Salisbury University - Center for International Education
F-1 Visa Status
Practical Training: CPT
I just started my studies in the US. Am I eligible to
start Curricular Practical
Most likely not. You need to be in F-1 status and enrolled
on a full-time basis for at least one
full academic year
before becoming eligible for practical training. Only
those graduate students are eligible to star CPT in their first
semester if the CPT is required of all students in their
Q: When am I eligible to
apply for CPT if I transfer from another US school?
A: You will be eligible
once you have been enrolled in F-1 status for at least one full
academic year; this may be cumulative at both institutions.
Q: I found a very good
internship opportunity. May I start work next week?
A: No. You must first
have authorization from the international student advisor before
you begin paid or unpaid internship or any other form of
Curricular Practical Training. You need to get a new SEVIS
I-20 issues by the international student advisor which is
endorsed with CPT authorization before you begin the internship
Q: How long may I work
A: CPT can be approved for
part-time (20 hours or less) or full-time (over 20 hours).
There is no regulatory limit on either the number of times or
length of time a student may engage in either part or full-time
Curricular Practical Training. This will be governed by
the nature of the training and the requirement of the student's
program. The regulations do not prohibit multiple,
concurrent CPT employers.
Q: May I complete full
time CPT and still be eligible for OPT?
A: Students who complete 12
or more months of full-time CPT become ineligible for OPT.
Use of part-time CPT does not affect eligibility for OPT.
To continue to be eligible for OPT you will want to make sure to
complete 364 days or less of full-time CPT.
Q: How long may I work
A: This depends on the
specific period granted by the international student advisor.
It may be granted by the international student advisor in
increments of no more than one year, or until expected date of
employment completion, which ever is shorter. No
cumulative maximum, except that it can only be approved before
completion of the academic objective. Please see question
and answer above for additional information.
Q: Who can be my
employer during CPT?
A: Students may engage
in CPT only for the specific employer, location and period
approved and recorder by the international student advisor in
Q: I heard that
Curricular Practical Training is any off-campus job. Is
A: No. USCIS
defines CPT as an employment that is an integral part of an
established curriculum. It includes alternative
work/study, internship or cooperative education arranged with
the approval of your academic program, or any type of required
internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers
through cooperative agreements. CPT may take place during
the academic year and/or in the summer/winter and MUST be
undertaken and completed prior to the completion of the course
Q: What if I get a new
job in my area of studies? Do I need to apply again?
A: Yes. A new
application will be required if there is a change of employers
or if the employment is to be continued beyond the current
ending date. An updated offer letter and updated
Certificate of Completion of Studies form are required.
Q: Is CPT usually
required or is it only recommended?
A: USCIS interprets CPT
in two ways. CPT may be required or recommended.
This is decided by the stated requirements of an academic
degree. CPT is required when it is a required part of the
curriculum; it should be mentioned in the University catalog in
the description of the department's requirements for all
students. CPT is recommended when it is beneficial for the
student to engage in the employment experience but that
experience is NOT necessary for the completion of the degree.
A student authorized for recommended CPT is required by current
immigration regulations to register for a minimum of 1 college
credit which reflects the CPT placement; this credit must be
granted by the academic department for each semester of the CPT
placement, including the summer/winter sessions.
Q: Is there a fee for
A: No fee is required with
a CPT application. It is processes and approved by the
international student advisor.