Many of you are planning on filing Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 H-1B cap cases for recent graduates working for you on a post-degree completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Those students with OPT EADs expiring between April 3, 2017 (the first day that FY 2018 H-1B cap cases will be accepted) and June 1, 2017, are eligible to continue working if they obtain an updated Form I-20 from their school reflecting they are work authorized. To obtain an amended Form I-20, the employee should go to the Designated School Official (DSO) with evidence of a timely filed H-1B petition (indicating a request for change of status rather than for consular processing), such as a copy of the petition and a FedEx delivery receipt. The employee’s DSO will issue an updated Form I-20 reflecting an extension in work authorization until June 1. You will then update the employee’s Form I-9 with the information contained in this new Form I-20.

If the H-1B petition is selected for adjudication, the student must return to the DSO with a copy of the Form I-797, Notice of Action indicating that the petition was filed and accepted. The student’s DSO will issue another updated Form I-20 showing an extension until Sept. 30. You will then again update the I-9 to reflect work authorization through this date. On Oct. 1, you will then verify the Form I-9 one additional time to reflect that the employee is now working for you in valid H-1B status.

If the USCIS does not select an H-1B petition which has been filed on an OPT EAD holder’s behalf, the employee must be removed from payroll within 10 days of the date listed on the H-1B rejection if the period of OPT will expire on or before June 1, 2017. The employee must then change to an authorized status or depart the U.S. within 60 days following the H-1B rejection date.