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


The regulations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(13) state that a student who has an unexpired EAD issued for post-completion OPT and who is otherwise admissible may return to the United States to resume employment after a temporary absence. By definition, however, the EAD of an F-1 student covered under a cap gap extension is necessarily expired. As a result, if the student elects to travel outside the United States during a cap gap extension, he/she should be prepared to apply for an H-1B visa at a consular post abroad prior to returning. Because the H-1B petition is for an October 1 start date, the student should be prepared to adjust his/her travel plans, accordingly.

 




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