What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment authorization for F-1 students. Eligible students may seek authorization to work in an internship, co-op, or practicum that is directly related to their major field of study. The purpose of CPT is to apply the knowledge and skills they are gaining in the classroom to practical work experience in the U.S.
Does CPT require visa sponsorship?
CPT is not a separate visa category and does not require “sponsorship” from an employer. However, the student must have a practical training offer from the employer before they can apply for CPT authorization. A template letter can be found below.
Does CPT require payment?
CPT is for paid and unpaid experiences. Remuneration of any kind constitutes payment for immigration purposes. This includes free or reduced cost housing, parking, meals, etc. Be mindful of Department of Labor criteria for internships and volunteer positions.
Who authorizes CPT?
CPT is authorized by a Designated School Official (DSO) at International Student Services (ISS). It may take ISS 15 business days to review and approve a student’s CPT request. An F-1 student must request authorization from the school at which they are enrolled full-time with their F-1 I-20.
A student must have CPT authorization before they can start their practical training experience. CPT authorization is typically granted for one semester at a time, because authorization is contingent on enrollment in a specific course. More information on CPT authorization dates can be found in the student information section.
What do I need to do to hire a student on CPT?
Once an F-1 student has accepted an offer from your company or organization, they will need an offer letter. This letter must be on letterhead, signed by the supervisor or hiring authority, and address each required field in the template above.
The student must upload the completed offer letter their online CPT request in TerraDotta. This is a requirement of their CPT application process.
What does CPT authorization look like?
CPT is authorized on an F-1 student’s Form I-20 on page 2 (of 3 pages total). The authorization is granted using the information collected on the ISS CPT application form. The student must keep the original document for their permanent records. The employer should see the original document and verify the authorization dates and details.