Can I travel outside U.S. on my cap-gap period?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I travel outside U.S. on my cap-gap period?

Currently I’m on OPT period which ends July 10th. My H1B application is

approved. The start date of the H1b is from October 1st. I was wondering whether I can travel on my cap gap period which ends September 30th before my H1b kicks in?

Asked on June 13, 2018 under Immigration Law, Texas


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

you can travel but if your H-1B is approved as a change of status, you will need to get a h-1b visa at a consulate abroad before you can return and activate your H-1B.  The issue is really that most likely no consulate will give you a visa until about early September so if you leave in July you will have to stay outside the US until about early to mid September before you will be able to return once you get a visa, assuming that there are no issues or additional delays with visa issuance.

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