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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training Regulations for F-1 Students (CPT)

U.S. federal regulations 8CFR214.2(f)(10)(i) allow F-1 international students to participate in professional, temporary employment opportunities such as internships, co-op education programs or practicums. Regulations require that CPT must be a required or be an integral part of an established curriculum and you must receive academic credit for the employment. CPT may take place during the academic year and/or the summer. To prove that your CPT is integral to the curriculum, it should be mentioned in the section of the college catalog which describes your academic department's requirements and course offerings. The following rules apply.

  • You must have current F-1 status and must have been enrolled full time for a full academic year (fall & spring) or (spring &fall) before authorization can be granted.
  • Employment is course-, employer-, location-, and date-specific.
  • The authorization period must fall within a given academic term since it is considered to be a course.
  • Failure to enroll in the specific course for which the CPT was approved and failure to complete the employment during the authorization period will result in violation of your immigration status.
  • You must continue to enroll in a full course of study while on CPT during fall or spring semesters.
  • A new authorization is required for each academic term a CPT is used.
  • Students who complete 12 or more months of full-time curricular practical training will be ineligible for optional practical training. The 9-month in-status requirement is waived for students enrolled in graduate studies which require immediate participation in curricular practical training.
  • There is no fee to apply for curricular practical training.
  • The OIE must authorize your CPT on SEVIS and issue a new I-20.
  • Curricular practical training cannot commence until the student receives the I-20 with the curricular endorsement on the back.

If you have additional questions regarding curricular practical training email our office at international@csc.edu or call 308-432-6496 and schedule an appointment.

CPT Frequently Asked Questions

When should I apply for CPT and where do I apply for CPT?
You will need to work with OIE to secure approval for your CPT. You may apply for CPT if you meet the following conditions:

  • Your field of study requires an internship as part of its academic requirements.
  • You have a job offer from an off-campus employer. This job must be directly related to your field of study.
  • CPT is only available before you have finished all of your coursework towards your degree.

You should apply at least 2 weeks before you want to begin work.

When can I start my CPT?
Upon receipt of your new I-20 documents and your CPT approval. The start date of the CPT listed on your I-20 is the first day you can start work.

Can I begin training or volunteering in the position before the first day of my CPT?
No. You will put your F-1 status at serious risk. You cannot begin job training or volunteering until you receive your new I-20 with the CPT documented and the start-date has occurred.

Do I have to apply for CPT whether my internship is paid or unpaid?
Yes. All work off-campus, whether paid or unpaid, must be approved by OIE.

Do I have to register for my CPT course credit whether the internship is unpaid or paid?
Yes. You MUST register for the corresponding course related to your CPT.

What happens if I do not register for CPT credit?
You will place your immigration status at serious risk. This is a violation of federal Immigration regulations.

Do I have to be registered full-time to apply for CPT?
Yes. You must be registered as a full-time student to maintain F-1 status. You cannot be authorized for CPT unless you are in valid visa status.

What paperwork do I need to provide to OIE to secure CPT approval?
1) A letter or email from the Academic Advisor stating that this internship is a required or integral part of your curriculum.
2) A letter from the employer.

What information does the employer need to include in the letter?
Your supervisor needs to provide a letter on official organization letterhead containing the following information:

  • Number of hours per week you will work
  • A start and end date
  • A brief description of job duties

How long does it take to secure approval for my CPT and receive a new I-20?
It will take approximately 7-10 business days.

Can I be an RA, TA, or GA and apply for CPT at the same time?
Yes, but before you do this, please consider your ability of making “satisfactory progress” towards your degree. As an F-1 visa holder, your main purpose is to be a student. You do not want the job getting in your way of studying.

Can I do a CPT in a country other than America?
No.

What should I do if my employer is satisfied with my job performance and wants me to continue working after the ending date?
Contact OIE. You may need to submit a new application for CPT.

What should I do if I stop working earlier than my end date?
Contact OIE so we can update your SEVIS record.

What should I do if I want to work somewhere else?
Contact OIE and we will cancel the current CPT and have you apply for a new CPT.

If you have additional questions regarding curricular practical training email our office at international@csc.edu or call 308-432-6496 and schedule an appointment.

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