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Cap Gap Extension

Cap Gap is the extension of F1 status based on the filing of an H1b application and an I-20 end date prior to October 1.  If you are authorized to work based on 12-Month Post Completion OPT or 24-Month STEM OPT Extension, the Cap Gap extension also extends your work authorization. 

When to request an I-20 reflecting the Cap Gap extension: 

  • Filed H1b Petition: The H1b petition has been timely filed, but a receipt notice from USCIS  has not yet been received.  You will need to submit a copy of the Mail Receipt Notice* and the completed From I-1-29*.   The I-20 is extended to June 1.
  • Receipted H1b: The H1b petition has been selected for review and adjudication by USCIS.  You will need to submit the I-797 Receipt Notice* The I-20 will show an extension to September 30.
  • Approved H1b: If you have received approval for the H1b, you will need to submit the I-797/I-94 Approval Notice*.  The I-20 will show an extension to September 30.

*Your company or your company’s attorney should have the notices/forms referenced.

How to request a Cap Gap I-20:

  • Login to the IntlHokies portal.
  • From the Main Menu, navigate to F-1 Practical Training.
  • Choose Cap-Gap I-20 Request e-form.
  • Choose the option that applies to you.
  • Upload the appropriate documents (I-797 or Mail Receipt) and submit your request. 

Cap Gap and STEM OPT Extension requests:  

Students who have Cap Gap and are applying for the 24-Month STEM OPT Extension are not eligible to submit the STEM OPT application to USCIS sooner than 90 days before September 30.  July 2 would be the earliest date the application can arrive at USCIS.

Visit the Study in the States STEM HUB website for more information about 24 Month STEM OPT Extension and the Cap Gap Extension.