What is Cap-Gap?
From USCIS, “Current regulations allow certain students with pending or approved H-1B petitions to remain in F-1 status during the Cap-Gap period. This is referred to as filling the ‘Cap- Gap,’ meaning the regulations provide 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.” (link).
Am I Eligible to Apply?
From USCIS, “The cap-gap extension of OPT is automatic for eligible students. A student does not file an application for the extension or receive a new EAD to cover the additional time. The only proof of continued employment authorization currently available to an affected student is an updated Form I-20 showing an extension of OPT, issued to the student by his or her DSO. This document serves as proof of continued employment authorization.
If a student chooses to obtain an updated Form I-20, the student should go to his or her Designated School Official (DSO) with evidence of a timely-filed H-1B petition (indicating a request for change of status rather than for consular processing), such as a copy of the petition and a FedEx, UPS, or USPS Express/certified mail receipt. The student’s DSO will issue an updated Form I-20, showing an extension until June 1.
If the H-1B petition is selected for adjudication, the student should return to his or her DSO with a copy of the petitioning employer’s Form I-797, Notice of Action, with a valid receipt number, indicating that the petition was filed and accepted. The student’s DSO will issue another updated Form I-20, showing an extension until October 1. In such situations, the student can continue to work while the update to his or her Form I-20 is being processed. Because the Cap-Gap extension is automatic, the updated Form I-20 is not required for a student to continue working; it merely serves as proof of the extension of OPT employment authorization.” (link)
How do I Request an Updated Form I-20?
Cap-Gap Extension I-20 Checklist:
- A copy of H-1B approval or receipt notice
- A copy of EAD Card
- The name of Company
- Address of Company and the zip code
Email the above documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org with your Pratt ID number and your request to obtain a new I-20. You can choose to have the I-20 mailed to you at your expense, pick it up in person during our office hours or send someone to pick it up on your behalf during our office hours.