The following information is taken from USCIS .
What is the H-1B cap?
The cap is the congressionally-mandated limit on the number of individuals who may be granted H-1B status during each fiscal year. For FY08, the cap is 65,000, with certain statutory cap exemptions.
What is the F-1/H-1B “cap-gap”?
Cap-gap occurs when an F-1 student’s status and work authorization expire before they can start their approved H-1B employment beginning on October 1.
How is the cap-gap situation changed under the interim final rule?
• F-1 students on post-completion OPT maintain valid F-1 status until the expiration of their OPT. Once that OPT has ended, if an H-1B application has not been filed, they are authorized to remain in the United States for up to 60 days to prepare for departure.
• Under this rule, the F-1 status of students is automatically extended if:
1. the student's employer or future employer has filed an H-1B petition (with an October 1 employment start date),
2. this petition is filed during the period in which H-1B petitions are accepted for that fiscal year, and
3. the student notifies ISSS of the H-1B filing.
• If the H-1B petition filed on behalf of the student is selected, the student may remain in the United States and, if on post-completion OPT, continue working until the October 1 start date indicated on the approved H-1B petition.
• The automatic extension terminates when USCIS rejects, denies, or revokes the H-1B petition.
• The student may benefit from this provision only if s/he has not violated her or his status.
A student has post-completion OPT from May 15, 2007 - May 14, 2008. On April 1, 2008 the student's employer files an H-1B petition for the student. The H-1B is approved to start on October 1, 2008. Between May 14, 2008 (when the OPT ends) and October 1, 2008 (when the H-1B begins) the student's OPT and F-1 status can be extended. The student does not have to leave.
When the student receives notification of their H-1B approval, s/he needs to fax a copy to ISSS at (202) 885-3354 with her or his AU ID number, email, and phone number. ISSS will then follow up with the student on the next steps of the extension process.
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