CPT or Curricular Practical Training is an offcampus employment option for F-1 students. The internship (training experience) is considered to be an integral part of the curriculum and directly related to the student’s major area of study. To be eligible for CPT, you must: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (9 Months) Have a declared major Have a job/internship offer directly related to your major area of study Find a faculty mentor to do your independent study with Do an independent study related to your internship the following semester. (295P or 395P)or take the COLL 211 course in the fall 1. Obtain an offer letter from an employer 2. Complete CPT Application Form - available on the McCulloch Center website 3. Obtain faculty mentor signature and course information on the CPT Application if doing an independent study or have the Professor teaching COLL 211 sign the form (for the fall 2011 semester, this will be Penny Gill) 4. Make an appointment for CPT with Jenny 5. Bring completed CPT application form and letter from your employer to your appointment The employer must provide the you a written offer on official letterhead. The following information must be included in the letter: Employer Name Employer Address – and location where student will work Employment Start and End Dates Number of Hours Expected to Work Per Week (Full-Time or Part-Time) Position Title Position Description Name of Immediate Supervisor (if known) CPT is approved for a specific employer, place of employment, and time period. You may not change employers or extend training employment dates without prior consultation with the McCulloch Center and your faculty mentor You must submit a new, completed CPT application form and offer letter to request any change to your CPT permission before you switch employers. You can not change faculty mentors unless the faculty mentor has left the College or is no longer able or willing to do the independent study with you (this would need to be in writing from the mentor) What is OPT? Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an employment option available to F-1 students for employment directly related to the major area of study. ◦ ◦ 12 month period of OPT per higher degree level. 17 month STEM Extension OPT maybe possible for some students. The 12 month OPT period can be divided into 2 types, PreCompletion and Post-Completion. ◦ Pre-Completion OPT is before degree completion and typically used for summer internships if you do not qualify for CPT ◦ Post-Completion OPT is after degree completion To be eligible for Standard OPT you must: HAVE maintained legal F-1 status for one full academic year. NOT have used full-time CPT for 12 months or more. Employment must be directly related to your academic major and be commensurate with your educational level Standard OPT time per degree level is 12 months Pre-Completion OPT Post-Completion OPT ◦ the 12-month allotment per degree level may be divided into various segments (Pre-Completion or Post-Completion OPT) ◦ Used after degree program completion ◦ start date must fall within 60 days of program completion (this is not the same date as the graduation ceremony if you are completing in December) Unemployment Limit of 90 days starting from OPT start date During Post-Completion OPT, F-1 status is dependent upon employment. ◦ Students may not accrue an aggregate of more than 90 days of unemployment during any Standard Post-Completion OPT. For Post-Completion OPT, the employment does NOT have to be paid employment as long as there is no violation of labor laws, but must be at least 20 hours a week. ◦ interning or volunteering in a position directly related to the academic field ◦ work for hire (contractual relationship) ◦ employment through an agency EAD CARD What does this mean????????? Recommended Travel ◦ Before the expiration of your I-20, with I-20 travel signature ◦ With EAD, signed I-20 for travel, valid visa, passport, letter from employer. Not Recommended Travel ◦ The period after your I-20 has expired and before you receive the approved EAD. ◦ If your F-1 visa has expired and you will need to apply for a new one. ◦ While STEM Extension is pending you should not travel outside the US CPT vs OPT Job Required to apply Yes No Processing Time 1 day 2-4 Months Application Fee None $380 Authorized by McCulloch Center USCIS - Immigration Form of Authorization I-20 page 3 EAD (Employment Authorization Document) Card Hours per week USE OF FT CPT FOR 12 MONTHS = NO OPT Pre-Completion Post-Completion: FT only (means 20 hours a week or more) Maximum Duration None 12 Months Full-time per higher degree level Extension Possible Yes Only STEM extension if eligible Completed a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree in a STEM field. ◦Science Technology Engineering Mathematics Currently engaged in the Standard Post-Completion OPT Have a job or job offer from an E-Verify Employer ◦ An employer currently registered and in good standing with the USCIS E-Verify Program ◦ There is no public listing of E-Verify Employers For the 17-month STEM extension, employment must be traditional paid employment. Students granted a 17-month OPT extension may not accrue an aggregate of more than 120 days of unemployment during the total 29-month OPT period. The employment authorization period for the 17-month OPT extension begins on the day after the expiration of the initial post-completion OPT employment authorization, and ends 17 months later, regardless of the date the actual extension is approved. Application process is same as the Standard PostCompletion OPT with some additions. ◦ Official transcript or Copy of diploma ◦ Employer’s name as listed in E-Verify and valid E-Verify identification number. ◦ Letter of Employment Apply within 90 to 120 days prior to the Standard OPT expiration date. While you are on OPT you are still considered an F-1 Mount Holyoke student. Therefore you must: Notify the McCulloch Center of any address change via the online form http://www.mtholyoke.edu/global/19191.shtml Have your I-20 signed for travel by our office Report employment information (name, address, interruption of employment) and changes to employment to the McCulloch Center at http://www.mtholyoke.edu/global/19191.shtml STEM Extension students must complete this form every 6 months.