On April 26, 2010, SEVP sent a notice to SEVIS users, linking them to SEVP's updated OPT Policy Guidance, and informing them about the proper use of the Cap-Gap Extension function in SEVIS during the FY 2011 H-1B filing season. An extract from the notice:

Cap-Gap Extension Functionality:

The Cap-Gap Extension functionality in SEVIS allows DSOs to indicate that an F-1 student is the beneficiary of an H-1B petition with a change of status request either

  • Filed and accepted for processing by USCIS or
  • Filed and waitlisted by USCIS.

This functionality should only be used for cases where a student’s F-1 status or OPT ends before USCIS can receipt the H-1B petition. USCIS does not anticipate the need for a waitlist this year.

Normally when USCIS enters H-1B petition information into its Computer Linked Application Information Management System (CLAIMS), the information is forwarded to SEVIS and the student’s record is automatically updated with the full cap-gap extension. If time constraints do not allow the process to be completed, a DSO can employ the Cap-Gap Extension functionality in SEVIS. This functionality became available in SEVIS with SEVIS Release 6.0.

Example: A student’s OPT ends on April 15 (approximately two weeks after the student’s employer filed the H-1B petition on the student’s behalf). There is a chance that USCIS will not be able to receipt the H-1B petition by April 15. Because the student’s employment could end before his or her SEVIS record is updated with the full cap-gap extension, it would be appropriate for the student’s DSO to use the Cap-Gap Extension function to provide an initial cap-gap extension through June 1.

When a DSO selects the Cap-Gap Extension functionality “filed,” a student’s OPT (or status if the student isn’t eligible for OPT during the cap-gap) is extended to June 1. For a student whose OPT ends before June 1, this is the appropriate action.


Please limit the use of the Cap-Gap Extension functionality “filed.” It is not appropriate in all instances. If a student’s OPT ends after June 1 and the DSO uses the “filed” function in SEVIS, the employment end-date will change to June 1. Please also do not use the Cap-Gap Extension functionality “waitlisted,” as there should be no petitions waitlisted this fiscal year.

Should you make this mistake, contact the SEVIS Help Desk immediately to have the employment end-date in the student’s SEVIS record returned to the correct date.