Curricular Practical Training for Students in F-1 Status
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment which
- Does NOT need approval by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Is authorized by OISS
- Must be an integral part of the curriculum
- If it is REQUIRED for program completion, it will always qualify as CPT
- If it is NOT REQUIRED for program completion, it may still qualify as CPT if it is done for academic credit and it is an integral part of the degree program
Curricular Practical Training may be part time (up to 20 hours per week) while the student is enrolled for classes. Students who are authorized for part time CPT must be very careful not to exceed the 20 hour/week limit. This is NOT an average; it is absolute.
Curricular Practical Training may be full time (more than 20 hours per week). If a student engages in full time CPT for 12 months, he/she loses eligibility to engage in Optional Practical Training at that degree level.
Student eligibility for CPT:
Student must be in lawful F-1 status.
Student must have been enrolled for a full academic year.
Exception: if training is required by the degree program, graduate students may engage in CPT whenever the program requires it, regardless of whether they have completed a full academic year.
Employment eligibility for CPT:
Work must be related to your major field of studies as indicated by your current I-20. It must be appropriate to your degree level as well. The employment authorization given for CPT by OISS is employer specific and job specific.
Submit to OISS at least two weeks ahead of proposed beginning of employment:
Completed Curricular Practical Training Application Form. This form requires information from your academic advisor.
Letter from employer describing the job title, job responsibilities, begin and end dates of employment, number of hours per week, place of employment.
The OISS will review the information provided and make a determination if CPT is appropriate.
OISS will enter the employment authorization into the SEVIS system, and return to the student the properly endorsed I-20.