US student visas for Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of work authorization that allows F-1 international students to gain practical experience in their field of study while still enrolled in school.

CPT can be completed part-time or full-time, and it can be completed with a single employer or multiple employers.

Who is eligible for CPT?

To be eligible for CPT, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be an F-1 student enrolled in a SEVP-certified institution.
  • You must have completed at least one academic year of full-time study in the United States.
  • The CPT opportunity must be an integral part of your academic program.
  • You must have a job offer from a qualified employer.

What types of CPT opportunities are available?

CPT opportunities can include internships, co-ops, and other types of practical training that are directly related to your field of study.

CPT opportunities can be paid or unpaid, and they can be completed in the United States or abroad.

How to apply

To apply for CPT, you must submit the following documents to your Designated School Official (DSO):

  • A completed CPT Application Form.
  • A letter from your employer confirming the job offer and describing the CPT opportunity in detail.
  • A letter from your academic advisor confirming that the CPT opportunity is an integral part of your academic program.

Your DSO will review your application and determine whether to approve it. If your application is approved, your DSO will update your Form I-20 to reflect your CPT authorization.

Benefits of CPT

CPT offers a number of benefits to F-1 international students, including:

  • Gaining practical experience in their field of study.
  • Networking with potential employers.
  • Developing their professional skills.
  • Improving their job prospects after graduation.

CPT and OPT

CPT is different from Optional Practical Training (OPT) in a few key ways. OPT is a type of work authorization that allows F-1 international students to work full-time for up to one year after graduation. CPT, on the other hand, must be completed while the student is still enrolled in school.

Another difference between CPT and OPT is that CPT is not subject to the 20-hour per week work limit that applies to OPT.

CPT students can work full-time or part-time, depending on the needs of their employer and their academic program.

Conclusion

CPT is a valuable opportunity for F-1 international students to gain practical experience in their field of study and improve their job prospects after graduation.

If you are an F-1 student and you are interested in CPT, be sure to talk to your DSO to learn more about your eligibility and how to apply.

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