OPT is Available Only After Graduation

Myth 7 – OPT is Available Only After Graduation

Should you apply for OPT to continue to work when CPT is not available?

  • Myth 7 – We need to graduate and get OPT to start working for a company

Myth 7 – We need to graduate and get OPT to start working for a company

If you get an internship off-campus, then you can request the International Student Department of your University to give your short term CPT while you start working for a company.

However, I would suggest checking in with an immigration officer before doing that. It is better to do short term internships like summer internships etc. rather than long term full-time CPT, as that can affect your OPT.

If the internship is not a paid internship, then you might not need a CPT.

However, it’s always recommended to get one for yourself in case the company that you are working for decides to pay you a gift in the form of a check.

You can get in trouble if you don’t have a valid permit like CPT because accepting payments from other companies is not allowed without a proper permit like a CPT.

Comments from Raghu about OPT Use:

Some students use OPT when they have exhausted the CPT limit.

There are instances where the employer would like the student to continue to work without a break.

For instance, there are universities that will issue CPT only for the summer semester (not for Fall or Spring).

What if your employer wants the student to work part-time or full-time during the Fall or Spring semester?

You can consider using OPT instead of CPT.

As a side note, I would not be attending a university that restricts CPT only to the summer semester.

I would ask the CPT policy of a university before deciding to apply to study as an F1 student.

Internships are far too valuable to let go because the schools decide arbitrarily that they can issue CPT only for the Summer semester.

That rule is not set by the Immigration department, but by the University. So, take that into account when selecting your university.


Myth Busted Series

  1. Myth 1 – H1B Visa is Required to File Green Card
  2. Myth 2 – Scholarship is Not Available for International Students 
  3. Myth 3 – It’s Impossible to get Part-time Jobs for F1 Students
  4. Myth 4 – Don’t Study Bachelors Degree in the USA
  5. Myth 5 – Masters takes 2 years & Bachelors takes 4 years to complete
  6. Myth 6 – Employer Will Not Apply for Green Card in the first year
  7. Myth 7 – OPT is issued only after Graduation
  8. Myth 8 – You can study at one university at a time


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