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F-1 OPT, H1B & CAP GAP: All About It

A practical guide on F-1 OPT, change of status to H1B and filling the Cap Gap.

VisaPro Law Firm can help you effectively plan and successfully accomplish H1B 2017 cap filings.

Visit and schedule your FREE H1B 2017 filing plan consultation today. We'll talk through your priorities and recommend strategies for H1B 2017 filings based on our attorneys' near 100% success rates.

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F-1 OPT, H1B & CAP GAP: All About It

  1. 1. F-1 OPT, H1B and Cap Gap: All About It. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  2. 2. Plotting A Roadmap To H1B Visa Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit: .
  3. 3. What is F-1 Visa? F-1 Visa allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. and pursue education. A Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  4. 4. Am I eligible to work under F-1 status? B Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows a foreign student in valid F-1 status to accept employment in a field directly related to his/her major field of study. However you must have completed, or have been pursuing a degree and maintained F-1 status generally for at least 9 months or 2 semesters. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  5. 5. C How long can I work in USA under OPT? OPT is usually granted for 12 months but you can get a 17-month extension if the field of study is within STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  6. 6. Apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) before starting employment. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  7. 7. D How can I work in the U.S. after my education and OPT are exhausted? H1B Visa is the ideal non-immigrant visa for foreign nationals with at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent. It allows you to work temporarily in a 'specialty occupation'. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  8. 8. When can my employer file H1B petition? E An employer cannot file an H1B petition more than six months in advance of the employment date. Hence, the earliest an employer can file an H1B cap-subject petition is April 1st for employment starting no sooner than October 1st. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  9. 9. Do you qualify for H1B Visa? Find out. VisaPro has developed a FREE Visa Eligibility tool. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  10. 10. Determine your H1B Visa eligibility today at: Cost Free. Hassle Free. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  11. 11. Play By The New Cap Gap Rules Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit: .
  12. 12. What is the H1B Cap? A There is an annual limit, referred as H1B Cap, on the number of new H1B petitions that can be approved in a year. The current H1B annual cap is 65,000. There are an additional 20,000 H1B’s available for those with a U.S. Master’s degree or higher. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  13. 13. The H1B filing season begins April 1st each year allowing employers to file petitions for foreign nationals to start work in the U.S. under H1B status on October 1st of the same calendar year. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  14. 14. Can I use Cap Gap, B i.e. continue working after my OPT expires? F-1 students whose OPT expires after the H1B is filed can continue working until September 30. Students with pending or approved H1B petitions can remain in F-1 status through October 1 or until the H1B petition is approved, whichever comes later, regardless of the fact that their status and/or work authorization otherwise expired. This is called “bridging the gap. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  15. 15. How does Cap Gap help me? C After the H1B change of status petition has been filed, the automatic cap gap extension will begin and continue until the H1B petition adjudication process has been completed. If your H1B petition is approved, your extension will continue through September 30th. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  16. 16. Who qualifies for a Cap Gap extension? D F-1 students who have H1B petitions timely filed on their behalf during the H1B acceptance period, which begins on April 1st, qualify for a ‘cap gap’ extension. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  17. 17. Timely filed means that the H1B petition was filed while the student's authorized F-1 duration of status (D/S) admission was still in effect (including duration of the academic course of study, any authorized periods of post-completion OPT, and the 60-day departure preparation period known as the grace period). Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  18. 18. What if I do not qualify for Cap Gap? You will need to leave the U.S., apply for an H1B visa at a consular post abroad, and then seek readmission in H1B status, for the dates reflected on the approved H1B petition. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit: E
  19. 19. If your petition is not selected, you will have the 60-day grace period from the date of the rejection notice or the program end date, whichever is later, to prepare for and depart the U.S. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  20. 20. Preparing For The Big Day: F-1 OPT to H-1B Change of Status Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit: .
  21. 21. A To change status from OPT to H1B you must find an employer willing to file an H1B petition on your behalf. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  22. 22. To beat the H1B Cap, ensure timely filing of your H1B petition. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  23. 23. B After your employer in the U.S. timely files an H1B petition on your behalf you will be granted H1B status if the H1B petition is approved. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  24. 24. If you are on F-1 status and your employer has filed the H1B petition as a ‘Change of Status’, the earliest you may start the approved H1B employment is October 1st. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  25. 25. I Travel Because, I have to, I Come Back Because I Am Under ‘Cap Gap’ Extension Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit: .
  26. 26. You may return to the U.S. and resume employment after a temporary absence only if you hold an unexpired EAD issued for post-completion OPT or are in an approved course of study. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  27. 27. If your EAD, covered under a ‘cap gap’ extension, has expired and you happen to travel outside the U.S. you will not be able to return in F-1 status. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  28. 28. In this case, you will have to apply for an H1B visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Also, you cannot enter the U.S. more than 10 days prior to the date mentioned on the approved H1B petition. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  29. 29. Summary Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  30. 30.  F-1 students in a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree program may apply for work authorization (EAD) to engage in temporary employment or OPT in a field directly related to their major area of study. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  31. 31.  Employers must ensure that the H1B petitions are filed while the F-1 student’s authorized duration of status is still in effect in order to be eligible for cap gap. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  32. 32.  Students leaving the U.S. during the ‘cap gap’ extension may not be able to return to the U.S. before the start date mentioned in the petition without obtaining an H1B visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy. Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  33. 33. Do you have a strategy to file your H1B petition on time? We are offering a free H1B Filing Plan Consultation. Schedule a free consultation with VisaPro immigration attorney at: Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  34. 34. About VisaPro VisaPro was established in October 2002 with a dream to provide exceptional U.S. immigration legal services at reasonable costs to companies and individuals around the globe and today we are proud to say that we have succeeded. VisaPro offers services in the following areas:  Investor and Entrepreneur Advisory Services  Work Visas: E-3, H-1B, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O, P-1, P-3, TN  Investor Visas: E-1, E-2, EB-5  Green Cards  Employer Immigration Compliance Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit:
  35. 35. Contact Us Washington, DC 1050 17th Street NW Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20036 New York 520 White Plains Road Suite 500 Tarrytown, NY 10591 Los Angeles 1100 S Hope St. Suite 103 Los Angeles, CA 90015 “I have had the pleasure of working with the staff at VisaPro. Their knowledge, professionalism and overall pleasantness made my job much easier. They assisted me every step of the way in applying for an H1B Visa, I could not imagine getting through this process without them. I would highly recommend VisaPro to anyone applying for a Visa. I would most definitely use VisaPro again” Beverly Brawer, United States Luggage Company LLC Call: 1-202-787-1944 or Visit: