Working CPT vs OPT in America as Student

by Kumar · 229 comments

Everyone, who wants to come to US or is already here as a student, wonder : can I work as a student legally? If so when ? How should I work after I graduate( before I have employer to sponsor my visa) ? We are so excited to work and mint money…significant number of us are here to work and make those dream dollars :-)
If you are a student in F1 visa, you can work after 9 months after entering US. It is called Curricular Practical Training (CPT) . After you graduate you can work on Optional Practical Training (OPT) .

Differences between OPT and CPT :

CPT : You can work after 9 months( one academic year i.e, Fall & Spring) after entering US. You have to work with the school to get CPT. Typically you get credit for working in CPT. It is legally working for a potential employer who is giving you an opportunity to prove yourself. Typically it is called Co-op or Internship. You can get paid in CPT. You might have to work with the career services at your school too sometimes. Some schools do not allow CPT if you not in the local city. You can only work in CPT until you graduate. You should not work more than 12 months (full time) in CPT. If you do so, you will not get your OPT. So, be careful ! Also, based on the program curriculum your DSO may authorize CPT during first semester, you need to check with your DSO.


OPT : A student can work in OPT after graduating from school. You will have to apply to US department of Immigration for approval to work in OPT. You will have to initiate this process approximately about 6 months before graduation as it can take time. Plan your OPT so that you are in OPT after you graduate. You will lose your status in US if you don’t have OPT started within 2 months grace period. You can work for anyone in OPT, there are no restrictions, but it must related to your course field. It is an option that US govt provides to international students for finding their right employers. You get an Employment Authorization Document(EAD) from US immigration to work legally after graduating. It is typically given for a validity of 12 months.  With new OPT rules, if you belong to STEM Category you can get an extension for another 17 months for a total OPT of 29 Months. Read this article for full info : New OPT rules for from USCIS for 29 Months


Rules keep changing, for up-to date information, check more details at US Immigration website  on CPT and OPT and always check with your school DSO and international students office.

{ 227 comments… read them below or add one }

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Archana September 29, 2014 at 9:09 am

Hi I am now in h4 status I wanted to pursue my studies and get a quick opt by mid of 2015 is it advisable to do any short term certification course in Itu San Jose as a f1 student which offers cpt from day 1.

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kumar June 4, 2014 at 10:01 am

This is Kumar, I am working in India in an MNC, I got 4 years of work experience and would like to move to USA for better job (career). The probability of getting to USA threw HIB is very low, Hence I was searching for other alternatives , My friends suggested me F1 (C.P.T) visa where I need not take any GRE, IELTS or TOEFL. and start working along with study. With the same hope I went to some consultancies where few said its hard to get H1B visa threw this process. Can you please elaborate pros and cons of F1 (C.P.T) program.
Thanks in Advance,

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Part Time May 4, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Hello

I would like to do part time in MS ! At USA

That can be considered ? Eligible for OPT

Doing part time MS is worth ?

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Raghav April 12, 2014 at 12:58 am

Hi friends,

Im planning for full time CPT Program for US.Im presently working for a MNC in india for the last 2 years.Can anyone suggest me the universities offering full time CPT(CPT from Day 1 of the course and 40 hours a week of work).

Thank You.

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kumar April 14, 2014 at 1:19 am

Hi ,

I’m kumar. I am too looking for CPT. Currenlty in india working with MNC.
Planning to move to us on studay purpose. Please let me know the university’s which are offering full time CPT(CPT from Day 1 of the course and 40 hours a week of work). you can mail me at mbq.job at gmail dot com.
thanks,

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Manisha July 24, 2014 at 6:41 pm

International Technological University
San jose, CA

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ajay March 13, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Hi one and all this is Ajay.Why u peoples dont work for India……why everyone wants to go US…Here lot of candidates suffering a lot without openings in IT sector,If you and who leaving in US if they came back and build IT sector in India then it is good to everyone for India students…….y u people don’t think for us……u people have to feel shame

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ajay March 13, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Hi one and all this is Ajay.Why u peoples work for India……why everyone wants to go US…Here lot of candidates suffering a lot without openings in IT sector,If you and who leaving in US if they came back and build IT sector in India then it is good to everyone for India students…….y u people don’t think for US……u people have to shame……

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Pramod February 20, 2014 at 11:35 am

Hi All,
I came for spring-14 to USA. I have 3 years of IT experience in INDIA. Now, can i work this on CPT after completing my first semister? As I have experience and planning to complete course in 15 months. Please advice!!
Thanks in advance.

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Mohammed February 14, 2014 at 12:04 am

Dear All,

Firstly, All the best for your career goals. There are some universities that offer CPT programs that allow you to work right from the first month and then again a OPT for 11 months after course completion. To avoid any confusion it is best to research before applying for these Universities. I have been doing this for 5 years now. Converting from F1 to H1 is not difficult when you hire the right legal experts. 20hrs jobs are readily available within the campus, jobs in Cafetreia, Gym and Libraries. For 40 hrs off campus you need to find a University that offers such benefits.

Once again, wish you the best

Regards

Mohammed

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Arafat January 24, 2014 at 1:47 am

Hello Dear,

I started my MS in August 2013 (Fall) and now in January 2014 (Spring) I am in my second semester which will end in May 2014. So, from May I might get CPT which allowes me to work 20 hours per week. But in the Summer semester (June-July) I am not taking class. Now I need to know, can I work full time in Summar by my CPT??

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Annie February 11, 2014 at 8:16 am

Hi Arafat,

As far as I know, if it is an official break from your university, you are eligible to work for full-time in CPT. But you cannot work for more than 12 months in CPT. Be sure to get your OPT in time. Hope I helped! All the best!

Annie

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Vaibhav Gupta January 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm

HI….I have done B.TECH in ECE and MBA- 1 year executive in Marketing in india….I have 5 years of experience in telecom sector as senior engineer..Presently i am not working for 1 last year…I am thinking to give GRE for Fall admissions in US and look for job there..is there any university there in which i can work along with pursuing MS….or what are the prospects of getting good job after completing MS…I have heard about CPT that u can work along with MS…There is one university ITU , san jose which has such feature…My cousin is there living in new jersey….Please advice me..I am very confused….

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Mahesh January 19, 2014 at 2:07 am

Hello Vibhav..
There are some universities allow their students to work as full time basis…those universities even dont want GRE or any other entrance, directly we can apply,we r eligible to apply with our previous degrees only,, BUT comparing to normal F1 process visa sucess rate is very low,,,,There are some cases if we convince the visa interviewer,,

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satyarayana December 28, 2013 at 4:44 am

Dear Sir,

I am a poojari (praying GOD in a Temple) in Hindi language purohit. i want to go to USA for a job of POOJARI in a temple. what kind visa do i need.

I request you kindly give me an advice.

Thanks & Regards,
Satyanarayana.J

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Hitesh Patel January 9, 2014 at 12:29 am

Dear PUJARI JI.!
It is USA. Not INDIA.!
Means not a Country in which ASHARAM or NARAYAN SAI JI.!
They are PUJARI of HUMINITY,HONESTY,WORKMENSHIP.
secondly
If you want to do DIVINE PUJA of GOD,
INDIA is THE BEST. People from abroad are AMBITIOUS to have DIVINAL VISA for INDIA.
Looking to your wish,
Your are not looking for any GOD PUJA But purely “A DOLLAR PUJA”.
So decide first what is your GOAL?
If it is PUJA, You need not it
Best Wishes Dear

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Hitesh is a retard January 9, 2014 at 8:03 am

satyarayana

Look up R-1 visa category.

Histesh
If your ass is full of shit, go take a dump – dont spew your hatred over here.

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tejaswini January 15, 2014 at 4:53 pm

well said, mr.hitesh if u have any problem please shut up and do your bussiness

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Dboy December 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm

I am currently working with my OPT, can I apply for an MBA program right now?

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siddardha bonu November 27, 2013 at 9:49 am

hi surabh,
Im working in collabera, hyderabad. i want to work in uk. currently we dont hav onproject. i want direct uk hiring ….is there any companys offering direct uk hiring? is there any other chances to go to uk. my platform is dotnet,sharepoint
5yrs experience.

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Nakshatra October 29, 2013 at 1:26 am

Hi Saurabh,

This is Nakshatra, I am working in India in an MNC, I got 2 years of work experience and would like to move to USA for better job (career). The probability of getting to USA threw HIB is very low, Hence I was searching for other alternatives , My friends suggested me F1 (C.P.T) visa where I need not take any GRE, IELTS or TOEFL. and start working along with study. With the same hope I went to some consultancies where few said its hard to get H1B visa threw this process. Can you please elaborate pros and cons of F1 (C.P.T) program.
Thanks in Advance,
Nakshatra.

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Mahesh November 16, 2013 at 2:44 am

Hello Nakshatra
my self mahesh mee too suffering same like u ,but now…soo right did u got any clarification abt that ? if u got could plz share with me,…
expecting for fast reply….Thank u

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Naresh November 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm

This Process is gng on, see my below comments in same thread.

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Somesh Verma October 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm

I came to USA for CPT program.The University told me that I can start my CPT from first day of classes.I wanted to know how will CPT affect my OPT and H1b if I start it from first day of my classes.
Also for getting job do I need to join any Consultancy who can train me and help md in job assistance.How can I find employer otherwise.Please reply asap.

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Naresh November 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Hi Somesh Verma,

– if full time CPT then no OPT and STEM
– then we hav to leave US after course completion
– little issues while converting to H1 from CPT

My friend is With Coleman university on Same CPT program and what abt u?
Which University?

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HARISH NAGALLA November 27, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Hi Naresh,

I want to do MS under CPT program..
may i know the chances of getting VISA for CPT program…GRE/IELTS are mandatory or just preferable?
what about VISA period….how many hours we can do work from starting day can you please reply back

Thanks….

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AVR Kiran December 5, 2013 at 9:26 am

hi somesh,

hope you are doing well. can you please elabroate on CPT pogramme.which university you have choosed for this.

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FM Consultant September 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I acknowledge it. I will accumulate visiting this blog actual often. It will be a big pride for them too! Thank

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Deepak September 2, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Hi Saurabh

I am planning to get married soon and presently on H1b. My would be is working in India and has 5+ years of IT experience in a Tier 1 organization. She has a engineering background. After marriage, she will come here as my dependent on H4 visa. I don’t want her career to break because of this.
I could see only two options for her. Enroll her for MS, get in to workforce from there on. Or find a H1b sponsor in the next April. Which option would you suggest? Getting in to enrolled might be an easier option but it needs fair amount of investment. Getting H1b sponsor is equally tough. Quite confused on what I could focus for her. Any thoughts on this with your experience?

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Kant August 23, 2013 at 8:43 pm

I am planning to graduate in December 2013 but I have a job offer from mid-September. Till now I did not apply for OPT as I did not plan to graduate before December. If I apply for OPT it may take up to 3 months. Since I applied for OPT after my MS degree, I will only have 1 year of OPT now. So is there anyway I can take the offer now and work till I receive EAD.
Thanks.

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Koonj Parekh July 29, 2013 at 6:20 am

Hi Saurabh,

I am currently in London and planning to go to USA for further studies. I have done Bachelors in Aircraft Engineering. I am looking for a better future in USA as I tried my best in UK but was unsuccessful. Just wondering, if I take a course for a year do I get visa for 5 years? Do you have a rough idea of current market for Aircraft Engineers in USA? And what happens once my student visa expires?

Many thanks for all your help, I appreciate it.

Kind Regards,
Koonj Parekh

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Saurabh July 29, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Koonj Parekh,
I don’t know about Aircraft Engineering prospects in US. I think they will issue the visa for 3-5 years. When you enter US, you will be issued I-94 (which is what determines how long you can stay inside US) for D/S i.e. duration of status. This means you can stay for the course period followed by any OPT time.

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Anamika Bagchi July 28, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Hi Saurabh,

I had a question. During my CPT tenure , can I work under other professors in any other university , other than the one I am going for my Masters , related to my area of research. I intend to pursue doctoral degree after completing my masters, so I was thinking that whether an academic research experience or an industrial research experience would add stars to my cv or not. Thanks in advance.

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Saurabh July 29, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Anamika Bagchi,
I don’t know the prospects of this on your CV.

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RAGHAV July 26, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Hi,
I am planning to join Masters in CS with CPT program.
Kindly let me know after 6/9 months when I opt for CPT program how many courses would I be eligible to enroll.
Say for example I chose 10 months CPT program how many subjects would I be able to enroll.

Please let me know the rules involved.

I would be really thankful to you for helping me in this regard.

Thank you,
raghav

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Sunny July 18, 2013 at 6:32 am

Hi,
This sunny completed B.tech in Electronics and communication, presently working as software developer. I’m looking forward to pursue Master’s in IT/Computer sciences. Actually i want to continue my work while studying master’s, for this i saw a program called CPT. could any body help me with some info about what are the requirements and opportunity. Advantages and disadvantages of CPT over normal Master’s program. Suggestions appreciated.
Thanks in Advance all

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Annie July 13, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Hi I m taking admission in Associates degree in US and applying F1 visa .Is CPT and OPT given to associate students also or jut Bachelors and Masters only.Annie

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maria July 10, 2013 at 9:14 am

Hi there,

I have a question regarding the OPT/F1 visa. My friend is working under OPT status for about 12 months already. His employer also applied for an H1b visa for him, which he got. H1b starts in October 2013. His whole department at work is about to become extinct which means he will lose his job. From my understanding he has 60 days to look for another job, and the new employer must have e-verify. My question is, what can be his backup? He was planning of doing his masters starting January 2013. If lets say he loses his job in August, those 60 days of legal status will keep him here legal till the beginning of October(when he can apply for the master). Can he extend his stay here till January (when his masters starts) without leaving the country? Thank you so much for your help…I’m just trying my best to help a friend in need

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Saurabh July 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Maria,
When did his OPT expired? What’s the current status of his H-1? Is it approved w/ COS?

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maria July 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Thank you so much for your reply,
His OPT is not expired. He started working for this company in January 2012. Originally the company didn’t have e-verify but they did everything so they could have him. This year they applied for an H1B for him. He got the I-797 in the mail in may 2013. I asked about COS and he has no idea… He has a math degree so from my understanding he can extend his OPT a little bit more.

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Saurabh July 11, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Maria,
Then he can start OPT employment w/ another firm until the date OPT expires. He can also work for an e-verified company on OPT extension once OPT expires.

With regard to H-1, he needs to check w/ company what they are planning to do w/ his H-1. You mentioned I-797, is it 797C or 797A or 797B? If he has received the approval notice, then another employer can file a cap-exempt petition for him. If the petition has not been approved and employer wants to withdraw it, then he needs to continue working on OPT/extension, and let his school know that H-1 has been withdrawn. This way they will update his SEVIS record and not close it from Oct 1.

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nat June 17, 2013 at 3:19 am

HI,
I have my opt and i am in status but i have to go to india because i am getting married.Would it be possible if i come on my h4 and then continue working on OPT.Please let me know

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Saurabh June 18, 2013 at 2:17 am

Nat,
If you return to H-4, then how can you work on OPT? OPT is for students not H-1 dependents.

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swatika June 11, 2013 at 1:52 am

Saurabh, this is swatika.I will be going to us on h4 visa and want to convert it to f1 in us only.I am btech in computer science and no experience.If i get f1visa what r d options 4 me.I want to do some course in software dere. for dis should i enroll in some university or there are some other options, because i want to work as a intern to gain experience. I urgently need some advice .can u give url of some websites or universities which provide software courses in us.

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Saurabh June 13, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Swatika,
As you are traveling to US on H-4, you may be wanting to study close to your spouse’s location. If so, then start looking for schools in that area and see what courses they offer. You can then reach out to the departments and get more information about the course. You can then enroll in the school on H-4 or F-1. If you enroll on H-4, you can later file COS to F-1 while being enrolled and be on F-1 from next semester/quarter. Your school may have a CPT program and you can avail that to work part-time. Remember the CPT needs to be related to your course. Later, you can apply for pre/post completion OPT.

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asha June 6, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Hi Saurabh,

I am H4 visa holder, and would like to do study from USA. Its been a month i entered in USA. How soon i can apply for F1 visa after getting admission in University or could be prior to that.
As my husband is not earning that much so he cannot afford my studies please let me know how soon after admission atleast i can go for part time job. When the session started in USA Universities. I will go for Diploma in computer science.

Thanks in advance!!!

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Saurabh June 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Asha,
You will have to check w/ individual schools about the start date, fees, requirements etc. In general, you can start the studies on H-4 (if term is starting in near future and there is not enough time for COS to F-1) and later file COS to F-1 in upcoming quarter/semester.

Most of the schools offer CPT after completing 1 year of studies (I am not including the shady schools that offer CPT from day 1). So again, you will have to check w/ the school.

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puja February 20, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Hi Saurabh,

I am on F1 Visa. and my employer is ready to fill H1B on 1st apr 2013. H1B can be used from 1st Oct 2013 onward if approved. my college can give me CPT for 6 months. i am not eligible for OPT.
Question: if i get CPT by Feb 2013 end, i will be over in August 2013. I can work for my employer on CPT and on H1B from 1st OCT.
What should i do on September month, when i won’t have CPT and valid H1b ?

Thanks in advance.

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Saurabh February 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Puja,
You cannot work while your CPT has expired, but H-1 hasn’t started yet. You can start working once your H-1 commences. Will you still be enrolled in your school b/w Aug and Oct?

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Puja February 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Yes. i can enroll the course for 6 more months, starting Aug. i suppose, i will have to extend the CPT. But will it have impact on my H1B approval ?

CPT will be over 31st Aug’13
H1B starts 1st Oct’13
F1 is till Jan’14

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Saurabh February 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Puja,
No it will not impact the H-1 outcome. Once H-1 goes into effect w/ COS, your SEVIS record will be updated and your CPT will end from the effective date. Keep your DSO updated about your H-1 processing.

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Gunny January 24, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Saurabh,

Please provide your 2 cent worth feedback on my situation.

I am enrolled in MS program completed all my cource work 1 1/2 yrs ago. The only thing that is left to recieve a degree is my final thesis. I have been working full time from last 2 yrs where the 1st year I worked on a co-op program as 1 credit ( CPT or independent study not sure what to call it??) while I was enrolled as full time student. Last year I was on my OPT. I recently applied for OPT Extention (thinking that my unofficial transcript will work) but it got denied as they did not see any proof of recieving a degree. OPT expired on 22 Dec 2012 I have 25 days to file a motion for this decision. What I want to know is…… what you think my options are now??? My company wants to keep me working and may sponcer me but that won’t start till April. Technically I am still a student completing my thesis and I just stopped going to work from today as I just recieved the decision and my company asked me to fix this situaton ASAP.

Options:

1. Push my thesis out within 25 days and file the motion which might get denied again (i will be unemployed from now till the decision is made and by that time my employer might find a replacement)

2. CPT or Coop/independent study as a course requirement on the existing degree as I am not graduated on MS
3. Get enrolled in a new degree program and try for CPT to save my employement till October.

FYI- My DSO has no clue and she kept asking to finish and go home.
Please ….any advice or refrence to a lawyer who can help me with this situationwill be much appreciated.

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Saurabh January 25, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Gunny,
Sorry, but I don’t know what to do in this situation. I don’t know any lawyer to refer you to. Maybe you can search online for someone in your locality.

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Gunny January 25, 2013 at 6:50 pm

i tried but cant find anything.

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Saurabh January 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Gunny,
You can try this website. Lot of lawyers are active there and can advise you (I don’t know if its a free advice or paid).

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vhiso September 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm

hey guys, quick question. Can i do an internship after i graduate? and what should I use, CPT?. i m applying for a job but they are not offering full time, they are only offering internships, which leaves me stuck now becoz i graduate next year.

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nani September 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Hi,
i am currently studying in AS, but it is so expensive for me. So my friends suggest me to do some certification courses. Can i CPT or OPT after r while doing my Certificate programme?
Please answer my question.

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abhilasha August 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Hi,
i have a question, currently i m on h4 visa…and i want to convert into F1..I have completed my Bachleor in science (biology) and Master’s in HR (MBA) from india.and now i want to pursue MBA program from USA and i m unable to find out which stream i shud opt and get better oppertunities…MBA in health care management or Mba in HR..
Thanx

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ganga July 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Hi I completd my graduation n dis may nd i m lookin fr a good job….so finally i applid a job in U.S…bt the thing is dey r askin me worker status as A or B???i coulnt manage nd i m also serachin bt i m nt clear yet nw…i m d first one fm my family applyin fr abroad jobs so i din get guidance fm any side…..actually i dunno abt what are all d procedures i hav to do??i ll b gettin my passport oly aft 2 months….so is this the rite time i m applyin fr dis job…..pls anyone giv me a clean nd clear soln fr it….dat ll b very helpful fr me…waitin fr sum reply

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Son Nguyen June 27, 2012 at 1:12 am

Hi Saurabh !
Can you give me some advice for my case. I am under OPT now but OPT will expire soon and I found employer willing to sponsor H1b visa for me but that is too late for this year. So they recommend me to maintain F1 status and they will prepare for next year. But their requirement is during this time I have to work part-time or at least internship for them. So do you know if I already used OPT, can I still apply for CPT when I continue study in university ? Do you have any suggestion for my case. (I got MBA program and now I come back school to apply for post MBA that allow to add more concentration on MBA ).

Thank you so much!

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Saurabh July 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Son Nguyen,
I don’t know if you can apply for CPT after using the entire OPT term. You can check w/ the school’s DSO.

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Sara October 15, 2012 at 8:54 am

Nguyen,
I am exactly in the same situation that you were. I was wondering if you found a solution to your problem that could also help me out.

Thanks a lot

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Trang Nguyen June 25, 2012 at 1:39 am

Hi, I have a question about the kind of jobs which must related to the course field. In my situation, my AA degree is Business Management. What kind of paying jobs can I apply for and what what kind of paying jobs shouldn’t I apply for. Can you give me some suggestions.

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Elona June 4, 2012 at 3:51 pm

F1 and OPT?
Need pretty quick answer!!!
My brother, who is currentely on F1 visa, is enrolled in AS degree and will graduate Aug 2012. Can he apply for OPT? An important issue is he has worked as a part-time employee (20h/week) for the past year (he payed all taxes), but we didnt apply for any work authorisation for that period of time (we just didnt know about this requirement). Should we even apply for OPT?
Will he get his OPT in this situation? What is a chance? Or should he apply for another degree? Is this OK to ask his DSO for advise or too risky?
If anybody was in same situation it will be nice to hear your experience.

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Tina Layton May 24, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Thank you so much Saurabh! I never had that information and my second degree is an associate degree.

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Tina Layton May 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm

*pls excuse my typographical error. I meant “I can’t find a job and I’ve been looking for a while” :)
Tina

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Tina Layton May 23, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Hi Saurhba,
I’m currently a graduate student but used my OPT some years ago after I graduated with my first degree but my job then wouldn’t file for my H-1B; so I went back to school to maintain my F-1 status. I’m currently still enrolled at a college but I decided to get a job with my 1st degree. I’m at a cross road now because I can’t find a job for quite a while.
I’m not sure if I could find a job that will go right into fillin for t H-1B since I’ve used my OPT a couple of years back. Thanks a lot and please any other suggestions would be great.
Tina

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Saurabh May 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Tina Layton,
You will be eligible for another OPT if the 2nd degree is a higher degree when compared to the 1st one. It its at the same level, then you are not eligible for another OPT. In this case, the employer will have to directly file the H-1 w/ no OPT in b/w

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Swati May 21, 2012 at 9:45 am

Hi I have a question. I have tried for internship while I was studying Master’s in Computer Science, but could not get it. After graduating, my OPT has started 10 days back . Two days back I got an interview call from an employer (I had applied for java developer intern position), my interview was good. He said he would want to hire me for summer as an intern that is for 90 days, 40 hours/ week. The pay is $15/ hour, which I think is fine since I tough to get a job in US without experience or desi consultancy.
I want to know am I eligible for internship on OPT visa status.?
If I am eligible then can I do another internship after the summer internship is over? Its difficult to get full time position, I tried a lot but they are willing to hire me I know it is because I am not an US citizen.
I really dont want to join desi consultancy, I really dont mind taking a tougher path.
I am planning to do 2 or more internships and gain experience and later try for full time positions, I dont have any work experience in India or in US to show on resume. So i have planned to work as an intern at 2 to 3 companies and use that experience and try my luck and apply for full time later. Do you think its a good plan?

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Saurabh May 22, 2012 at 1:08 am

Swati,
Although your title would be intern, but actually you will be working full-time. So it should be ok. As long as other interns are also paid in the same range, you should be fine. Besides, OPT has “Training” in it’s name, so it should be ok to do internship for the entire tenure of OPT. You should get this confirmed w/ your DSO as well.

It is difficult to get job w/o work experience, so it may be a good idea to do internship for a while and then do full-time job. Hopefully, one of these companies would give you an offer to convert from internship to full-time based on your performance review.

Make sure you do not stay unemployed for more than 90 days on OPT. Also, get payslips for the entire OPT tenure.

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Swati May 22, 2012 at 3:02 am

This is the best advice anyone has ever given me, thank you a million.

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Parul May 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Saurabh,
I am on F1-Visa, completed my Masters and got OPT, since that got over this feb I am now working on CPT through desi consultant. MY H1B visa has been filed in Premium. If my visa is approved, it would start only from 1st Oct and my CPT is valid till Aug 2012. I wont be eligible to work for 2 months in between but I am legal to stay in USA, correct? Also can I visit India before October, once I get my H1B result and on my CPT Status? Would I have to go for stamping (even though my H1b will start from October?)
Thanks in advance

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Saurabh May 21, 2012 at 12:32 am

Parul,
If you have valid F-1 visa and maintaining the same, then you can stay in US beyond CPT expiration date. Once H-1 is approved, you can travel outside of US and return on F-1 prior to Oct and still be on H-1 from Oct 1. This is assuming you are still enrolled in school on F-1 and that your H-1 got approved w/ COS.

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swati May 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Hi I have a question. I have tried for internship while I was studying Master’s in Computer Science, but could not get it. After graduating, my OPT has started 10 days back . Two days back I got an interview call from an employer (I had applied for java developer intern position), my interview was good. He said he would want to hire me for summer as an intern that is for 90 days, 40 hours/ week. The pay is $15/ hour, which I think is fine since I tough to get a job in US without experience or desi consultancy.
I want to know am I eligible for internship on OPT visa status.?
If I am eligible then can I do another internship after the summer internship is over? Its difficult to get full time position, I tried a lot but they are willing to hire me I know it is because I am not an US citizen.
I really dont want to join desi consultancy, I really dont mind taking a tougher path.
I am planning to do 2 or more internships and gain experience and later try for full time positions, I dont have any work experience in India or in US to show on resume. So i have planned to work as an intern at 2 to 3 companies and use that experience and try my luck and apply for full time later. Do you think its a good plan?

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Vijay chandra May 16, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Saurabh. This is Vijay Chandra here. I have decided to Apply for h1B on my f1 Visa. Now do I need a client letter as an employment proof or can I just apply and find a job and work. Can you please explain. Thanks a lot

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Saurabh May 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Vijay chandra,
For H-1, you need to find an employer willing to sponsor H-1 for you by hiring you. If the employer is a small-medium size consulting company, then USCIS can ask for a client letter as proof that employer has the funds to pay you regular salary. If you are hired by big US corporations or IT giants, then no client letter is required.

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