Curricular Practical Training

  • You may NOT begin work until you receive a new I-20 with employment authorization for your specific employer and dates of employment.
  • Starting work before you are authorized is considered UNAUTHORIZED EMPLOYMENT and will result in the termination of your I-20/F-1 status in the U.S.
  • Please remember that CPT is granted on a case-by-case basis each semester. There is never a guarantee that CPT will be approved.
Definition of Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

DEFINITION: “(i) Curricular practical training. An F-1 student may be authorized by the DSO to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum. Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. Students who have received one year or more of full time curricular practical training are ineligible for post-completion academic training. Exceptions to the one academic year requirement are provided for students enrolled in graduate studies that require immediate participation in curricular practical training. A request for authorization for curricular practical training must be made to the DSO. A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving his or her Form I-20 with the DSO endorsement.” (https://www.ice.gov/sevis/schools/reg#f)

Are you ELIGIBLE to apply?

To be eligible for CPT, student must:

  • You must be in valid F-1 visa status.
  • You must be registered as a FULL-TIME student in an academic program (Any students enrolled in ESL courses are NOT eligible).
  • You must have completed one (1) full academic year in the U.S. at the undergraduate or graduate level. The only exception is if a graduate program REQUIRES immediate participation.
  • You must have a job offer letter when you apply.
  • CPT is not a back door to employment and should not be used solely as an income source. CPT is academic in nature. We DO NOT recommend that you bridge CPT employment to OPT. Please be aware that bridging may result in issues with your Post-Completion OPT application, STEM OPT, or H1B in the future as USCIS may interpret it as misuse of CPT. If your CPT internship unexpectedly becomes an offer for full-time OPT, we recommend getting separate/new offer letters for each stating how your position has changed.
  • Your job/internship/volunteer position MUST be directly related to your program of study.
  • CPT is only available BEFORE graduation/completion of your program.
  • Your CPT must be attached to a course in the semester during which you will be working. Example: if you are doing a summer CPT, you must be enrolled in a summer course. ENROLLMENT IS REQUIRED. Please consult your academic advisor on which course you should enroll in for CPT.
  • CPT must “be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school”
  • If you have already completed all degree requirements, you are not eligible for CPT. You cannot delay graduation to apply for CPT as a way to lengthen employment.
What if I just want to VOLUNTEER?

Just because you are not being paid does NOT mean that you are considered a volunteer. You may STILL have to apply for CPT and be authorized before starting.

 

What is FULL-TIME CPT?
  • Full-time CPT: working a total of more than 20 hours per week
  • A total of 365 days of full-time on CPT makes you INELIGIBLE for OPT.
    • Example: working 3 months of full-time CPT each summer break for 4 years = 365 days = ineligible for OPT.
  • You must maintain full-time enrollment or have submitted a Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) form for a valid reason
  • If you also work on-campus, your TOTAL hours between on and off campus employment must be more than 20 hours per week and less than 40. Example: if your work 15 hours on-campus, you will only be allowed to work 25 hours off-campus.
  • Bachelor level students: Full-time CPT is only allowed during summer break, winter break, or in your graduating semester.
  • Master level students: Full-time CPT is only allowed during summer break, winter break, or in your graduating semester.
  • PhD level students: Full-time CPT is reviewed and authorized on a case by case basis.
What is PART-TIME CPT?

  • Part-Time CPT: working a total of 20 hours or less per week
  • You can apply for CPT even if you have an on-campus job, including research and teaching assistantships.
  • You must keep note of your hours. If you also work on-campus, your TOTAL hours between on and off campus employment must be 20 hours or less per week. Example: if your work 5 hours on-campus, you will only be allowed to work 15 hours off-campus.
Other Important Information
  • CPT ONLY authorizes you for work in the US.
  • If you wish to continue CPT with the same employer the next semester, you will need to submit a whole new application.
  • If you want to change employers, you MUST notify us BEFORE and submit a new application.
  • If any information regarding your employment changes (like if you stop working before your end date), you must contact your ISAO advisor so that your SEVIS record can be updated.
  • Even if the internship is unpaid, you must apply for CPT work authorization because it is still professional experience

 

Application Deadlines

 

Any application received after the below dates will be automatically denied. No exceptions.

  • SUMMER 2019 applications are due before June 28th (6/28/2019).
  • FALL 2019 applications are due before October 15th (10/15/2019).
  • SPRING 2020 applications are due before March 15th (3/15/2020).
WHERE IS THE CPT APPLICATION?

 

Instructions: How to Apply

Applications should be submitted AT LEAST 7-10 business days BEFORE your requested start date. Please note that processing times are typically 3 to 10 business days. We process in the order we receive applications.

The application can be found by clicking: CPT APPLICATION

  • Spring 2019 CPT
    • Can start as early as 01/21/2019
    • Must end employment by 05/17/2019
  • Summer 2019 CPT
    • Can start as early as 05/18/2019
    • Employment must end by 07/26/2019 if graduating in summer
    • Employment must end by 08/18/2019 if continuing education in fall
  • Fall 2019 CPT
    • Can start as early as 08/19/2019
    • Employment must end by 12/13/2019 if graduating in fall
    • Employment must end by 01/20/2020 if continuing education in spring

 

APPROVED FOR CPT? FILLING OUT YOUR I-9 WITH YOUR EMPLOYER

VERY IMPORTANT: Please be careful when filling out your I-9 as stating incorrect information would be considered fraud and could result in the denial of benefits or change of status in the future. If you are unsure about how to answer a question, consult your employer’s human resources (HR) office for clarification.