What is an H-1B?
The H-1B visa is a temporary employment authorization for a nonimmigrant who holds a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher in the same field as the job offered. The employer is responsible to submit an H-1B petition on your behalf by filing a Form I-129 with USCIS for adjudication.
Requests for Evidence
If your H-1B application is selected in the lottery, USCIS sends a “Request for Evidence” (RFE) to your employer. That is when Harrisburg University is asked to submit documentation regarding your enrollment. When an RFE is received, upload a .pdf file of ALL PAGES of the RFE HERE. Your student account will then be charged an RFE processing fee of $250.
Responding to an RFE involves the production of multiple official university documents and a written response by the PDSO. The RFE fee must be paid before any action is taken to respond to your RFE. An RFE will only be prepared for enrolled students. If you are not enrolled and attending Late Spring or Summer classes when an RFE is requested of your sponsor employer, an RFE response will not be processed.
A very large number of RFEs will be processed during May through September. While your RFE is in process, please do not repeatedly contact different offices regarding your RFE Response. Your RFE will be processed timely. You will receive an email of the RFE Response when it is complete and the original RFE documents will be mailed via FedEx courier to the employer or employer attorney addressed on the RFE.
How to submit your RFE document:
- Submit a copy of all pages of your RFE HERE
- Attach a pdf copy of your RFE and select the document type “RFE H1B I 129”
Cap Gap Extension
A Cap Gap extension is a DHS provision which bridges the gap between the end of a student’s F-1 status and the start of H-1B status. This provision allows the eligible student to remain in the US and, if applicable, extend existing OPT authorization.
If your employer files an H-1B as a change of status in a timely manner with a benefit start date of October 1 then you may be eligible for one of the following Cap Gap extension benefits
- If the employer filed your H-1B petition and it is received by USCIS prior to the OPT expiration date then you will qualify for an extension of your OPT authorization.
- If the employer filed your H-1B petition and it is received by USCIS after your post-completion OPT expires but within the 60 day grace period following OPT then your F-1 status and permission to remain in the US are extended but you are not eligible to work.
Please note that H-1B petitions filed via consular processing do not qualify for Cap Gap extension benefits. Only petitions filed as change of status are eligible. Students must still be maintaining their status on the date the potential H-1B employer files the petition.
Things to Consider:
- The Cap Gap extension benefit is not available to the H-1B petition filed by a cap-exempt employer.
- Students on cap-gap extensions are required to report to the International Student Office any change of name or address, or any interruption of employment within 10 days via the MyHU Portal
- The 90-day limitation on unemployment during the initial post-completion OPT authorization continues during the cap-gap extension.
- During post-completion OPT, F-1 status is dependent upon employment.
- Students on cap-gap extension should not travel outside the U.S. since your OPT EAD has expired.
Remember to make a validation report to the International Student Office every six months
How to submit your OPT validation report:
- Need Info from TD on where to submit validation reports
- STEM degree holders granted a 17-month OPT extension may not accrue an aggregate of more than 120 days of unemployment during the total 36-month OPT period.