La Jolla, CA asked in Immigration Law for California

Q: What should I do if I cannot get CPT for an internship for non-US company?

I am a F1 student and I'd like to work remotely as an intern for a company outside the US. I talked to multiple advisers at my school's international student services and they told me that, as the company does not have US presence (they checked the company website), they cannot issue CPT and I do not need work authorization to start this internship. I just want to double-check if this is correct, as I've been told that I need work authorization as long as I am in the US, whether or not the company is in the US and the position is paid. By the way, I will soon apply to adjust my status via marriage to US citizen so I'm concerned about the consequence of going ahead and starting this internship on the application. Any advice is appreciated!

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2 Lawyer Answers
Al Parsad
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Rohnert Park, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: This s an interesting question. Short of a research to see how this question is answered by the USCIS, AAO or BIA, or without looking into the definitions under the statute for the meanings of employer, employee, work and compensation, I’d err on the side of caution and avoid this internship based on a simple logic that when you provide the label in the United States, you’re probably subject to the US laws.

In the event you take the internship and in the event it does constitute violation of US laws, it will not affect your eligibility to adjust status as long as it’s based on marriage to a US citizen.

1 user found this answer helpful

Samuil Buschkin
Samuil Buschkin
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Ridgewood, NJ

A: What you intend to do afterward, like filing a petition based on marriage is not directly relevant to observing the rules regarding CPT or OPT. Your concern is best discussed with an experienced lawyer first and later with your school. It sounds like a solution in your case is realistic.

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