B cap petition is pending?

We recommend that F-1 students do not travel abroad while the H-1B cap petition is pending because a petition requesting change of status will be considered abandoned if the employee travels abroad. 

Can USCIS transfer H-1B petitions to another Service Center after a receipt is issued?

Yes. We have received several notices of Service Centers transfers after receiving the initial H-1B cap-subject receipt. This is not uncommon. USCIS is expected to transfer H-1B cap-subject petitions between the Vermont, California, Nebraska, and Texas Service Centers to balance the adjudication workload.

Updated June 9, 2020. Originally Published Oct 1, 2018.



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