H-1B Cap Gap for F-1 Students Without a Rejection or Decision

10. May. 2017

USCIS announced on May 3, 2017, that data entry for this year’s cap cases has been completed and that petitions not selected in the lottery would begin to be returned. However, it may take several weeks for all unselected petitions to be returned.

In the interim, for those cases where neither a receipt nor a rejection notice has been received, students may continue to benefit from an automatic cap-gap extension until a rejection notice is received. Once such a notice is received, the F-1 has the standard 60-day grace period starting from the date of the rejection notice or their program end date, whichever is later, to prepare for and depart the United States. The F-1 does not have work authorization during the 60-day grace period.

For more information, see USCIS's webpage, Extension of Post Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 Status for Eligible Students under the H-1B Cap-Gap Regulations.