If your F-1 international student is interested in curricular practical training (CPT), don’t forget that you must authorize their CPT opportunity before they can participate.
CPT is an alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education or other type of required internship or practicum that a sponsoring employer offers through agreements with a student’s school. It occurs before a student’s program end date on the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.”
Here’s what you should keep in mind before authorizing CPT for your student:
- CPT must relate directly to the student’s major area of study and be an integral part of the school’s established curriculum. It can be full-time (more than 20 hours per week) or part-time.
- You must authorize CPT in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Please note: SEVIS will not allow you to backdate the authorization.
- Students must secure the training opportunity before CPT can be authorized.
- A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving his or her Form I-20 with the DSO endorsement and not before the CPT start date indicated on the form.
- Student can have more than one CPT authorization at the same time. However, a separate CPT authorization is needed for each employer and each CPT segment.
- CPT requires a signed cooperative agreement or letter from the employer.
For case-specific questions, please contact the SEVP Response Center. Download the Curricular Practical Training Fact Sheet on ICE.gov/SEVP for more information about CPT and answers to frequently asked questions.