WORK AUTHORIZATION AND F-1 “CAP-GAP” STATUS
The United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) recently issued a reminder to F-1 students with pending H-1B petitions that work authorization for those students in “cap-gap” status is valid only through September 30, 2018. Any student in cap-gap status with an H-1B petition that remains pending on October 1, 2018 should not work on or after this date. As USCIS explained, an F-1 student with a pending change of status petition who has work authorization (such as an I-765 with valid dates) that extends past Sep. 30th may continue to work as authorized.
Under the regulations, an F-1 student who is the beneficiary of an H-1B petition subject to the cap, and who is requesting a change of status to H-1B on Oct. 1st, may have his or her F-1 status and current employment authorization extended through Sep. 30th. Known as the “cap-gap,” this mechanism allows for the “gap” to be filled between the expiration of a student’s F-1 status and the beginning of his or her H-1B status.
As USCIS previously announced, premium processing is temporarily unavailable for cap-subject H-1B petitions. The suspensions are anticipated to last through February 2019.
If you have question regarding how this information may affect your situation, call us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney.