What is it?
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment authorization that allows F-1 students to work off campus in a work/study program such as an internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.
What are the requirements?
CPT is employer-specific. Therefore, students must have been offered a position in writing before CPT can be approved. The internship can be either paid or unpaid and must be related to the student's field of study. The internship must be required by the department or advisor and the student must receive academic credit and a grade for the internship.
Who is eligible for CPT?
An F-1 student who has been in lawful status for one full academic year (this includes having a valid I-20, valid passport, full-time enrollment, ect.) and has not completed their course of study. If you have questions about whether you qualify for CPT, please talk to your International Student Advisor.
When can I apply?
You can apply at any time, provided you are qualified.
Do I need a job offer to apply?
Yes. CPT can only be authorized for a specific job. This job cannot change during the CPT.
Do I need to be enrolled while doing my CPT?
Yes. You MUST get academic credit for your CPT, even if your CPT is during the summer semester. Most students enroll in "internship" or "practicum" hours for this time period.
Do I need to apply to USCIS for CPT?
No. The International Student Advisor can authorize your CPT.
How do I apply for CPT?
To apply for CPT, students should first meet with the International Student Advisor to discuss the internship and then submit the current I-20 paperwork.
How will CPT affect OPT in the future?
If you have full-time CPT for a total of 12 full months (365 days), you will not be eligible for OPT.
What happens if I am authorized for CPT then I change my mind or lose my job?
You must notify the International Student Advisor immediately in order to cancel your CPT with USCIS.