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Division of Academic Affairs
Division of Academic Affairs

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CAP-GAP AUTOMATIC EXTENSION FOR ALL F-1 VISA STUDENTS WHO ARE THE SUBJECT OF AN H1 B PETITION

On April 4 th , 2008 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an interim final rule which grants the cap-gap automatic extension for all F-1 visa students who are subject of H1B Petition. Cap-gap extension will continue until September 30 th , if student’s H1B petition is selected and approved.

Basic provisions.

The eligibility date is the date a USCIS Service Center receives a properly filed Form 1-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, naming the student as a beneficiary of the petition from the prospective employer.

“Properly filed” means that the H1B petition was filed during the H1B acceptance period, while the student’s authorized duration of status (D/S) was still in effect. D/S includes the academic course of study, any authorized periods of post-completion OPT, and the 60-day departure preparation period, commonly known as the “grace period”.

The cap gap extension starts when the student’s current period of F-1 status ends, regardless of whether the student was in a period of OPT. However, if the student was not in a period of authorized post-completion OPT on the eligibility date, the extension of status starts on the day after the student’s initial grace period expires.

To be eligible for CAP-GAP Extension:

1)

Student’s employer must file I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker on the eligibility date;

2)

Student must receive a USCIS Receipt Notice/Approval Notice or any other evidence as a proof of I-129

3)

filing; Student must not accrue more than ninety (90) days of unemployment during the Post-completion OPT.

The length of the Cap Gap Extension

For students with active post-completion OPT, the cap gap extension for both employment and F-1 visa status starts the date the student’s original OPT expires and ends on September 30 th unless the H1B petition for the student is rejected, denied or withdrawn. In those cases, the employment authorization ends and the grace period begins.

For students whose post-completion OPT expired prior to the filing date of the H1B petition, the cap gap extension starts at the end of their grace period and ends on September 30 th unless the H1B petition for the student is rejected, denied, or withdrawn. However, these students will not have work authorization.

Office of International Programs – The University of Texas at San Antonio One UTSA Circle San Antonio, TX 78249 Phone: 210 458 7202 – Fax: 210 458 7222 – website: http://www.utsa.edu/intprograms/

Updated on 0708/08

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Due to complexities involved, students will receive cap gap extensions in increments, as the petition goes through the steps of filing, receipting and adjudication. Please see the table below for petitions filed in 2008.

Extension periods

 

If a Student is:

OPT Extension

F-1 visa Status Extension

Beneficiary of a properly filed H1B petition

Extended to June 2, 2008

Extended to August 2 nd , 2008

Beneficiary of wait listed H1B petition

Extended to July 28 th , 2008

Extended to September 30, 2008

Beneficiary of a receipted H1B petition

Extended to September 30 th , 2008

Extended to September 30 th , 2008

Student’s H1B petition is withdrawn or denied

OPT Extension terminates in 10 days

F-1 visa extension ends within 30 days but not prematurely terminate student’s approved OPT, as shown on the student’s employment authorization document or the student’s original period of F-1 visa status.

How to apply:

In order to receive an extended I-20 Form from our office please bring/mail the following to the Office of International Programs:

Documents sent by fax will not be accepted.

Copy of the USCIS Receipt/Approval Notice (I-797) or any other evidence as a proof that your employer has filed H1B Non-immigrant Petition;

Copies of the following: passport name page expiration date (passport must be valid); third page of your current I-20 reflecting 12 months of OPT, previous EAD (employment cards);

If you are in San Antonio area, come to our office to apply. If you are currently living and working away from San Antonio, mail your documents to our office and enclose a prepaid envelope to cover enough mailing costs according to the weight of your packet (including two new I-20s, which will be issued by OIP; total of six (6) pages). Follow up with our office to confirm that the packet has been received. Our office will require at least 4 business days to review your application and contact SEVIS system to request the extension. Documents will be mailed to you with an e-mail notification. Be aware, that we do not bear any responsibility for the lost mail.

For all other questions regarding Cap-Gap Extension, please read “Supplemental Questions & Answers” on our web-site at: http://www.utsa.edu/intprograms/ in the News and Announcements section or contact our office.

Office of International Programs – The University of Texas at San Antonio One UTSA Circle San Antonio, TX 78249 Phone: 210 458 7202 – Fax: 210 458 7222 – website: http://www.utsa.edu/intprograms/

Updated on 0708/08