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h4_usa

Need help in choosing F1/CPT vs AOS/EAD to use for internship

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Last week, I got my EAD/AP combo card valid for 1 yr. (I am derivative on my husband's I-485 and we got current in Jan'12). I am an F1 fulltime student. I am giving interviews for summer internships and have below questions assuming i get a job offer...

1. Should i use my 485 based EAD or apply for F1 based CPT. What are the pros/cons ? I know i get a credit when i use my CPT. Will i get it even if i use EAD ?

2. I do not have SSN since i have never worked in the US before (came on H4 and did a COS to F1 last yr. Havent moved out of country so far and still have H4 stamp in PP). I guess i need an SSN before i can start working. What is the procedure to apply for one ?

3. Tax : If i use my EAD, do i need to pay SS taxes? On F1/CPT, i think i dont have to.

Would be really helpful to get insights from experienced members here.

Thanks,

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Once you filed your 485, your F1 status is void. You cannot use any benefits based on F1. Wait till you get EAD based on GC.

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Technically, you may continue on OPT until its expiration. You can't renew your F1 or OPT once you are in AOS. You need to ask the payroll people to remove your SS taxes. It's really hard to have them reimbursed through a tax return. As far as SSN goes - google it.

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Belle,

OPT does not apply for me since I still have a semester to go. I was talking about using a CPT.

The qn really is : Should i use my EAD that i have received based on my pending 485 or apply for a regular CPT from college? Since i have these 2 options, i want a guidance on which is best to use.

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You will not be eligible for applying CPT if you are in AOS. At least that's what my lawyer told me. All the privileges of being on F1 are gone once you filed for AOS. And of course using EAD should not be a problem for you. So why CPT?

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At this point, I would use EAD. I would not apply for anything that may potentially jeopardise your pending I-485.

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For CPT you need to have a Employer Letter, with EAD (AOS) you don't need any letter. Even finding job would be lot easier as many companies are reluctant to give any letter atleast for training purposes.

Also if the company wants to hire you, CPT might not last for more than one semester, why loose an oppurtunity ?

Keep it straight & simple, go for EAD.

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If you apply for CPT you will have to gro through paper work every quarter or semester to renew it. If you use your EAD you dont have to go through that. apart from that i dont see any other difference. Sometimes employers doesnt want to go through that kind of paperwork.

If i were you i would use EAD, its my opinion others may not agree with it.

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Belle,

OPT does not apply for me since I still have a semester to go. I was talking about using a CPT.

You can't get CPT, since that would be a modification to the F1. While your F1 essentially stays valid, any modification, like getting CPT or OPT (or renewing the F1), would get denied because you have an I-485 pending and therefore have immigration intent.

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Thanks so much everyone for your time and inputs. I am clear that i would use my EAD.

Belle,

Apparently, posts are not grouped by time , so my "any other suggestions" were before most of the suggestions... I am only hear to gain perspectives from experts like you... not ppl agreeing with me :-)

A BIG Thanks again for everyone.

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Hi

The best person to ask is your DSO.

I am in the same situation with a little difference.

I got my F1 OPT EAD which has a start date of Feb,2012 and valid for an year.

In feb I filed for AOS along with my wife as she is the primary applicant.

We received our GC EAD for both of us by Mar 2012.

Now I have 2 EAD's.

After reading these posts,I called my laywer to clear up on certain things.

he told me my F1 status does not get void as some people said in the prior posts.

My F1 is valid and is renewable as long as our AOS remains pending.

He susggested to use F1 EAD as it has advantages of not having medicare and social security taxes.

Once the green card is approved and when u renter the United states,be sure to use GC and not your F1 status.In that case ur GC becomes void.

But when u are entering the USA while your GC is pending, u can use either your F1 status or GC EAD to enter.If u use enter using GC EAD,u have to continue on your GC EAD.

In your situation if u start using GC EAD for a CPT internship,it might void your F1 status.Please contact your school official regarding this.

U cannot use both at the same time.I am very sure about this.

Take advice from your DSO and a lawyer before u proceed.

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Filing 485 will not void your 485 status.

Its like H1b people not losing their H1b status if they are filing for AOS.they will lose their H1b only if they ever use their EAD/AP.

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I talked with both my attorney as well as the school's DSO. Both suggested to use EAD similar to everyone's opinion here. I am clear now. As a next step, I will be applying for SSN based on my EAD. It might be 2 to 3 weeks before i could get SSN card but i heard that we can walk in to the SSA office after 2 or 3 days and get the SSN number. After i get the number, i should be all set to work.

maverick_gc,

//

My F1 is valid and is renewable as long as our AOS remains pending.

//

I definitely dont think so. Please read JoeF's statement.

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My F1 is valid and is renewable as long as our AOS remains pending.

If your lawyer said that, get a better lawyer.

The F1 doesn't allow immigration intent, which you have shown with the I-485. So a renewal of the F1 would get denied.

But when u are entering the USA while your GC is pending, u can use either your F1 status or GC EAD to enter.

Again, wrong.

The F1 does not allow immigration intent.

With an I-485 you have shown immigration intent, so you would not be allowed to enter with the F1.

Further, an EAD is not an entry document. You would have to use AP (Advance Parole) to enter.

And, if you don't have AP before traveling abroad, the I-485 would be considered abandoned.

Any lawyer worth his or her money knows this.

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Filing 485 will not void your 485 status.

Its like H1b people not losing their H1b status if they are filing for AOS.they will lose their H1b only if they ever use their EAD/AP.

It is not quite like people on H1.

The H1 allows immigration intent, while the F1 does not. That has big implications.

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H1 is a dual intent visa and F1 is a Non-immigrant visa. So, obviously F1 cannot be renewed while pending AOS(Which has immigration intent) while H1 can.

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I got a job and plan to use my 485-based EAD. I got my SSN last week. I have one last question. Appreciate if senior members / attorneys answer.

For students on F1 based OPT/EAD , i know they are exempt from social security taxes. But is it the same when using 485- based EAD to work? I am still enrolled in classes so i am still a student but using a work authorization thats not based on F1. This is my first job in the US so its confusing. Please clarify !

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You are exempt from SS taxes only for as long as you maintain F status. Read IRS regulations on who's considered to be non-immigrant alien for requirements.

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Once you use EAD, you are no longer in F1 status. Visa is only used for entry. The colloquial use of "on a visa" is incorrect. Being in status is what matters.

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Hi h4_usa,

My wife is in a similar situation. She got a summer internhsip last week and decided to use the EAD from the 485 application rather than make use of the CPT. Did the school have to make any change to your status from F1 ?

Thanks.

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