If you are an international student on an F1 visa, then this blog will help you understand your eligibility for securing the CPT Authorization, Eligibility,and Application.
F1 Student Visa Holders can work or secure an internship through Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Students can study and also get professional training experience in their current field of degree program using CPT. International students can get full or part-time internships, and other roles related to their course of study while adhering to the CPT authorization requirements like completing the training before the CPT program end date.
CPT is one of the two types of training an international student can opt for while studying in the US. Optional Practical Training (OPT) is another type of practical training available for students.
CPT offers practical training, and hands-on experience to students and can be considered an internship or a paying job that is related to the student’s field of study. Students must be aware of their degree school’s CPT and OPT deadlines in addition to the US government’s rules. CPT must be completed before you graduate from your program and OPT can be completed before or after you graduate.
Students applying for CPT or OPT, cannot be studying English currently as a second language.
For international students, CPT training must end ahead of the end date on the I-20 form. As the student is enrolled full-time in the degree program he can retain CPT eligibility. More than one CPT work authorization can be held at the same time however one year of full-time CPT eliminates your OPT eligibility.
It’s important to understand CPT and OPT training to choose what best suits your needs. Students can opt for either a full-time CPT or part-time CPT. Full-time CPT entails 40 hours a week while a part-time CPT allows students to work up to 20 hours per week.
To become an F-1 student CPT visa holder in the US, the student must make sure they fulfil these criteria
The international student will require a job offer letter from the prospective employer before applying for CPT. The job offer letter signed and printed on the official letterhead of the employer and must have
Students can begin the CPT work authorization and CPT visa application process, once they receive the job offer letter. University-appointed DSO can initiate the CPT work authorization and will update the I-20 and issue a new copy with updated CPT status.
As CPT is often a part of a degree program and involves meeting just with the school DSO it’s relatively easier to obtain in comparison to the OPT. It is advised to plan and meet with the DSO and learn about the school requirements, and deadlines for the application process among other details.
The student will receive a CPT international student authorization notation on page three of I-20 from the school DSO once they are eligible for CPT F-1 visa status. Connect with the DSO if you see any errors or have any additional questions. CPT authorization is valid for one employer for a said period at one location.
As students start research for their degree programs, they can search for US universities that can align with CPT international student opportunities. Students can find ample opportunities to qualify for and utilise a CPT visa while pursuing their studies at a university in the US.