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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows eligible F-1 students to engage in paid internship/employment which is related to and is an integral part of the major field of study.
• CPT employment must be a supervised, temporary position.
• CPT can be authorized for part-time (less than 20 hours per week) or full-time (more than 20 hours per week)

Information Reference for CPT

PRECONDITIONS: Student must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis at a DHS-approved school for one full academic year before being eligible for CPT. Exception exists for graduate students who programs require immediate curricular training. Available only while student is in F-1 status, before the completion of the educational objective.

LOCATION: Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location and period approved and recorded by the DSO in SEVIS.

DURATION:
Depends on the specific period granted by the DSO. May be granted by the DSO in increments of no more than one year, or until expected date of employment completion, whichever is shorter. No cumulative maximum, except that it can only be approved before completion of the academic objective.

HOURS PER WEEK: Can be approved part-time ( 20 hours or less) or full-time (more than 20 hours).

FIELD/LEVEL OF WORK:
Must be an integral part of an established curriculum, in the student’s course of study

OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT:
Must have an offer of employment from the employer offering work that qualifies as curricular practical training.

EFFECT ON OTHER WORK: Use of full-time CPT for one year or more eliminates eligibility for OPT. Use of part-time CPT does NOT affect eligibility for OPT

APPROVAL PROCESS: Must receive written authorization from the DSO, who records authorization in SEVIS and issues SEVIS I-20 with notation, before work begins. USCIS approval is not required.

MISCELLANEOUS: Must continue to maintain a full course of study in F-1 status during the period of employment, but some exceptions may exist for CPT.

Eligibility for CPT

In order to apply for CPT, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be in lawful F-1 status and have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for at least one full academic year prior to the proposed CPT start date. (Graduate students enrolled in a program which requires immediate participation in CPT are exempted from this requirement.)
  • Be majoring in a field of study which requires the proposed internship/employment.
  • Have a job offer.

How to Apply for CPT

  • Follow all internal procedures and complete the F-1 CPT APPLICATION FORM for the DSO to make a determination of eligibility for Curricular Practical Training.
  • Sign the new I-20 (issued by your DSO) that will be issued to reflect CPT.

Do not begin the training until the new I-20 bearing the DSO’s (Designated School Official) CPT authorization has been issued and the CPT’s Start Date has been reached.

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