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Can I Travel During the Cap-Gap Period?

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If your H-1B petition was approved and you are currently working for your future H-1B U.S. employer on an F-1 OPT status, you are in a cap-gap status. You could travel during this period if your H1b petition was already approved, but you should carry certain documentation with you when you travel.

Example

You were selected in the H1b lottery and your H-1B change of status petition was just approved. You are currently in the U.S. working for your U.S. employer on a cap-gap status and you are wondering if you can travel outside the U.S. before your status changes to H-1B on October 1.

You can travel during the cap-gap period, but you should carry the following documents with you:

  • Valid F1 visa to enter the US
  • Valid passport
  • I-20 that indicates you are approved for the cap-gap & that is endorsed for an international travel
  • The original H1b approval notice

Please note that in you have to come back before October 1, 2021 if the petition was filed as a Change of Status petition. This is extremely important as otherwise your status will not change to H-1B.

You should also double check what regional Covid-19 travel bans are still in place and how it could affect your international travel before you leave the U.S.

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