H-1B status is possible for persons employed in positions which require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a particular field. There are a limited number of H-1B visas available each year (the CAP) and there are typically more applicants than available visas. Since the fiscal year begins on October 1, the new yearly allotment of H-1Bs begins at that time. H-1B petitions cannot be submitted earlier than six months prior to the date of requested approval. Consequently, many employers submit H-1B petitions on April 1 to begin on October 1. This can cause a gap between the time OPT ends and H-1B authorization begins.  The cap-gap extension gives automatic approval for continued employment authorization for any OPT holder who files an H-1B petition prior to the end of his/her OPT and has been granted the H-1B.

For more information please visit the USCIS web site for CAP-GAP Extension.

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