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Transitioning from Optional Practical Training (OPT)

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H-1B "Cap-Gap"
A cap-gap extension is a regulatory provision which extends an eligible F-1 student's status to bridge the gap between the end of F-1 status and start of H-1B status by allowing a student to remain in the US during the "gap."

The cap-gap extension is available to students who were either on an approved OPT or are in their 60-day grace period and have a pending or approved H-1B petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  that was filed prior to the expiration of their OPT or 60-day grace period.

H-1B "Cap Gap" Eligibility
You may be eligible for one of two cap-gap extension benefits:

  • If the employer filed your H-1B petition and it is received by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prior to your  Optional Practical Training (OPT) expiration date, you qualify for an extension of your OPT employment authorization.
  • If the employer filed your H-1B petition and it is received by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after your OPT expires but during your 60 day grace period following OPT, your F-1 status and permission to remain in the U.S. are extended but you are not eligible to work.

For additional informational please contact Tess Casler in the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) at 315-268-7970.

After OPT: Other Work Visa Categories
If you plan to continue working in the U.S. after your Optional Practical Training (OPT) period, there are a variety of employer sponsored work visas that may be available to you depending on your employer, the kind of work you engage in, your qualifications and your citizenship.  Please visit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  webpage for more information.