H-1B Cap Gap Relief
Because corporate H-1B visas begin on October 1 and most students graduate in May or December, there is often a gap of time between the OPT end date and the H-1B start date. To remedy this, USCIS provides a temporary extension of F-1 status and work authorization while the H-1B petition is being processed.
- This benefit is offered only from April 1 to October 1 and only in conjunction with a corporate H-1B petition that is pending or approved with an October 1 start date.
- The extension begins the day after the OPT EAD end date and ends on October 1.
- You can obtain an I-20 that indicates this extension.
- You remain F-1 until the H-1B start date.
- If your H-1B petition is denied or withdrawn and your OPT has ended, your status ends 60 days from the date posted on your denial/withdrawal. Please notify the ISSO.
- There is always a risk you will be refused re-entry to the U.S. if you travel internationally while a petition is pending.
New Form I-20
The gap relief extension of status and work authorization is managed by USCIS and automatically tied to your H-1B petition. If you would like an I-20 that documents the USCIS extension you can obtain one from the UT Dallas ISSO. Submit the following to the ISSO:
- Complete I-20 Request Form.
- Copy of the H-1B receipt or approval.
The ISSO will generate an I-20 that resembles your previous OPT I-20, with a paragraph on page three indicating the extension. The ISSO will send you an email when your I-20 is ready for pickup. Processing time is three business days.
Immigration Document Copy Request
The ISSO offers a courtesy service for UTD students and alumni who need copies of immigration documents that the ISSO has on file.
- Submit the Immigration Document Copy Request by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in person to request the document copies
- Processing time is 3 business days
- Collect the documents or arrange to have them mailed. Due to security and privacy concerns, ISSO will not scan and email the documents
Remember, maintaining copies of all your immigration documents is your individual responsibility.
For more information, contact an international student advisor.