CPT Seminar - University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Curricular Practical Training
International Student Services
Revised February 6, 2014
What is CPT?
Curricular Practical Training is specific work
authorization to give F-1 international students
permission to work off campus in paid or unpaid
positions when the work meets an academic
CPT is only available prior to degree completion
and after a student has completed one academic
year in their program of study.
CPT is usually used to support a Co-Op or
departmental internship opportunity. It may also be
used for doctoral students requiring field experience
for their dissertation.
8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)
Since F-1 students are in the United States on a student visa, they
are not authorized for employment in the US.
However, certain provisions do exist within the Code of Federal
Regulations to allow students certain employment opportunities.
Curricular Practical Training is authorized by 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)
Employment Categories for F-1 Students
Employment categories for F-1 international students include:
• On Campus Employment
– Limited to 20 hours per week in the Spring and Fall semesters and can be up
to 40 hours during the summer and official university breaks.
– This is an automatic benefit. No additional immigration authorization is
• Curricular Practical Training
– Off-campus work directly related to the student’s major field of study and an
integral part of an established curriculum
– Always prior to degree completion
• Optional Practical Training
– Off-campus work directly related to the student’s major field of study and not
required for academic purposes
– Usually after degree completion
– F-1 Students are eligible for 12 months of Standard OPT at each educational
level as long as they are progressing toward higher degrees.
– STEM graduates may be eligible for a 17 month STEM extension after
Standard OPT
Eligibility for CPT
There are three requirements for establishing
eligibility for CPT.
Each of the requirements can be understood by
looking at the name:
Opportunity must meet an academic requirement
Student must have completed one academic year in their
Opportunity must be in student’s major field of study
Curricular Practical Training
An F-1 student may be authorized by the DSO to participate in
a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of
an established curriculum…. 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)
Three Options for Establishing Curricular Component
1.Enroll in a course
 Co-Op, Internship, Practicum, Field Work, etc.
2.Required for degree completion
 Required for graduation, but not a credit
3.Essential for research
 Available for PhD students
Curricular Practical Training
Practical training may be authorized to an F-1 student who has
been lawfully enrolled on a full time basis… for one full academic
year… 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)
You must complete one academic year in your
program of study.
 CPT is the practical application of classroom
 An academic year is a spring and a fall semester
 Time accrued toward this requirement restarts
with new program or a new initial I-20
Curricular Practical Training
An eligible student may request employment authorization for
practical training in a position that is directly related to his or
her major area of study. 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)
The work must be in your field of study.
 The course you’re enrolling in must be in your
declared major
 Minors may be approved on a case-by-case basis
Applying for CPT
Gather information early, apply for CPT
at the very end.
Preliminary Eligibility
• Check with International Student Services
Is this your second degree in the United States?
Have you had previous practical training?
When do you meet the academic year eligibility?
Did you ever receive a new initial I-20?
• Check with your Department
– Do they offer academic credit for employment?
– If so, what are the pre-requisites for the course?
– Do they require practical training for degree completion?
• Talk to the Office of Cooperative Education
– This office helps connect students and employers
– Michelle Goza can help you understand the Co-Op
process, which works in tandem with CPT regulations.
Find a Position
• Receive Job Offer Letter
– Letter must be signed, on company letterhead with
starting date and expected hours per week
– The company name must be written according to E-Verify
to avoid complications
• Enroll in the Course Giving you Academic Credit
– See the Office of Cooperative Education to do a Co-Op OR
– See your academic advisor to do an internship within your
– Be mindful of registration and Co-Op deadlines
• Submit Application for CPT to ISS
– Part One: Student Application
– Part Two: Advisor Approval
– Part Three: Revoking Graduate Assistantship
Receive Notification from ISS
• F-1 students are not permitted to begin working
without the I-20 showing authorization for
Curricular Practical Training.
• To engage in paid or unpaid work beyond the
authorization dates listed on the I-20 is unlawful
• CPT Authorization is:
– With a specific employer
– During specific dates
– For a specific amount of hours per week
Common Concerns
Is it Confusing Practical Training?
Points to Consider
• CPT Authorization follows semester dates
• You must reapply each semester
• Part-time during Spring & Fall, Full-time during
– Full-time may be considered in final semester with
additional documentation
• Limits to CPT eligibility
– 12 months of full-time practical training per educational
• 12 months of full-time disqualifies you for OPT
• After you’ve received OPT at one level, you cannot do CPT at the
same level.
– As long as you stay part-time and meet the curricular
component, you can receive CPT multiple semesters
More Points to Consider
• 20 hours per week maximum are for CPT and oncampus employment combined.
– If you work 10 hours on campus, you can have CPT for 10
hours per week
• You do not receive an Employment Authorization
Document (EAD). Your authorized I-20 serves as
your employment authorization with Human
Resources at your company.
• When offered the job, ask about E-Verify. Get the
name of the employer according to E-Verify for
your CPT Application to avoid complications.
Quick Summary
True or False
A job that will be great on your resume will qualify for CPT.
False. You must also satisfy the curricular component.
You can receive CPT after your second full semester.
True. One academic year is a fall and a spring semester.
You can apply for CPT before receiving the job offer.
False. Receive CPT authorization after the opportunity is
ISS creates these rules to keep you from opportunities.
False! We definitely want you to have good, legal experiences.
Thank you
for viewing CPT Overview.
We wish you a successful
future of practical training.
International Student Services
2801 S. University Avenue
EDU 101
Little Rock, AR 72204
[email protected]

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