Is it possible to apply for STEM OPT Extension While on Cap-Gap and What is the Deadline?

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Question: I am still waiting after submitting the response for RFE on H1B Visa. I was wondering what is the deadline for applying for STEM OPT Extension for those on Cap-Gap extension (this is until Oct 1). I’m on initial 12 months OPT.

Answer from a DSO:

I have worked with students to file STEM OPT petitions during Cap Gap. My question would be, why haven’t you filed or spoken to your DSO about filing for STEM OPT? I always have advised students, H1B approvals are never a guarantee, not is any petition being approved for that matter. So if you want to keep working in the US, file the STEM OPT application. Contact your DSO for their process on how their office handles the administrative process towards issuing you an I-20. Don’t wait til the last minute please!

What does USCIS say about this Filing STEM OPT While on Cap-Gap?

appy for stem opt extension on h1b visa cap gap

Deadline is before Cap-Gap expires or depending on H-1B is not Rejected, Denied, Revoked or Withdrawn. And of course, you don’t need Cap-Gap if H-1B is approved. Here is the link to the above page in USCIS.

Bottom line: Apply for STEM OPT Extension even if you have applied for H1B Visa.

 

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