day 1 cpt universities legal

Day 1 CPT University – Is it Legal But Unethical?

It’s the time of the year where people are looking for Day 1 CPT Colleges and Universities.

April and May is the time of the year, where there are passionate, heated discussions tends to happen about:

  • Multiple H-1B Visa Filings
  • Petitions requesting USCIS to take action against multiple H-1B Filings
  • Pros and Cons of Day 1 CPT Universities
  • Are Day 1 CPT universities legal?
  • Day 1 CPT arrests with University of Farmington

If you did not get selected in the H1B Visa lottery and missed the last change in getting H1B Visa, life is going to be tough.

There are no easy options out there for you.

Students tend to fall into the following category:

  • I don’t want any part of Day 1 CPT
  • I don’t care of future consequence, and I will go with Day 1 CPT
  • I’m worried about future implications, and I’m proceeding with caution.
  • I’m talking to my employer about moving to Canada or Europe, and they may apply for H1B or L1 after one year.
  • I’m happy to go back to study Ph.D., nit Day 1 CPT Ph.D., but Ph.D. from a good university or same place where I did a Master’s degree.

In the midst of all this, I posted the following question in the community – Multiple H1B Filing is Unethical. Is Day 1 CPT Unethical (using the CPT for the maintaining status and continuing employment). 

is day 1 cpt college university legal illegal ethical

I captured some of the interesting thoughts from the 230+ insightful comments.

Arron said:

If everybody had a 2-year path to GC just like others, then there wouldn’t be so much influx of H1B applications and Day1 CPT applications. At that time people won’t be desperate for H1B as they got other options. Its a never-ending cycle buddy. They don’t wanna fix it.

Umer said:

Both are extremely unethical. Such students have been playing the system now for decades and due to this recent crackdown by the USCIS it is making it really hard for legit students who play by the rules!

For which, Akanksha replied,

But there are circumstances where in the candidates got offered by several employers and they applied H1B for him/her. In that case which is almost genuine one can’t decide to turn down an offer unless desired h1b petition has come in lottery.

Anirban had a different point of view:

Anyone CPT is unethical if and only if the Degree has no value and serves you no purpose but to give to work permit. However, not having a legit job and applying multiple times for H1B have no virtue in it. I don’t think they are comparable.

Then Rajesh commented (which had 57 reactions)

If CPT is unethical then so is working on OPT as you tell the consular that you will come back once you have completed your studies. Don’t try and get Into murky waters with ethics.

day 1 cpt working on opt illegal

Arron also agreed with Rajesh.

True man. We gave up our ethics right when we gave the F1 visa interview & said we will return. And then people talk about ethics. We all know all those fighting for H1B Visa planned a long time ago to settle in USA but won’t admit in F1 visa interview.

Yashwanth took a life lesson approach by saying,

You got to know how to survive ( Day 1 CPT), in order to survive few follow unethical ways ( multiple H1B ) they might say it survival skill, sadly that’s how any one try to solve their issue.

Between this argument, Subhdeep wants to know why USCIS is even offering Day 1 CPT as an option in the first place.

And Jung replied to Subdheep by saying,

There are certain programs that requires field work. That is the ONLY reason USCIS allows. AND it is approved by DSO from the college/university trying to make money out of international students. If you do your own research in google for 10 mins, you will see what problems the day 1 cpt can cause in the future.

Bhargav said that uncertain economic situations back home are the reason, and USCIS should be blamed.

I think situations drive people to do such things. We never know what they are up to in terms of moving back to home country & economic situations. Instead of blaming students I blame USCIS for such loopholes …

But, Aniranbn replied to that as, “situations test the moral of your character.”

Neera has something else to say about this Day 1 CPT being not impacting others, whereas Multiple H1B filing impacts people’s life.

about day 1 cpt not used for learning by maintain f1 status work authorization

So, why would someone go to desperate lengths to attend Day 1CPT?

Approva’s reasons are

I agree, if things happened rightfully, no one will go for such options, in my situation I still have lot of student loan, and I can’t pay that faster if I go back and work. Situations makes us take such actions, sometimes its not choice but a risky decision.

As we are talking about ethical issues, Shashank had this to say bout overall hiring practice,

I dont think day 1 cpt is unethical as long as the hiring system is broken with fake resumes and fake experience being used to secure jobs by consultants. Fixing the system would fix most of this.

Venkat took a centric approach

Whether ethical or unethical depends on case by case.

Imagine a person who has not selected in lottery for 2 times but for the third time he is talented enough to get two genuine employers with real job wanted to file H1B.

In this case why it should be considered unethical? But I do agree it’s unethical if someone just files multiple H1B without actual job.

Abid said that, If Day 1 CPT is banned, 40% of students will be at the airports going back to India.

day 1 cpt university banned indian students go back

And I think it’s easy to find that by calculating the total F1 students using Day 1 CPT (MS or Ph.D.) after their first degree.

Then the discussion moved from Day 1 CPT to how OPT and H1B in overall impact American Citizens.

Americans or GC holders maybe (impacted) because position doesn’t open in job market and people continue employment from Opt to CPT with lowest wages.

But, Purval doesn’t agree with the above views.

I do think H1 also affect Americans but big companies lobbyist are so much strong they will never let any change happen in senate to go for talent based visa or green cards they want to keep wages down and profit margin up. Ethical or unethical everyone play their own game including big companies of Silicon Valley !”

And here’s the first person in this thread who said both are ethical.

Both are ethical. Can you show me exactly one article where USCIS mention about these two are illegal?

Then Lakshman, who been following several posts about Day 1 CPT says,

I’ve had this argument many times. Infact once in the same group. I feel like whole system is unethical. Deciding a person’s future by lottery in the first place is unethical. Taking CPT for another H1B chance is same as filing multiple H1B. So if we call multiple H1B unethical then CPT is unethical too. That’s why I did not sign the petition asking to stop multiple H1Bs because nothing is fair in this system. Its all luck ! This is only my personal opinion. No Offence!

Muqthadir took time to write a lengthy comment:

1. Multiple filings with same employer is unethical.

2. Multiple filing with different employers and different job offers is ethical up to two filings. Unethical only if they file more than 3. Assuming only genuine cases.

3. Day 1 CPT – This is ethical or unethical it cannot be differentiated depending up on one’s personal opinions. Some people may take this in order to maintain their change of status and some may take to pursue different courses related to their work.

4. I believe no one will intentionally do the day 1 CPT. There are some situations which force them to maintain their status and the desire to stay in US force them to go for it.

5. I have a question like I just want to know how many people will leave the country if their visa status or work authorization is about to expire? I believe everyone will look for the options that are available for them which can help them to stay back in this country. That’s how CPT or phd comes in to play.

Note: Neither I have filed Multiple H1B applications nor I am on CPT? (This is my opinion only)

Then Bhawana had to an analogy that draws laugher.

day1 cpt comparison

So did Shweta as well.

I think people only understand, its ‘unethical/ illegal’ when termed so by the law.

They will try to prove how their option is ethical and legal unless the law says its NOT.

In my opinion, if someone has direct offer from two employers, they can go ahead and file two applications because employers are clearly waiting for their services.

However, paying a consultancy or requesting them to file h1b entry for you, should be seriously looked at by the govt./USCIS itself. Because that is not job that someone has excelled and proven himself at.

It’s just like purchasing one more chance.

When it comes to multiple chances by 3 year OPT, you have gained it by completing a masters degree and not by paying some consultancy. I dont know why this is so difficult for people to understand. There is a huge difference between gaining and purchasing!

People will say purchasing is no crime if you got money. So basically everyone is trying to prove how he/she is correct and ethical as long as they dont see dark side of the same thing and are on the other side of river. So its human behavior and noone can convince you until you yourself dont.

I dont mean to offend anyone and I am not affected by this either. However I just like to support what is correct, just like everyone else!

Farah thinks USCIS should make it clear and consistent.

I think the way USCIS plays game with international students’s lives is unethical. They should mention the rules CLEARLY in their website about Day -1 CPT; Right now they just left some vague words there.

If they can do a sting operation, I believe they can also update the website/ change the rules.

They punish/ deny some while leave others who did Day 1 CPT. It creates confusion.

If Day -1 CPT is alright to do for a certain period of time, they should mention it so that good universities can start the practice and we can do it the right way and maybe with assistantship and scholarship. But they wont,  they will just play games, so that you keep investing in lawyer’s applications, pay for penalties or pay for education. It all comes down to money/business in America.

And Sathvik thinks this post about Day 1 CPT is a mere gimmick by the admins!

And Vasalath, an active member of the group for a while had this to say:

Apply for H1B try your luck for 1 to 3 years whatever is there in your fate. Didn’t get it for whatever reason, it may be leaving the country go back. These are ethics.

Not getting the H1B and enrolling in so-called Masters just to keep working on Day 1 CPT and applying again for H1 is also unethical. If you are so keen to earn double masters and increase your knowledge you shouldn’t be applying for H1B Visa the next year.

Just recall 99% of the people who are commenting about being ethical here are the ones who said to the VO that they will return back as soon as they finish their masters.

If you guys are soo ethical you should have told to VO that you will be working on opt and will be trying for h1b and if u didn’t get you will be enrolling in for 2nd masters and trying again next year.

Then immigration Attorney Jack jumped to add the following comments:

day 1 cpt college university is not unethical and legal jack sung


So, What do you think?

If you did not get selected in the H1B visa lottery after 1 to 3 attempts, you have just two options:

  1. Complete your OPT or STEM OPT and look for career opportunities outside the USA
  2. Change to different visa status in the USA.

As part of this Option #2, there’s Day 1 CPT University that will allow you to stay on F1 Visa Status and allow you to continue working for the same employer (or a new one).

Are you considering attending Day 1 CPT this year or next when your OPT or STEM OPT Expires?

Then you will have the following questions:

  1. Is Day 1 CPT legal?
  2. Will I have problems with H1B or Green Card Applications in the Future?
  3. What problems will I run into of I attended Day 1 CPT College?

So, where can you get the right answers?

Live Webinar – Day 1 CPT Legal?

I’m hosting a Special Live Webinar with an Experienced Immigration Attorney about Day 1 CPT Universities and two more topics.

When: April 20, 2020 – Monday

Time: 2 PM EDT

The following topic will be discussed, followed by attendee questions and answers.

  1. Day 1 CPT as H1B Plan B
    1. The legality of Day 1 CPT for participants who use one year of CPT after completing more than 12 months of OPT for the same degree level. (How to identify a problematic program).
    2. How to avoid issues in the future change of status application for H-1b and green card applications and handle RFE from USCIS regarding Day 1 CPT use (maintenance of status issue).
    3. How to respond to Day 1 CPT questions in future visa stamping. (Documents + Do say and don’t say)
    4. How to respond to Day 1 CPT questions at the border. (Documents + Do say and Don’t say)
  2. H-1B not selected, plan B
    1. Day 1 CPT, pros and cons
    2. F-1 new program without using CPT (but have you thought about financial hardship EAD?)
    3. O-1 visa status free evaluation
    4. Directly going for a green card!?
    5. B1 in lieu of H-1b (What is this rare work visa?)
    6. H3 trainee visa
    7. J-1 intern visa
  3. USCIS Lawsuits vs. H1B Processing
    1. USCIS misinterpreted and misapplied the law in finding that certain positions are not a specialty occupation.
    2. Previous approval should be given deference in adjudicating extension of similarly situated applications.
    3. So what? Does this mean that H-1b adjudication is going to get easier and we will see more approval?
  4. Transfer H-1b & COS to buy more time in a layoff situation
    1. How can I help the employer’s lawyer in preparing an approvable H-1b petition even when I can’t review the employer support letter or the petition itself?
    2. How do I find help in reviewing job description and degree requirement for my next H-1b petition to maximize chance of approval?

Do you want to attend the Webinar?

Register and Attend this Day 1 CPT Webinar on April 20, 2020

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