Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an off-campus employment option for F1 students when the practical training is an integral part of the established curriculum or academic program. CPT employment is defined as "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." To qualify, the work experience must be required for your degree, or academic credit must awarded. And yes, you can get paid for CPT employment. Prior authorization by your school's International Student Office and notification to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is required.
- You must have been enrolled in school full-time for one year on valid F1 status (except for graduate students where the program requires immediate CPT)
- The CPT employment must be an integral part of your degree program or be a requirement for a course for which you receive academic credit
- You must have recevied a job offer that qualifies before you submit your CPT authorization request
- Your job offer must be in your major field of study
International students in the U.S. in valid F1 immigration status are permitted to work off-campus in optional practical training (OPT) status both during and after completion of their degree. Rules established by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) govern the implementation of OPT, and all OPT employment requires prior authorization from USCIS and the University's International Student Office.
You can apply for OPT after being enrolled for at least 9 months, but you cannot begin employment until you receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS and you have been enrolled for at least a year. You do not need to have a job offer to apply for your OPT EAD, and your OPT employment can occur anywhere in the US.
- Employment must be "directly related" to the student's major field of study
- Student must maintain lawful F1 status
- Student must apply for OPT beform completion of all work towards a degree
- Students who have engaged in 12 months or mor of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) are not eligle for OPT
- OPT is permitted for up to 12 months full-time in total - part-time OPT reduces available full-time OPT by half of the amount of part-time work (for instance, working part time for 6 months will reduce full-time OPT to 9 months)
The filling window for OPT is between 3 months before your program end date and 2 months after your program end date. Students will be granted 12 months of OPT to end no later than 14 months after their program end date. USCIS can take up to 90 days to process your application, as such we recommend students apply for OPT 3 months before they want to begin working in order to maximize the 12 months available.
Yes, as long as you did not have CPT full-time for 12 months or more. Part-time CPT has no effect on OPT.
You are able to apply at any time you meet the qualifications
Yes, CPT can only be authorized for a specific job; this employment cannot change during the CPT.
Yes, you mst get academic credit for your CPT, even if your CPT takes place during the summer semester. Most students enroll in "internship" or "practicum" hours for this time period.
Any F1 student suffering from or able to demonstrate "severe economic harship" as defined by USCIS is eligible to ork off-campus for up to 20 hours per week while school is in session, and full-time during breaks. These circumstances may include but is not specifically limited to: Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment, without fault of the student. Substantial fluctuations in the calue of exchange rates or national currency. Inordinate increase in tuition and/or living expenses. Unexpected and substantial change in the financial conditions of the student's sour oc support, medical bills and/or other expenses.
To be eligible under "severe economic harship", a student must:
- Be in valid F1 Status for at lease one academic year (9 months)
- Be in good academic standing
- Provide evidence of economic hardship based on unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control
- Show that on-campus employment is neither available nor sufficient
- Make a good faith effort to lacate employment on campus before applying
- Demonstrate that acceptance of employment will not interfere with their ability to carry a full course of study
Students may work a total of twenty hours per week when school is in session. All on and off-campus employment is counted toward this twenty-hour limit. Students may work full-time (up to 40 hours per week) during vacation and summer periods, provided they inted to and are eligbile to register for the school term.
Employment Authorization is granted in one-year intervals. The USCIS will only authorize renewals if the student is maintaining good academic standing. Employment authorization is automatically terminated if students fail to maintain status.
The USICS will issue an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) with an expiration date, the EAD card is a photographic identification
Students can begin work only after the EAD is recevied from USCIS