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Cap Gap

Under immigration regulations, the Cap Gap extension is a period in which an eligible F-1 student’s status is automatically extended to bridge the gap between the end of F-1 status and start of H-1B status.

You may obtain your Cap Gap I-20 from the Bechtel International Center as soon as you have received the Receipt Notice for H-1B Petition (Notice of Action Form I-797) and your SEVIS record is updated by USCIS. A new EAD card will not be issued. Processing time for Cap-Gap I-20 is 10 working days.

To obtain the Cap Gap I-20, follow these steps:

  • Update your address in the SEVP Portal
  • Submit an I-20 Reprint Request
    • Consular processing of an H-1B disqualifies the student from a Cap Gap I-20
    • The receipt of an H-1B Registration Selection Notice does not qualify an F-1 student for cap-gap extensions
    • You will need to upload a copy of the I-797 Receipt or Approval notice from USCIS in your I-20 reprint request

I-9 process with your current employer

Submit the following:

  • Expired EAD card
  • Receipt Notice for H-1B Petition (Notice of Action Form I-797)
  • Cap Gap I-20

Please contact your attorney regarding travel while your H petition is pending. It is generally not recommended to depart the US if you have a Cap-Gap I-20 and an expired EAD card as you are at risk of denial at the US port of entry.