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OPT - Can i start work before the designated valid date?

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OPT - Can i start work before the designated valid date?

Postby aceman » Fri, 25 Jun 2010 08:02:12 -0500

Hi, about a month ago I graduated from my MBA program and have an approved OPT work permit. I also just got a very good 3 month internship offer at a great company, excited about the opportunity. Since the length is only 3 months, the expiration of the OPT is not an issue at all. I will be paid a very good salary with this position.

The company really wants me to start July 7th, and I have already told them I would, I didn't think there are any problems. I signed the offer letter and sent it back.

However, I just realized the start date on my OPT card is July 28th, a random date my school advisor picked out.

Is this going to be a problem? I do not want to jeopardize this great opportunity because of a random date someone else picked out for me...I know that the company needs to file I9 and W2 forms with the government and I don't want them to be liable for anything or get in trouble. However it will be very hard to move the start date.

I've heard people can volunteer for free or something, but as I mentioned I am getting paid. Does the government even care that the start date is a couple weeks off?

Thanks!
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Re: OPT - Can i start work before the designated valid date?

Postby pyroz » Tue, 20 Jul 2010 11:24:29 -0500

I think this is quite late for me to post a response, but unfortunately, no you cannot get paid for the days you work before the start date of your OPT date. I had a similar situation too, where I got a job offer but my OPT doesn't start until exactly one month later. This has cost me my job offer and I got replaced by someone...

The field I am pursuing is a highly popular and difficult one to break into as well. I cannot understand how the US government can make our live here so difficult when we paid so much money to study in the US already... But obviously the locals will always have the advantage first.

I am not sure how is your situation now but I hope you manage you keep your job. :) I'm back at sweating away about landing on a 2nd job offer before my OPT expires.
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