Special situation - F1 to H1


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Hi All,

I am on my 17 month STEM extension OPT which will expire on July 15th. My employer is filing for a H1 this April.

Can I travel to India on my cap gap extended i20 on August 1st and still return to the US with my cap gap i20 on August 10th?

My F1 is valid until October 28th, my EAD expires on July 15th. Also, my employer states that he has consulted an attorney who says I can travel while on cap gap. But my research on the internet so far indicated the other way. Please guide me.

Thanks for your time and patience. I really appreciate your input.



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This should answer to your question.

Q6. May students travel outside the United States during a cap-gap extension period and return in F-1 status?

A6. No. A student granted a cap-gap extension who elects to travel outside the United States during the cap-gap extension period will not be able to return in F-1 status. The student will need to apply for an H-1B visa at a consular post abroad prior to returning. As the H-1B petition is for an October 1, 2012 start date, the student should be prepared to adjust his or her travel plans, accordingly.


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Thank you shravankog.

Wanted to see if anyone did travel while on cap gap or if anyone was in the same boat.

As the document from USCIS shows, you wouldn't be able to come back until Oct. It is as simple as that.

May I ask why you have problems accepting what that USCIS document says?

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