CPT Authorization for F1 Student Visa Holders

CPT Authorization, Eligibility, Application for F1 Student Visa Holders

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- Practical Training for an Internship

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.

CPT: Qualifications, Rules, and Definition

  1. CPT must be related to your major
  2. CPT must be integral to the school program curriculum
  3. School Designated School Official (DSO) where you attend your degree program will authorise CPT in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) and it will be printed on your I-20 form
  4. CPT to occur before the program end date on your form I-20
  5. Each CPT work authorization is for a specific employer and period only
  6. Require training opportunities offer before CPT can be authorised
  7. CPT to be officially confirmed before you can start working
  8. More than one CPT work authorization can be held at the same time
  9. One year of full-time CPT eliminates your OPT eligibility

CPT Duration for International Students

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.

CPT Eligibility

To become an F-1 student CPT visa holder in the US, the student must make sure they fulfil these criteria

  1. University is a SEVP-certified institution
  2. Enrolled full time for the degree course and have been a student for at least one year
  3. Not studying English as a second language
  4. Already received an offer for an internship or job

CPT Application Process

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

  1. Student’ Name
  2. Student’s Job Title
  3. Student’s Job description
  4. Address of Employment
  5. Start and end dates of your CPT employment
  6. Information if working full time or part time.

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.

CPT Authorization

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.

CPT Student Job Requirements

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.

Get in touch with your DSO to find out more information about your OPT CPT status.

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