CPT/OPT Workshop CPT vs. OPT What is CPT? CPT or Curricular Practical Training is an off-campus employment option for F-1 students. The internship (training experience) MUST be considered to be an integral part of the curriculum and directly related to the student’s major area of study. • Training that is required for all students • Training is required for a particular course or major • DSO authorization required • No application fee or USCIS authorization for CPT CPT vs. OPT What is OPT? OPT or Optional Practical Training 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 may be possible for some students. • Pre-Completion OPT • Part-time or Full-time employment during the student’s annual vacation and holiday breaks, and intend to register for the next term. • Employment while school is in session (not to exceed 20hrs/week) • Post-Completion OPT • After completion of all course requirements for the degree, excluding thesis or equivalent • DSO authorization required • Application fee and USCIS authorization required A closer look at CPT… To be eligible for CPT, you must: 1. Have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (9 Months) 2. Have a declared major 3. Have a job/internship offer directly related to your major area of study CPT Regulations • No limit on the number of times or the length of time a student may engage in part-time or full-time CPT • The use of 12 months of full-time CPT affect eligibility for OPT at the same education level • May engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location, and period approved • Must have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as CPT • MUST receive authorization from ISS advisor (Aleta or Soha) BEFORE starting employment • Must continue to maintain a full-course of study in F-1 status during period of employment. How to request CPT • Have a job offer letter (document how job is related to major) 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) • Internship Approval form signed by academic advisor (this form is available from the ISS office) • Make appointment with the ISS office (bring all documentation of CPT employment) • If your CPT is approved, a new Form I-20 with the CPT employment authorization will be issued. Questions about CPT? A Closer look at OPT To be eligible for OPT, you must: 1. Have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (9 Months) 2. Have completed degree program 3. Have not used full-time CPT for 12 months or more OPT Regulations • 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 • the 12-month allotment per degree level may be divided into various segments (Pre-Completion or Post-Completion OPT) • Post-Completion OPT • Used after degree program completion • start date must fall within 60 days of program completion • MUST receive authorization from ISS advisor (Aleta or Soha) • USCIS application, application fee of $380, and approval is required before employment can start • Unemployment Limit of 90 days starting from OPT start date OPT Con’t… • 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 How to Request OPT • Pick-up an OPT Application packet from ISS office • Review any prior CPT or Pre-Completion OPT with your ISS advisor (Aleta or Soha) • Complete all requirements of the OPT Application • Make appointment with ISS office to review application packet • Receive new Form I-20 with OPT authorization from DSO (Aleta or Soha) • Mail application packet to USCSI • WAIT… Employment Authorization Card (EAD) What does this mean??? Can I travel on OPT? • 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 to Travel: • Before I-20 has expired but OPT application is still pending and you have NO job offer letter (not prohibited but may cause issues at the port of entry VERY RISKY) • Before I-20 has expired but OPT application is still pending and you have a job offer letter (not prohibited but may cause issues at the port of entry) • I-20 has expired • 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 What is my status while on OPT? While you are on OPT you are still considered an F-1 student at Brockport. Therefore you must: • Notify the ISS office of any address changes to [email protected] • Have your I-20 signed for travel by the ISS office • Decide if you want to keep your HTH health insurance (there can be no break in coverage) • Report employment information (name, address, interruption of employment) and changes to employment to the ISS office at [email protected] Any Questions? Contact the ISS office at [email protected] for more information or to schedule an appointment.