Travel for F-1 Students During Cap-Gap Extension

Many F-1 students who filed H-1B petitions and were accepted as part of the lottery are eligible for cap-gap extension coverage. The cap-gap provision automatically extends until October 1, F-1 status and employment authorization for F-1 students who have a pending or approved H-1B petition.

Many F-1 students may be wondering if they can travel during the cap-gap period. Though USCIS guidance is far from being clear, it appears that F-1 students will lose cap-gap benefits if they travel internationally during the cap-gap period. This means that if an F-1 student travels outside the United States during the cap-gap extension period, he or she will not be able to return to the United States in valid F-1 status.

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