Seek a position that is directly related to your degree program (the major and degree level that matches your I-20). You must be offered the position before you submit your CPT application. Important: remember that CPT applications require thorough review so please select an employment start date that allows for ISS processing time.
Step 2: Obtain a job offer letter from your employer.
ISS is required to report certain elements of your CPT employment offer in SEVIS. We have created a template for the information on our website to help them create this process.
Step 3: Send the job offer letter to the career advisor who will be authorizing your CPT.
Your career advisor needs to be able to complete a verification for ISS and they need to see the letter you received in order to do so.
Step 4: Complete ISS CPT application in Terra Dotta.
You will fill out the CPT application in Terra Dotta for ISS. You must upload your employment letter and include your Career Advisor’s email in the verification portion of the form.
More directions about submitting your application are provided in the CPT Workshop video below:
Additional action is required depending on your reason for CPT:
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Required by your degree program
Requires documentation from the UW-Madison Guide as part of your CPT application. You must include, at minimum:
Course number or non-credit requirement
Name of faculty teaching the course
Course description and objectives
Optional or elective of your degree program
Course enrollment in a CPT course is required (generally 1-3 credits). Talk to your academic/faculty advisor and a career advisor in your school or college for possible CPT course enrollment options and permission to enroll.
Common CPT courses include:
College of Letters & Science
College of Business
College of Engineering
Inter LS 260
GB 450, 451, 750, 751
Dissertator research credits
Enrollment in directed/independent study courses for practical training experiences should have a written plan of study and should be no more than 3 credits, unless you are a graduate student who has completed all coursework requirements and has an approved ISS Reduced Course Load (RCL)- coursework completed. Undergraduates must follow UW-Madison policy for directed/independent study enrollment.
Please remember to submit complete and accurate information so your application can be approved in a timely manner.
The earliest date to submit your CPT application form to ISS is the date that you enroll in your CPT course (unless your practical training is required by your degree program with no course enrollment). CPT applications should be submitted at least 15 business days before the requested CPT start date.
Only completed CPT applications will be reviewed. Incomplete CPT applications will be rejected and must be resubmitted once it has been properly completed. CPT applications that are resubmitted will be subject to the 15 business day processing.
Step 7: Collect Your CPT I-20, Review & Sign
You will receive an email from ISS when your I-20 with CPT authorization is available. Collect the I-20 via your preferred method and review page 2 for your CPT authorization details.
Verify that the dates, part-time/full-time, and employer name and location are correct. You can only work for the employer and dates you are authorized.
Sign and date page 1 of your I-20 in blue ink if all of the information is correct.
Your employer should ask to see your I-20 with CPT authorization to complete the new employee paperwork.
Important: please keep your I-20 for your permanent records.