F-1 Cap-Gap Work Authorization

Practice Areas

By Angelita Chavez-Halaka and Armando Escobedo


F-1 students who filed H-1B Cap-subject petitions may begin accruing unlawful presence if their H-1B petition has not been adjudicated by October 1, 2018 and they continue to work after their work authorization has expired.

While the H-1B Cap-subject petition is pending, F-1 students may remain in the U.S. without accruing unlawful presence if they are not otherwise violating their status, such as working without authorization.


We encourage individuals to be aware and vigilant as to what is considered unauthorized activity to avoid violation of status.


  • Monitor expiration dates carefully, specifically your individual visa category expirations, and employment authorization.
  • Do not work without valid employment authorization.
  • Consult with an experienced immigration practitioner to address any questions or concerns you should have and for more information regarding the options available to you. 

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