SEVIS System vs SEVP Portal for H1B and OPT Cap Gap

SEVIS, SEVP Portal, OPT Cap Gap Date – Updates – H1B Lottery Selected ?

In F1 Visa by KumarUpdated : 1621 Comments

There have been lot of frantic discussions on the blog with various sorts of information from students who have called help desk, talked to DSOs, what they see in SEVIS. There have been some recent changes with SEVIS and recent launch of SEVP Portal this year that make some of these changes automatic. Let’s look at the details.

Background of SEVIS, SEVP, SEVP Portal :

There are three things, SEVP, SEVIS and SEVP Portal. It is important to know the details.

  • SEVP : Firstly, SEVP is the Student and Exchange Visitors Program ( SEVP). This is the program name and not a software system.
  • SEVIS : SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)and is used by SEVP, DHS. “SEVIS is the web-based system for maintaining information on international students and exchange visitors US, which is primary software for DHS and it tracks and monitors non-immigrant students and exchange visitors.” SEVIS is used by Designated School Officials (DSO), who are also called as international student advisors for issuing I-20s, updating statuses of international students for events like CPT, OPT, cap gap extensions.
  • SEVP Portal : It is the tool that is available to post completion OPT students and STEM OPT extension students to report their address changes, phone number changes, employment changes. Either students can use SEVP portal to update the changes or ask DSO to do it for them.  SEVIS and SEVP Portal share data. Student data is immediately updated from SEVP Portal to SEVIS system. But, DSO changed data in SEVIS is update to SEVP Portal once a day. SEVP Portal sends an email from [email protected] to create an account for the student, when the OPT is in approved status in SEVIS, OPT start date is not in future and student’s email ID is maintained SEVIS.  DSO cannot directly access SEVP portal, but they manage many things like unlocking accounts, change email IDs, re-send the SEVP portal registration email, see report of changes, identify students.  SEVP Portal is very new and introduced by SEVP on Feb 26, 2018.

Let’s first look at the SEVIS system that is used by DSO. Before we go into details, one very important part is, the below SEVIS info applies to only “Cap Gap eligible F1 students on Post Completion OPT or STEM OPT Extension”, which means it applies to students who have OPT ending date before September 30th and who have filed a H1B petition.

How does SEVIS system work for Cap Gap Extensions and H1B Petitions Changes ?

As you can see below screenshot from DHS website, SEVIS gets H1B petition data automatically from USCIS and updates the records in SEVIS to show the cap gap extension.  But, systems are not always consistent with integration and data flows, there can be issues where a student’s H1B petition info was not sent properly from USCIS to SEVIS system and it does not get updated. In that context, DSO can manually request a cap gap extension for H1B petitions that are filed , waitlisted or rejected by USCIS.SEVIS Cap Gap Extension H1B Lottery Selected

What happens to F1 status, OPT end date during Cap Gap in SEVIS with H1B Petition Changes?

You have few possible options for your H1B petition like Filed, Pending, Approved, Rejected and Waitlisted statuses. Check the screenshot below and read the below section.

  • H1B Filed Only – No lottery Result indicated : If the system extends your OPT end date to June 1st, it only tells that your H1B petition was filed, but does not tell anything about H1B Lottery result. So, this state clearly does not tell your H1B Lottery result.
  • H1B Lottery Selected/ Pending Processing / Approved : The OPT end date in SEVIS system will be updated to September 30th, if it is either approved or in pending status by USCIS. What it means is that your case was selected in the lottery and is either being processed or approved.

These details are visible in SEVIS system to DSO and these also are replicated to SEVP Portal. We will look at SEVP portal later.

OPT Statuses in SEVP System with H1B Changes like Approved Rejected or FiledCan DSO Update the F1 student status in SEVIS ? If so, what can they do ?

As we mentioned earlier, not all times the data is transferred properly and there may be scenarios where SEVIS system is not updated automatically based on H1B status from USCIS. Below are the three statuses a DSO can update the system based on information provided by Student.

  • Filed
  • Rejected
  • Waitlisted
  • Cancelled

If your OPT cap gap is before June 1st and the system is not updated, you can send your Fedex Receipt and application info from Attorney/ employer and ask your DSO to update the status to filed and have your F1 status updated to June 1st.  Depending on the result of Lottery and case notice details, you can subsequently work with DSO and update these details in SEVIS.

DSO Options for Cap Gap Extension in SEVP System
What is SEVIS Data Fix  ?

If DSO has issues updating the system after he learns from the student, they should call SEVIS help desk for a data fix as shown below.  Once DSO calls or emails SEVIS they will get a help desk ticket with a reference number.  This can be used to expedite the request, if there are any urgent issues.

DSO Calling Data Fix update SEVP System

Now, let’s look at the SEVIS Portal scenarios, where many students have been posting on the blog that their OPT end date was updated and they got selected in lottery.

SEVP Portal OPT End Date Changes for Cap Gap Students – Lottery Selected ?

First and foremost, SEVP Portal and SEVIS share the same data. SEVIS system data is replicated once a day to SEVP Portal. So, both DSO or you will see the same information after the sync happens.  As an F1 student on OPT, if your OPT is approved and started, you would have got an email from [email protected] to create an account. If you have missed the email by either spam or have wrong email ID in SEVIS, you can ask your DSO to re-send the registration email for SEVP Portal. You can register and create an account. For detail steps, check out SEVP Portal User Guide.

After you login, you will see the OPT end date under employment section. It looks like below. You can expand the + to see details of the employment. The key thing is the Type of OPT authorization and End Date. It should be Post Completion and the end date changes reflect your H1B petition status, depending on how the USCIS system data is updated with SEVIS.   SEVP Portal Post Completion OPT

  • H1B Lottery Selected :  If your OPT end date in SEVP Portal under employment is changed to September 30th, it means that your H1B Petition is either in Approved or Pending status, which basically means that you were selected in H1B Lottery.
  • H1B Petition Filed : If your OPT end date in SEVP Portal under employment is changed to June 1st, it indicates that your H1B petition was filed, but does not indicate your petition was picked in Lottery.

Samples SEVP Portal Updates posted by Users with OPT End date Extended to September 30th ( 9/30) – H1B Lottery Selected .

Thanks to few of our readers Ash, sj, and others who have shared their SEVP Portal update with us for clarity. They look like below. Thanks to Ash,sj and others for their help !

Post Completion OPT End date Updated to September 30th.  

SEVP Portal Sample Septmeber 30 Updated Date OPT end Cap Gap

STEM OPT Sample OPT End date updated 
SEVP Portal OPT end Date H1B Lottery Selected

So, in a nutshell, if you are in cap gap scenario and have your OPT ending date updated in SEVP Portal or SEVIS as updated by DSO, you can derive that your H1B petition was either picked in H1B Lottery or not. But, one key thing, not all of the data is properly synchronized with USCIS and SEVIS and it is your duty to call DSO and update your status, if you find it out from employer that your H1B was picked in lottery or rejected. You will need to submit reject notice or case receipt copy to be able to have DSO edit your SEVIS records properly. Also, do not be disheartened that your status or end date was not updated like others as you see comments on the blog, it takes time…not everyone gets at the same time…it can take few weeks or a month or more. Until you get a reject notice, do not take anything for granted. Stay positive !

What are your thoughts ? Your experiences with SEVP Portal ? Status updates on SEVIS vs SEVP Portal ? Any other questions.

References :

   

Other Articles


Comments ( 1,621 )

  1. Willson

    Hi,

    I got selected for H1b Petition this year and I got RFE a few weeks ago. USCIS case status showed that they received my RFE response on July 18th 2019.

    However, when I requested for cap gap extension from my school a few days ago, they said that I got denied and it shows on their end (SEVIS), and therefore, they can’t process the change of status.

    The USCIS Case Status tool is still showing that my “Response To USCIS’ Request For Evidence Was Received” – My employed filed Premium Processing for my H1B Petition

    Does this mean that my H1B Petition has been denied? Or could this be a data error from SEVIS?

    My SEVP is still showing 9/30/2019 end date. Does anyone might know what this means?

  2. Mahesh

    Hi,

    My OPT EAD expiry date was extended to September 30th around 1st week of May but my immigration lawyers still haven’t received any word if my H1B petition was selected by USCIS. Can it take longer for USCIS to intimate whether my petition was selected? What else can I do to know the status of my case?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Yes, you can wait longer as your Cap Gap was automatically extended. Ask your DSO to give you new I-20. Yes, it may take few weeks to intimate….Your DSO could see the H1B case number in SEVIS, ask your DSO to share it so that you can check it online.

    2. Dipti Pathre

      Can I update my new employer details while my H1 B RFE is under process?? My current status is OPT EAD cap gap until Sept 30th.

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Yes, you can, assuming you are working on OPT for them. You work for your H1B employer only from October 1st, before that it does not matter, who you work for. Talk to your DSO.

  3. Aditi

    Hi,

    Today is May 30th. MY F1 EAD expires on June 10th . My company filed for my H1B but they have not heard back on my selection on rejection as of today. Also, there has been no change in the end date on the employment section of my SEVP portal account. Since the end date has not been updated till Sep 30, can I assume that my lottery was not picked up? Is there still any hope that can change in the next ten days? Should I continue to watch for a change on the SEVP portal for the next week. Please respond. I am going insane with worry

  4. Jay

    I am in my STEM OPT and that ends next year October (Oct, 2020). So, I will not be in the case of Cap Gap.

    In that case, whether I will come to know from SEVP portal that my H1B got picked in the lottery or not?

      1. Aditi

        Hi,

        Today is May 30th. MY F1 EAD expires on June 10th . My company filed for my H1B but they have not heard back on my selection on rejection as of today. Also, there has been no change in the end date on the employment section of my SEVP portal account. Since the end date has not been updated till Sep 30, can I assume that my lottery was not picked up? Is there still any hope that can change in the next ten days? Should I continue to watch for a change on the SEVP portal for the next week. Please respond. I am going insane with worry

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Well, it may change, but less chances as technically, the data entry is complete and you are only waiting for the mail to arrive…Plan for backups as I see less hope as the data entry is complete, you should have had something…

  5. DV

    My H1b got picked in the lottery, and my SEVP Portal has been updated with Authorized End Date being 09/30/19. However, under the tab showing my current employer, the end Date is still 06/12/19 (the expiry date of my STEM OPT). I’m waiting to get the I-20 from my school, but I’m not sure if this date needs to be updated too. Any ideas?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sometimes, that data may not be fully updated. If you have the H1B receipt, send it to DSO and ask for the Data Fix, they can do it for you.

      1. DV

        I contacted the school and they said my I-20 would show the correct date. Is that enough? I haven’t received the updated I-20 yet, so I have no idea what it looks like.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          As long as your I-20 has the correct date, you are fine, That’s what is important. Ask for the updated I-20, by sending a copy of your H1B receipt.

  6. G

    My school has sent me a copy of new I-20 which has a receipt number starts with WAC. The school has confirmed that they can see Change of status pending with the receipt number in its system and I saw my opt end date has been extended to 9/30 on my SEVP website.. but the issue is that I have not heard back from my lawyers regarding the receipt notice… when I check on USCIS case tracker, it says i should have received the notice by 5/11/19 but nothing has come through yet… is it safe to assume that I got selected in the lottery and don’t have to worry about not getting any message from the lawyers? please help!

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      You are very likely selected in Lottery, sometimes, the mail takes time, give it couple of weeks or so…update the same to your attorney and ask them for update as well.

  7. siva

    Hi,

    My attorney sent me receipt notice dated 5/7 saying my case is picked in lottery.

    But I cant see any update in SEVP portal or USCIS website. I talked to my DSO as well but no update it seems.

    Do I need to worry?, does it takes more time to get updated.
    Thanks.

    1. 3rdtimer

      I’m in the same situation. Did you see an update in SEVP portal? I spoke with my DSO and they don’t see any update in SEVIS status.

      1. Raju Thapaliya

        Hi all,
        My h1b got approved with change of status but only for one month. Oct 1 2019 to Oct 29 2019. My initial OPT is expiring on 07/02/2019. I have applied for OPT extension and is in received status. I am really worried about one month h1b approval. I am thinking of withdrawing h1b. If I withdraw before October 1, can I get back to opt status as opt is extended for 180 days automatically. Please help me out.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Don’t need to withdraw. Move to H1B status, and then apply for extension from the same employer.
          Well, if it was filed as COS, then discuss with your attorney to make sure the COS does not kick-in on October 1st and so that you can continue working on STEM OPT. Talk to your DSO as well.

  8. SNM

    Hi All – Quick question:

    I have OPT STEM expiring 08/2020. My DOS says she has not seen any H1B application pending status in SEVIS although for other students she sees Cap Gap Extension based off H1B. There are also no updates in my SEVP.

    Given the timing does this basically signal bad news? I would expect that if I got picked end of April then there would be a receipt number and status updated to pending or filed in SEVIS.

    Thanks!

    1. STEM 2

      Based on the information I gathered from the article above, I dont think you would see any updates on SEVIS if your STEM expires in 08/2020. The article states that “SEVIS info applies to only “Cap Gap eligible F1 students on Post Completion OPT or STEM OPT Extension”, which means it applies to students who have OPT ending date before September 30th and who have filed a H1B petition”

  9. Dinesh Udayakumar

    Hello,
    My SEVP portal has an EAD end data as Spe30,2019. It’s been a week since I got this update but my law firm didn’t receive any receipts yet. Should I be concerned? Or be happy that I got picked up in the lottery?

      1. Mahesh

        Me too. My lawyer hasn’t gotten any information from USCIS about my petition and its been 3 weeks since the expiry date changed to September 30th.

  10. Hari Dhungel

    Hello All,
    I have one quick question. My first year STEM EAD is going to expire on coming July27 2019 and already applied for 24 months extension.USCIS also received my case last week.This year my company applied my H1B.Now my SEVP portal shows that my first year expiration date will end in September 30.Now I am confused it is because of applied 24 months extension or due to H1B selection?
    Please, help me out.

    Hari

      1. Hari Dhungel

        Ohh really! Woow . Thats a great news. Should I start celebration or still wait for notice in mail to be in safe side.

  11. AJ Kumar

    Hi ,

    Today is 5/7/2019.

    5/8/2019 is my last day for OPT EAD. I have applied for CAP GAP.

    H1B 2019 – Got RFE, and got Denial, Moved to Other Company
    H1B 2020 – Lottery Got Picked, Received I-797

    Now when I have request my University to get Cap-Gap. Sevis has my H1B 2019 as in Pending status. I have sent the denial and RFE, i-797 of H1b 2019 and also I797 of H1b 2020.

    I haven’t got a Cap gap yet. My Visa expiring 5/8/2019 i.e. tomorrow. My university has sent a request to SEVP to Expedite and process the Cap gap.

    What are my options in this case? if I do not get a cap-gap by tomorrow. i.e. 5/8/2019?

    Regards,
    AJ

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      You should get automatic cap cap till June 1st at least. If you are picked in lottery for this year, then you get automatic cap gap until Sep 30th.
      Your DSO has to do data fix to correct the old data from last year for FY 2019. Ask DSO to do it soon as you have less time…As you can read in above article, you are eligible for them…

      1. AJ

        Thanks a Lot for the reply, I have contacted DSO and DSO asked to expedite my Data fix to sevis. Hopefully, I will get the Cap Gap. Have a wonderful day.

        Thank you!
        AJ

          1. AJ

            My Status in SEVP portal exchange show inactive, I have checked with university, Sevis is still working on updating it. I asked if i could worked they said since you have i-797 for this year already you could until Data fix.

            What are my options now if I do not get my Cap Gap? Please help me.
            AJ

          2. administrator
            Kumar

            Cap gap is automatic until September 30th. You can continue to work, until you get a decision on your H1B lottery. For your employer’s I-9 purposes, take the Cap gap extension I20 given by your DSO and expired card as proof. The link here : USCIS Cap Gap Guidance has all details.

  12. Kelanfar

    Dear Kumar, my OPT ends on 5/20/2019 and it has not yet changed to 6/1/2019 on the SEVP portal. Does it change automatically, or do I have to notify my DSO? I am Non-AD/RP. Many thanks sir.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      You should notify DSO with the Fedex receipt or some proof from the Attorney that they have applied to be safe. Sometimes, it can take time…so, you can do data fix with DSO support.

  13. Kiran

    Hello all,

    have checked my SEVP portal recently, and noticed that, a warning message popped up
    “Warning
    Previously provided employer information from SEVIS is not complete. All required fields must be provided prior to saving.”

    anyone knows what are the preventive steps to take in order to make this worry free

    1. Aditya

      I’m seeing on mine too, but my H1b was approved in January and Sevis became inactive. Did you find any solution to fix this ??

  14. Viv

    Hi ,

    My h1b application got picked in the lottery, 2018 but is currently pending approval. I received an RFE and my company has submitted the docs. This was 80 days ago. I’m currently on my STEM extension

    My opt end date was updated to 5/29/18 to 9/30/18 to reflect the cap-gap extension

    However, 2 days ago, my opt end date was reverted to 5/29/18. Is this any indication of my H1b status or should I not bother looking into this

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      It is hard to say, sometimes the systems are updated in weird fashion. There were some issues with SEVIS system as well recently. Do not just trust it fully, check with your employer and attorney. Also, you can reach out to DSO and get it clarified.

      1. Viv

        Okay, thank you for your feedback Will be filing for premium as my employer hasn’t heard back from USCIS. Hope it pans out!

  15. PC

    I am current on CPT. My H1b was selected in 2018 lottery. While, I haven’t reveived any official update from USCIS, I have question regarding my SEVIS status. My current SEVIS status is -ACTIVIE. What happens to my SEVIS status if my H1B is approved?

  16. Cap gap ending and no approval yet

    This is my last attempt at H1-B and my visa got selected in the lottery. My F-1 and STEM EAD expired in June, I’m on Cap-gap till Sept 30th. I haven’t received my approval notice yet. Typically approvals come in by Sept 30th, but last year, some of my friends received their approval only in January. Premium processing is not available till Feb 2019 for cap cases (https://www.uscis.gov/news/uscis-extends-and-expands-suspension-premium-processing-h-1b-petitions-reduce-delays ) . What happens if I don’t receive my approval by Sept 30th? Am I allowed to work ? Am I allowed to stay in the US? Can I travel internationally? Is there anyway to expedite my application ?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      You cannot work after Sep 30th. You will be on F1 visa 60 day grace period until Nov 30th. After that you will be in authorized stay in US…but the risk is, if your H1B gets denied, you will accrue unlawful presence from that decision day. No, you cannot expedite it at this point.

      1. Cap gap ending and no approval yet

        Thank you for the response! Just so I understand it correctly, after Nov 30th I will have to leave the US if I don’t get my approval?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          You do not have to necessarily leave US, but one of the recommended options to avoid future complications, if your petition gets denied.

  17. Antonio

    My End date was changed in April to 9/30.
    A month later they changed it back to the original OPT end date.

    Does anybody know what’s that mean?

  18. WAC-NONAD

    Hello all,

    I have a question, maybe you might have the answer.
    Will SEVP portal update when h1b petition is approved?

    Got update on SEVP portal on May 14. Petition still pending…. Non-AD, WAC.

  19. AA

    I have applied for STEM extension and received this email from USCIS this morning. Is it just a common email or something to worry about?

    We are still reviewing your case and there are no updates at this time

    We will notify you when your case status changes. We last took action on your case on June 25, 2018.

  20. StillHopefulinOtherThings

    We received my unselected application yesterday.

    Vermont Center

    Congrats to all who made it through 🙂
    And to those who didn’t, keep your heads up. Don’t look at this as a setback but as a step forward in a different direction. Use this opportunity as incentive to do greater/bigger things!

  21. PP

    aviator,

    Let the attorney and employer know that your I-20 reflects the receipt number.
    Share the I-20 with them.

    Based on the notice date, they can ask USCIS to send another copy of receipt if the first one is lost in the mail.

  22. RT

    You should call your DSO and she can make the change for you.

    My DSO told me there was a case in which the student had to send her the receipt and she talked to sevis help desk to update the OPT end date for the student.

    Call your internationals office and they can do the needful.

  23. megha

    hello,

    My H1b got picked current year but the sevis portal Cap – Gap was not updated. I have got the receipt notice from USCIS also.
    Please let me know how to move forward on this issue. I have left with only 20 days on my OPT.
    It would be really helpful, if you can provide some suggestions.

    1. PP

      Megha,

      You can contact your DSO and let him/her know that your H1B is picked in lottery.
      They should be able to issue your new I-20 which has the extended status.

      If they are not able to see that your case is picked in lottery, forward them the receipt notice.
      They will open up a query with SEVIS and update your status. This mostly takes a day or two.

      And then they should be able to issue your new I-20.

      Hope this helps!

    1. 1st Attempt

      Yes, that’s what my DSO and lawyers told me. This is my first attempt NON-STEM and no change in SEVP, no word from lawyers and no COS in SEVIS, my OPT is expiring June mid.

      I am moving to another country through my current employer.

  24. Jai

    Someone posted this on other forum. This should shut up people giving gyan about Day 1 CPT and it’s issues.

    Hi,
    My H1B is aporoved on May 24th.
    AD/VT.
    Notice Date: 04/17
    I also was 1st CPT. I enrolled BA major after my OPT of MBA ended and I did not get pick H1B last year. I have no problem with my application this year until now. Good luck everyone!

    1. Hope

      I second this. There is nothing right or wrong as long as Day 1 CPT is considered. Its all about how well we document and support our situation.

      1. Cherry

        Hi, how did you get your CPT in day 1? I didn’t get pick this year (I’m AD, non stem, OPT willend on June 1), I enrolled to a 2nd master will semester will start in August. May I know how can you get your CPT on day 1?

        Thanks

    2. Kay

      Hi Jai,

      Congratulations!! I have a doubt were you able to see your H1B got approved in USCIS or it shows Case received.

      1. Jai

        Nobody cares to read comments carefully. I wrote “Somebody posted” so this is not my stuff somebody else.

        Posted for others benefit.

    3. Third & Final Attempt

      @Jai,
      I don’t think it is appropriate to base it on one successful attempt to make an overall conclusion. He/She is doing 1st CPT on a different level and perhaps a different major as well.

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