International Students Immigration Blog

How to Persuade Employers to Accept Day 1 CPT? (With 2 Templates)

Using Day 1 CPT for internship/employment can be a viable option, but it often involves a fair amount of communication with your employer and HR. Many employers may not fully understand Day 1 CPT or may have misconceptions about its legality. Today, we'll provide you with a template on how to communicate with your supervisor and HR about working with Day 1 CPT.


1. Introduction:

Working with Day 1 CPT typically falls into two scenarios:

  1. Extending your work status with your current employer using CPT.

    • Example Scenario: Your OPT (Optional Practical Training) under your F1 student visa is expiring, and you wish to continue working for your current employer by enrolling in a Day 1 CPT program.

  2. Transitioning to a new job with a different employer using CPT.

    • Example Scenario: You want to switch jobs and work for a new employer using CPT after previously using CPT for your former employer.


2. Scenario 1: Extending your work status with Day 1 CPT

We recommend initiating a discussion with your employer and HR 6 months before your OPT is about to expire, and you have no alternative visa options, such as H1B or L1.

You can bring up the following points in your communication with your manager during your weekly one-on-one meetings or in emails with HR:

  1. Mention that you are facing an issue with your work visa status nearing expiration and that you need the company's assistance with obtaining a new visa.

  2. Explain that through your research, you have identified the option of enrolling in a Day 1 CPT program as a means to continue working.

  3. Provide a brief overview of what Day 1 CPT is and why it allows for full-time employment. Refer to USCIS and our website.

  4. Emphasize that working with CPT is entirely legal and compliant. Introduce the Day 1 CPT program allows you to continue learning and strengthen relevant skills. At the same time, it is a professional program, which will permit you to obtain CPT Work Authorization during your study period and to keep working. Emphasis you can start working from day one of the program, and the classes are typically scheduled during evenings and weekends, ensuring that they won't interfere with your work hours.

  5. Highlight the benefits to the company in supporting your use of Day 1 CPT for continued employment.

  6. Outline what steps the company needs to take to support your use of Day 1 CPT.

  7. Attach a list of Day 1 CPT schools you've researched for reference.

You may use the template provided below:


Template 1


Contact us to download the editable version +

Feel free to adapt and use the template according to your specific situation and communication preferences. Open and honest communication with your employer and HR is crucial when considering Day 1 CPT as an option for your continued employment or career transition.


3. Scenario 2: Switching Jobs with Day 1 CPT

Using Day 1 CPT to find a new job is a different scenario than using CPT to continue your previous work, its more complicated and requires more communication with the employers.

Step 1

Firstly, which companies support Day 1 CPT employment? We've compiled a list of Day-1 CPT-friendly employers which can be accessed here, which includes whether they support CPT work authorization, whether they require a CPT agreement to be signed, and the positions that have historically supported Day 1 CPT hires. This list encompasses companies of various sizes and industries, so you can have a better idea when applying for jobs.

In general, many large tech companies are more inclined to support previous employees who didn't secure an H1B visa and want to transition to CPT visa. However, their acceptance of new hires with CPT status is somewhat limited. On the other hand, some financial institutions tend to have more favorable policies for new hire CPT candidates. Smaller to mid-sized companies often handle CPT policies on a case-by-case basis, allowing for more room for negotiation based on individual performance.

Step 2

Secondly, should you disclose your CPT status to HR when interviewing for jobs and how should you do it?

Hiding your work status is definitely not advisable. If you conceal your visa status issues, it can lead to significant problems during your onboarding process. Wildfire recommends that you address CPT-related issues with HR during the interview stage. However, there are some nuances to when and how to disclose your visa status.

For smaller to mid-sized companies without a clearly defined CPT policy, if HR doesn't proactively inquire about the details, you don't have to volunteer the information right away. Typically, during the initial HR phone screen, recruiters will ask about your current status. At this point, you can mention that you're on an F1 visa and that your work authorization has several years remaining (indicating how long you have until graduation). If HR further asks whether you are on OPT or CPT, you can then explain that you are enrolled in a master's or doctoral program that supports using CPT authorization to work for an employer.

Many times, smaller to mid-sized companies have relatively flexible visa policies and are more interested in your background, skills, and how well you match the job. Hiring managers may have significant influence in such cases. If HR doesn't ask about your immigration status in the initial rounds, you can consider bringing it up after interviewing with the hiring manager. Of course, if you're in a hurry to find a job and don't want to waste time navigating these discussions, it's also acceptable to clearly state your needs from the beginning and cut your losses early with employers who don't support CPT.

If the company you interview with asks you to explain your CPT status, you can refer to the below email template:


Template 1


Contact us to download the editable version +

In general, when employers evaluate candidates, the most crucial factor is whether the candidate can provide value to the company over the next 3-5 years. When employers have doubts about your CPT status during the hiring process, it's essential to emphasize your ability and willingness to contribute long-term value to the company.


4. Common Rejection Reasons and Solutions

Some employers are hesitant or unwilling to hire employees under Day 1 CPT, and there are a few reasons for this hesitation:

  1. Lack of Awareness: Some employers may not be familiar with Day 1 CPT or how it operates. This unfamiliarity can make them hesitant to move forward with such candidates.

  2. Concerns about Compliance: U.S. immigration laws and regulations are complex, and employers often worry about inadvertently violating them. Hiring someone on Day 1 CPT, especially without a clear understanding of it, can seem risky.

  3. Perception of Temporary Employment: Employers might be looking for longer-term employees, and the use of Day 1 CPT might be perceived as a short-term solution. There's also a misconception that students on CPT might not be as committed to the job as others.

  4. Potential Scrutiny: In recent years, there has been increased scrutiny by the U.S. government regarding the use and potential abuse of the CPT program. Employers may fear that hiring someone on Day 1 CPT might attract unwanted attention from immigration authorities.

  5. Complexity in Transition: Employers might anticipate complications in transitioning an employee from CPT to another type of work authorization (like H-1B) in the future.

  6. Concerns About Authenticity of Universities: There have been instances where certain universities offering Day 1 CPT were not legitimate. Hiring from such universities could lead to legal and compliance issues for employers.

To better communicate with potential employers and alleviate their concerns:

  1. Educate the Employer: Be prepared to explain what Day 1 CPT is, how it works, and its benefits. You can provide official documentation or website links from U.S. government sources that explain CPT.

  2. Assure Compliance: Let the employer know that you've ensured your Day 1 CPT complies with all regulations and that you're attending a legitimate institution.

  3. Demonstrate Commitment: Make it clear that you're serious about the job and see it as more than just a temporary stepping stone. Discuss your long-term career goals and how the position aligns with them.

  4. Highlight Your Skills: Shift the focus from your work authorization to your skills, qualifications, and what you bring to the table. Employers are primarily looking for value and fit.

  5. Seek Legal Counsel: If possible, and especially for more prominent employers or roles, you might consider having an immigration attorney explain the legality and benefits of Day 1 CPT to the employer.

  6. Prepare for H-1B or Other Options: If you have plans or are eligible to transition to another visa type, like H-1B, in the future, let the employer know. This might ease concerns about the longevity of your stay with the company.

Remember, the key is to be proactive, informed, and prepared to answer any questions or concerns an employer might have.



In this blog post, we summarize how to persuade your employers to accept Day 1 CPT under two scenarios, and provide you two ready-to-use email communication templates. If you have more questions on how to communicate strategically or general questions regarding Day 1 CPT, feel free to contact us, we offer customized and FREE consultation!