Traveling During Your Cap-Gap Extension

Traveling During Your Cap-Gap Extension

Traveling is the passion of everyone, especially when it comes to places like the United States. Many international students dream their whole life to be in America. Due to the high demand of students, there have been multiple provisions and government actions that have made this possible.

Multiple visa policies and procedures have made the traveling and residing of international students in the USA easy.

On one hand, when applying for international grounds it is accessible. On the other hand, there are a few rules and regulations that a student should be updated about.

What is a Cap-Gap?

Visas are the most important document when traveling to a foreign land. A Cap-gap extension is one such period of time that could be very important for international students.

An international student traveling to the United States could opt for an F-1 visa, which is one of the most preferred ones.

An f-1 holder international student gets a choice to apply and study under a preferred university, college, or any training institute.

A student can also apply for an H1B visa, OPT, and CPT programs according to their field of interest and career. 

An F-1 nonimmigrant student with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) is eligible to apply for a 24-month extension. STEM is  only available for the students processing their visas under Optional Practical Training or OPT. 

A cap gap is basically a time period between the official end-date listed on the EAD or employment authorization document and the official start date of an H1B nonimmigrant visa. A Cap gap takes place when an employer may not file, and USCIS may not accept a petition for extension or exchange.

An extension period is provided under every visa or program under which an international student can reside in America. An F-1 visa holder can apply for an H1B visa extension which is a green card or permanent residence in the United States.

A proof of continuity has to be submitted by the candidate in the form of an application. If a candidate wants a cap gap for April to June then they must fill out the 1st cap gap request form.

If the cap gap extension requirement is between the time-period from June to September 30, then the 2nd cap gap request form must be filled.


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Traveling during Cap-Gap

A student or a candidate can travel only if their H1B petition has been submitted for status change and it has been approved. The beginning of the fiscal year is the time when the H1B employment session can begin.

On the other hand, traveling outside the United States while the petition is pending is not considered.

The Department of Home security also sanctions the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer to make a final determination on whether to admit an applicant for admission after inspection at the authorities. The pending or approved status could also be checked and must be checked by students on the Department of Home security website.

Along with that a student can also check about all the documents required for the application to process.  As the United States citizenship immigration service has all the powers and rights related to the traveling or residing of a non-immigrant person, a candidate should stay updated.

If required, a student has to fill a first cap gap google form before the OPT expires that too before June 1. The 60 day grace period for extension from the date of the notification of the denial, rejection, or revocation of the petition before being required to leave the United States.

The updated form of I-20 is forwarded to the candidate related to all the information if approved by the authorities.

It can also be understood that an F1 visa holder student or candidate if has not submitted an application for an extension, the candidate cannot travel anywhere.  Traveling outside the country is prohibited and inside the country for long distance travel. Every candidate can also continue to work while the I-20 form is going through the process.

For the purpose of a job or internship or any employment related issue, one can travel and get the permission from the visa consultant or USCIS for long traveling.


The United States Citizenship Immigration services is the high government organization which allows, permits, or rejects a visa application. Application related to visa can be for extension, completion or applying. 

The cap gap extension is the period given to the F-1 visa non-immigrant students who have been studying and working under the OPT programs.

The extension between the expiration of OPT and the beginning date of H1B visa is around 60 days. That period is known as cap gap extension.

A student or candidate must fill the extension application form to stay in the country and continue their work as an employee.