International students ...what are your summer plans?

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liz102
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International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby liz102 » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:59 pm

I am a first year law student and considering working abroad this summer in London/ or doing a summer research internship. I have been told that it is not wise for international J.D students to consider applying for summer associate positions with law firmsin their first year because of OPT. Are there internatonal students who have appiled for summer associate positions regardless of the OPT timeline? Would appreciate any advice...

liz102
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby liz102 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:11 pm

any one?

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orangeswarm
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby orangeswarm » Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:17 pm

I have been told that it is not wise for international J.D students to consider applying for summer associate positions with law firmsin their first year because of OPT.


What does OPT stand for?

liz102
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby liz102 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:52 pm

Optional Practical Training Program. It gives international J.D students the option to work in the US for one year after graduating. It seems there are hardly any international J D students on this website...o well...

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NewHere
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby NewHere » Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:04 am

I'm trying to get a job in the US, despite the OPT. (For the non-internationals: an F-1 student visa allows 1 year of work in the US after graduation, without having to apply for a work visa. Any work done during summer periods before graduation is subtracted from that year.) My reasons:

1. If a firm or organization will want to hire me after graduation, at some point they'll have to do the visa application anyway. It's not so important whether that will be after a year or after six months.
2. In case I don't get a work visa after graduation, at least I'll have less debt for having worked in the US over the summers.
3. Being an international student, I think I should take any US work experience I can get. It will probably make a worse impression if your resume shows you left the US every summer. (Unless it's for something like an NGO in Africa.)

liz102
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby liz102 » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:11 pm

It will probably make a worse impression if your resume shows you left the US every summer.


That was my original plan...Thanks for the insight

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friaznatch13
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby friaznatch13 » Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:05 pm

I wanted to do that, but it's over $300 to get it. What are you going to do every summer while in Law School? Can you work? Cause the F-1 says you can only work on campus... Is there any way around this without getting a VISA?

liz102
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby liz102 » Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:39 pm

Well, I think I will work abroad this summer, then either work on campus next summer or find legal work with an international organization

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NewHere
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby NewHere » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:04 pm

I wanted to do that, but it's over $300 to get it. What are you going to do every summer while in Law School? Can you work? Cause the F-1 says you can only work on campus... Is there any way around this without getting a VISA?


The on-campus limitation is only during the school year. In summer you can work off-campus. You do need permission, but I'm told this is a formality.

What is the $300 you're referring to?

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friaznatch13
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby friaznatch13 » Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:04 pm

After graduation, with an F-1 Visa, you can pay a fee to get a year's long work permit. I'm thinking that if you get a job and it's going well, you can ten apply for residency and citizenship, America's way of keeping the hard working, smart people.

ml
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby ml » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:34 pm

You should also see if your school offers CPT for summer jobs. At my school, you get a professor to sponsor you, then enroll in the CPT course. At the end of the summer you write a research paper in order to fulfill the course requirements. That way, you can work during the summer without using up your OPT.

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NewHere
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby NewHere » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:47 pm

Good idea. But how would that work in practice? If you're enrolled in a course, you still need to ask permission to work off campus.

ml
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby ml » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:56 pm

NewHere wrote:Good idea. But how would that work in practice? If you're enrolled in a course, you still need to ask permission to work off campus.


You'll do a cpt workshop through your school's intl student office. You need a job offer before you go through the cpt workshop. Once you have all the documents (job offer, class enrollment, etc), getting permission is not a big deal.

illuminatus
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby illuminatus » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:04 am

Hey, I am an int. student as well.
CPT is not an available option for law students. It is given to undergrads but not for law student. The only option is the OPT, if you want to get paid. You can still do an unpaid internship.
It might not be a bad idea to do an unpaid internship for a 1L, if you get a job at a place that would be in the position to hire you after graduation. Or just work to gain experience, it is good on the resume and increases your opportunities for next summer. Working would allow to create a connection to possible future employer after graduation.
In the 2L summer, you might be able to get a job that pays substantially, in that case I would just talk to the firm and ask about chances to get hired depending on your performance over the summer. I would make a decision based on that. I am not sure if you can part your OPT into segments?

I was trying to find some loopholes, but I was not successful. I was hoping that instead of a payment you could receive a scholarship to pay tuition. However, my int. adviser suggested not to go that route. Besides, I do not think any employer would like to make a sketchy arrangement.

Does anyone have some other alternatives?

ml
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby ml » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:25 am

illuminatus wrote:Hey, I am an int. student as well.
CPT is not an available option for law students. It is given to undergrads but not for law student. The only option is the OPT, if you want to get paid. You can still do an unpaid internship.
It might not be a bad idea to do an unpaid internship for a 1L, if you get a job at a place that would be in the position to hire you after graduation. Or just work to gain experience, it is good on the resume and increases your opportunities for next summer. Working would allow to create a connection to possible future employer after graduation.
In the 2L summer, you might be able to get a job that pays substantially, in that case I would just talk to the firm and ask about chances to get hired depending on your performance over the summer. I would make a decision based on that. I am not sure if you can part your OPT into segments?

I was trying to find some loopholes, but I was not successful. I was hoping that instead of a payment you could receive a scholarship to pay tuition. However, my int. adviser suggested not to go that route. Besides, I do not think any employer would like to make a sketchy arrangement.

Does anyone have some other alternatives?


That's simply not true, at least not at my school. Every year international law students here use CPT for summer employment. That's why I advised the original poster to check with her law school and international center, because every school is different.

liz102
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby liz102 » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:50 am

I am not sure if you can part your OPT into segments?


You can part your OPT into segments but the Int. Director advised me against it


Every year international law students here use CPT for summer employment

I thought that was restricted to International students in undergrad...o well

illuminatus
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby illuminatus » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:20 pm

That's simply not true, at least not at my school. Every year international law students here use CPT for summer employment. That's why I advised the original poster to check with her law school and international center, because every school is different.


The American Bar association prohibits students to get paid and receive credit for employment at the same time. On the other hand, USCIS mandates that students must receive course credit for any authorized paid employment. As such, the two are in complete conflict with one another.

ml
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby ml » Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:16 pm

illuminatus wrote:
That's simply not true, at least not at my school. Every year international law students here use CPT for summer employment. That's why I advised the original poster to check with her law school and international center, because every school is different.


The American Bar association prohibits students to get paid and receive credit for employment at the same time. On the other hand, USCIS mandates that students must receive course credit for any authorized paid employment. As such, the two are in complete conflict with one another.



You don't get credit for the employment. You get credit for the paper you write that's related to something you worked on the summer. Hope that clears things up.

flameali
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby flameali » Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:09 pm

I have heard that the period you work during summers is deducted form the length of your OPT. let's say you work 2 months for 2 summers, this leaves 8 months in your OPT.

Hope this helps.

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jamaicanjynx
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby jamaicanjynx » Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:32 am

Bumping this archaic thread.

What are int'l students doing this year...or hoping to do?

sophie316
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby sophie316 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:23 am

I'm probably going overseas, likely somewhere in Europe. I think it's worth bearing in mind that saving up a whole year of OPT will make it easier to get your foot in the door for certain jobs if you can commit to a whole year after graduation without needing sponsorship. Fortunately my school offers summer funding for public interest jobs that counts as a scholarship or something but not towards OPT, so even if I do decide to stay in the US I'm good as long as I do non profit stuff.

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TheLuckyOne
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby TheLuckyOne » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:54 am

Great thread!!!

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jamaicanjynx
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby jamaicanjynx » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:01 pm

sophie316 wrote:. I think it's worth bearing in mind that saving up a whole year of OPT will make it easier to get your foot in the door for certain jobs if you can commit to a whole year after graduation without needing sponsorship. Fortunately my school offers summer funding for public interest jobs that counts as a scholarship or something but not towards OPT, so even if I do decide to stay in the US I'm good as long as I do non profit stuff.


Yeah, Sophie I was thinking the same thing. I'm looking into getting public interest funding from my school as well. My career advisor knows nothing about how international students need to plan their summers to maximise OPT and stuff like that so it's good to know someone else has a plan similar to mine.

Carnival1860
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby Carnival1860 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:46 pm

I remember that you can use CPT for your summer internship so that your OPT time is not deducted? I will double check on that when it comes to me...I hope I could have something lined up here in US before looking into Asian markets...

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NewHere
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Re: International students ...what are your summer plans?

Postby NewHere » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:05 pm

Since last year I've learned a bit about OPT and CPT, so here's some info, who knows if it's useful for someone else. I just took professional responsibility, so let me start with a disclaimer: I AM NOT AN IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY. THIS IS JUST THE RESULT OF MY OWN RESEARCH COMBINED WITH WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM AN ACTUAL IMMIGRATION LAWYER. I AM NOT A LAWYER. THIS IS NOT LAWYER'S ADVICE. So, if you can take it with a grain of salt, here's some info:

(I am assuming that international students of this board are familiar with the basics: OPT is limited to one year, counting both work while registered as a student and work after graduation. CPT is theoretically unlimited, but only available for certain types of jobs and certain types of students. And only before graduation.)

1. Whether you can do summer work under CPT depends on your school. Some schools offer programs that allow you to work for a firm or other organization in the US, combined with some paper-writing requirement for a nominal number of credits, which makes the job qualify for CPT. However, not all schools do, and it looks like the rules have become stricter recently. (My school used to offer a CPT option but had to withdraw it just before last summer because they found out it didn't meet the requirements.)

So what if you can't use CPT and have to use OPT instead?

This is not the end of the world, even if it means that you will have less than a year of OPT left, even if you want to work in the US for more than a year after graduation. ("Yes, but I need a year to make it to the next H1B deadline!" No, you don't -- read on!) Presumably, if you want to stay in the US, you will be applying for an H1B visa. The way the H1B system works (as you probably know if you're in this thread) is as follows: every year on April 1, the application window opens for H1B visas that kick in the following October 1.

(In normal years, the quota fills up very quickly, so that you need to have your application filed within the first week of April. This year has seen a break in that trend -- it's November now and thanks to the recession the quota is still unfilled. I focus here on normal years, which are worse-case scenarios for us internationals. If by the time you graduate quotas still go unfilled and H1Bs can be picked up at any point during the year, none of this OPT stuff is crucial anymore.)

If your school is on the most common semester-style schedule, you'll finish 3L year sometime in mid to late May. H1B applications require that you have all your coursework completed by the time you file the paperwork. That means that if you graduate in, say, May of 2010, you won't be able to file for an H1B by the April 2010 deadline, and will have to wait until the April 2011 filing date, for an H1B that will kick in in October of 2011.

So how do you survive from May of 2010 to October of 2011 with less than a year of OPT left?

2. For starters, you don't file your OPT application immediately after graduation, and you request that your OPT will not kick in immediately. So long as you aren't doing paid work, you can send in your application up to sixty days after finishing your coursework, and the start date of your OPT can be up to sixty days after finishing your coursework. (I say coursework rather than graduation date, because apparently the date of your last exam or last paper is what counts; not the day you get your diploma.) This brings us to mid to late July of 2010.

Now say you have 9 months left of OPT after having worked one summer under OPT and having used 3 months. Nine months from mid/late July 2010 is mid/late April 2011. This means you can be in the US by April 1st, the H1B filing date.

What about the period from mid-April, when your OPT has run out and October 1, when the H1B kicks in?

3. As soon as you have filed an H1B application, you are allowed to stay in the US, while it is pending. If it gets rejected, you have to leave immediately. However, if it gets approved, you are allowed to stay, and work, while you wait for your status to change to H1B on October 1. (Caveat: during this period you cannot leave the country. If you do, you won't be let back in!)

4. As you can see from the above, working one summer using up valuable OPT time is no problem and will not affect your chances of work and visas after graduation. Working two full summers (6 months) under OPT, however, is a problem. If you have only 6 months of OPT left, you'll be able to stretch it until January of the year after you graduate, at most, which is not enough to make it to the April 1 filing date. It is therefore important that you use one summer of OPT at most. The other summer you can work on campus (no OPT or CPT required), work abroad, work without pay (e.g. for a judge), or I guess not work at all.

5. H1B quotas do not apply to not-for-profit public-interest organizations. So if you're working for one of those after graduation, you can apply for an H1B at any time of the year.

One last thing:

6. If you plan to do pre-graduation work in the US under OPT, APPLY EARLY! If you're planning to work under CPT and you're not sure whether it's available, FIND OUT EARLY. I'm told that CPT applications have a very quick turn-around, as they only need to be approved by the international student office of your university. However, OPT applications go to the DHS, and can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks to process, and so long as you don't have the approval paperwork in hand you can't start working. You don't need to know who your employer is going to be when applying for OPT, so don't let that be an excuse to file late. (I think you can apply up to 4 months before the date you start working.)




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