Can I work for W2 income if I am on CPT?

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Can I work for W2 income if I am on CPT?

I completed my Master’s degree 2 years ago but only used the last 3-4 months of CPT. I got my OPT card and later 17 month OPT STEM extension. My last project has ended recently and I am looking for a new job. My previus employers were ready to sponsor me but I need to get on a project to be applied for H1. A new company has approached me to join as FTE and they would sponsor. since this happened only yesterday, there is not enough time for them to get an LCA and submit my H1 application by apr. 1st. If I get a CPT from a university and get an approval from the DSO (since the nature of my job will be related to the subject of my course). Can I work on W2 with this new company?

Asked on March 21, 2015 under Immigration Law, Virginia

Answers:

SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I'm not sure you can qualify for CPT if you have already exhausted your OPT time.  However, if you are able to get CPT for this position then you can work for that employer and earn W2 income.  However, verify first that you are eligible for CPT time through your school's foreign student advisor's office.


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