Call Us Today: 202-787-1944


Immigration News
Changes in immigration that impact your life.

Home  >  Immigration News  >  News Archive  >  Other Departments  >  News Article

News Jump: 


ICE Supplemental Fact Sheet on the Cap-Gap Extension
ARTICLE TOOLS
Print This Article
Discuss This Topic
Create News Alerts

This supplemental guidance addresses two significant areas related to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System’s (SEVIS) functionality and interface with other government systems, provides guidance on this issue and describes current workarounds, where available.

This guidance applies only to 2009. The cap gap is determined on an annual basis by demand for H-1B workers.

If you have any questions concerning the cap-gap extension or other SEVP guidance issues that are not covered in this supplemental guidance, please contact SEVP via e-mail at sevis.source@dhs.gov. Enter the words, Attention Policy: Gap Gap, in the subject line.

Cap-Gap Extension Functionality

Normally when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) enters H-1B petition information into CLAIMS, the information is pushed into SEVIS where student records automatically update with the full cap-gap extension. If time constraints do not allow the process to complete, a designated school official (DSO) can employ the Cap-Gap Extension functionality in SEVIS.

The Cap-Gap Extension functionality was developed to allow DSOs to provide interim cap-gap extensions for students whose optional practical training (OPT) or status ends before USCIS has the opportunity to receive the H-1B petition and enter it into CLAIMS.

SEVIS now allows DSOs to indicate that an F-1 student is the beneficiary of an H-1B petition with a change of status request that has either been:

  • Filed and accepted for processing by USCIS; or
  • Supplemental Guidance on the Cap-Gap Extension 2
  • Filed and waitlisted by USCIS.

The Cap-Gap Extension functionality should not be used for all students who are eligible for the cap-gap extension. Rather, it should only be used in cases where a student’s status or OPT may end before USCIS can receipt the H-1B petition.

For example: if a student’s OPT ends on April 15 (approximately two weeks after the student’s employer filed the H-1B petition on his or her 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 2.

When a DSO selects Cap Gap Extension “filed,” a student’s OPT (or status if the student isn’t eligible for OPT during the cap gap) is extended to June 2. For students whose OPT ends before June 2, this is the appropriate action.

However, we have received reports of DSOs using this function for all students who are eligible for the cap gap. This is not appropriate and creates problems in SEVIS and for the students. If a student’s OPT ends after June 2 and the DSO uses the “filed” function, the employment end date is changed to June 2. The DSO then has to contact the Help Desk to get the employment end date returned to the correct date.

Inappropriate Termination/Completion of SEVIS Records

SEVP has received a number of reports stating that SEVIS records are being inappropriately terminated or completed when students are eligible for the cap-gap extension. This is happening due to USCIS interface issues.

USCIS adjudicators enter petition information into a database which interfaces with CLAIMS Mainframe. There is a glitch in the interface between those databases that can prevent petition information, including benefit dates, from reaching the CLAIMS Mainframe. When this happens, CLAIMS Mainframe does not have any benefit dates to send to SEVIS. Consequently, SEVIS sees the change of status but does not have a benefit start date. This leads SEVIS to believe the change of status takes effect immediately and causes a student’s record to terminate or complete when it should be updated with the cap-gap extension. USCIS is aware of the issue and is investigating in order to identify the problem and resolve it.

Until the issue is resolved, SEVP has a workaround in place. If a student’s record is inappropriately terminated or completed due to an H-1B petition filed on a student’s behalf, we request that DSOs contact the SEVIS Help Desk to have the record returned to Active status and add the cap-gap extension.



ARTICLE TOOLS
Print This Article
Discuss This Topic
Create News Alerts



MORE OTHER DEPARTMENTS STORIES:
Immigration-Related Discrimination: DOJ Reaches Agreement with Massachusetts Staffing Agency
Immigration-Related Discrimination: DOJ Reaches Agreement with Michigan-based Staffing Company
Immigration-Related Discrimination: DOJ Settles Claim Against Employment Group
Immigration-Related Discrimination: DOJ Settles Claim Against Property Management Company
More >>

TOP STORIES:
USCIS October 2016 Visa Bulletin Update
Visa Bulletin October 2016: EB-2 and EB-3 Priority Dates Advance For All Countries
USCIS September 2016 Visa Bulletin Update
Change In Filing Address For Certain H-1B and H-1B1 Petitions
More >>

News Jump: 

U.S. Immigration Attorney - Consult Now!

IMMIGRATION CENTER
Immigration Services
  Fast, Easy and Economical Avoid Costly Immigration Errors!
Immigration Guide
 Know Your U.S. Immigration Options
Immigration Law FAQ
 Detailed Answers to Your Immigration Questions
Immigration Articles
  Interesting and Useful Articles on a Variety of Relevant Topics

How can we help you?
MESSAGE BOARDS
How do I fill Form I-129?
When do I start Green Card?

Discuss US Immigration
NEWSLETTER - FREE!
Receive latest immigration updates and free legal tips by e-mail. Sign up now!
IMMIGRATION DICTIONARY
Legal terms explained in plain English!
RELATED ARTICLES
H1B Address Change of Work Locations: When Do You Have To File H1B Amended Petitions?
H1B Visa Lottery 2016: Improving Your Odds of Success
H1B Visa Cap 2016: Things You Must Know
Filing H1B Cap 2017 Petitions:How To Get A Head Start With VisaPro’s H1B Visa 2017 Timeline
H1B Cap Exempt Employers: How Do You Find Out If You Qualify?
H-1B Cap Has Reached:How Do You Hire H-1B Cap Exempt Candidates?
2017 H1B Cap Petitions:How To Properly File With USCIS
H1B Cap Exempt – Are You Eligible?
5 Common H1B Cap 2017 Filing Mistakes - How to Avoid Them
H1B Cap 2017 Filing Secrets: Why You Should Plan Now?
More Articles...

CONSULT ATTORNEY
Get a detailed, written opinion online in less than 3 business days from a licensed immigration attorney.
Experienced Immigration Attorneys - Consult Online or By Telephone

YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS
Alerts & Newsletter
Create and Manage your
e-mail alerts for FREE.
RSS