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F1 student work as an independent contractor under CPT OK?

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  • F1 student work as an independent contractor under CPT OK?

    Hi,

    I am a F1 PhD student The company we've been cooperating with gave me an offer for this summer working as an independent contractor for three months.
    The univeristy international offer and the career office are both OK with this but I saw some opposite opinion online. Could someone give me a clear answer: is this legal?
    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    This is a loaded question. If you need a short answer, yes, you can.

    There are couple of things that you need to consider.

    1. Once the OPT expires, you can no longer work on 1099 as an IC.
    2. Everification - Greay area as to who needs to be everified. You, your company? As an IC, you are notreally working for the company but working for yourself.
    3. Any verification or proof that details that you are working in the field of your study becomes complicated with this scenario as you are confirming about your own job. This is a future risk if USCIS asks for anything during GC or later on.
    4. As OPT does not require you to get paid for your employment, it should be fine as long as you work in the field related to your study.
    5. OPT extension for STEM might become an issue. Check with your DSO on how everification works if you plan on an extension.

    Consult with an attorney if in doubt as there are risks associated with this. Nevertheless, it is doable.

    I am not a lawyer and you need to consult with one to validate any info posted on the forum and discuss your case specifics. H1b Question? Read the FAQ first.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi, txh1b, thanks for your reply.
      This is actually an internship work but as an independent contract and I would be working under CPU instead of OPT.
      So is the answer still yes for CPT? and is there any influence on my future application for H1B or green card?
      Thanks a lot.

      Originally posted by txh1b View Post
      This is a loaded question. If you need a short answer, yes, you can.

      There are couple of things that you need to consider.

      1. Once the OPT expires, you can no longer work on 1099 as an IC.
      2. Everification - Greay area as to who needs to be everified. You, your company? As an IC, you are notreally working for the company but working for yourself.
      3. Any verification or proof that details that you are working in the field of your study becomes complicated with this scenario as you are confirming about your own job. This is a future risk if USCIS asks for anything during GC or later on.
      4. As OPT does not require you to get paid for your employment, it should be fine as long as you work in the field related to your study.
      5. OPT extension for STEM might become an issue. Check with your DSO on how everification works if you plan on an extension.

      Consult with an attorney if in doubt as there are risks associated with this. Nevertheless, it is doable.

      Comment


      • #4
        CPT and an independent contractor would be a NO as far as my knowledge goes.

        I am not a lawyer and you need to consult with one to validate any info posted on the forum and discuss your case specifics. H1b Question? Read the FAQ first.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi,hxh1b, Could you briefly tell me why it is not working? seems to me there is no difference between CPT and opt besides that opt is for post graduation.
          Thanks.

          Originally posted by txh1b View Post
          CPT and an independent contractor would be a NO as far as my knowledge goes.

          Comment


          • #6
            On OPT, you would have an EAD card. On CPT, you will not have an EAD.

            I am not a lawyer and you need to consult with one to validate any info posted on the forum and discuss your case specifics. H1b Question? Read the FAQ first.

            Comment


            • #7
              SEVIS allows OPT student to work on 1099. I would it will be no different for CPT. But, I expect you study in a good school and program and not one like TVU which abuses CPT.
              This is my opinion and not legal advice.

              Comment

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