What is CPT?
The regulations state that a student may participate in a "curricular practical training program" that is:
- "an integral part of an established curriculum" and
- "directly related to the student's major area of study"
CPT is granted directly by the International Office through an update to a student's SEVIS record. Below are the eligibility requirements:
- The student is currently in valid F-1 status
- The student has been enrolled on a full-time basis for 1 academic year
- The student will continue to be enrolled for a full course of study during the CPT
- The training is "an integral part of an established curriculum"
- The training is "directly related to the student's major area of study "
- You are seeking:
The International Office can authorize CPT if the proposed employment meets one of the three following conditions:
- The training employment is required of all degree candidates in the program and is necessary for the degree. Included in this category is employment in a required internship or practicum.
- The training employment must result in the awarding of academic credit.
Part-Time vs. Full-Time
- PART-TIME TRAINING
Employment for 20 hours or less per week while you are enrolled in full time academic classes is considered part-time CPT. There is no limitation upon the length of time you may participate in part-time CPT, but you must apply each semester.
- FULL-TIME TRAINING
Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered full-time CPT/ There is no limitation upon the length of time you may participate in full-time CPT, however if you participate in twelve months or more of CPT you will not be eligible for post completion practical training.
In general F-1 students who have been in the U.S. for less than five years are exempt from social security taxes (also known as F.I.C.A. tax). You should be sure to bring this to the attention of your employer because many employers are not familiar with this provision of international student tax laws. Students in F-1 status are subject to all other taxes that may apply: federal, state and local.
Failure to Comply with Employment Regulations
It is your responsibility to comply with all immigration regulations which apply to F-1 students, including employment regulations. Working without the proper authorization is a serious violation of your student status.
The first step is to meet with the International Office to discuss the application process.
You may begin CPT only after it is authorized by the International Office and you receive your original I-20. You must NOT work beyond the date authorized on the I-20. Working without legal authorization will put your visa status in jeopardy.