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Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment benefit contained in federal regulations governing the F-1 visa category. USCIS defines CPT as "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." According to USCIS, the word "required" does not always limit this type of practical training only to work experiences which are required parts of the curriculum. Training which is not required by your degree program may meet the requirements for CPT if you receive academic credit for the employment experience or it is offered by sponsored employers through a co-op program at the University of Wyoming.

 

Eligibility:

  • Students must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year before being eligible for CPT. One exception to this exists only for graduate students whose programs require immediate curricular training.
  • It is available only while the student is in F-1 status, before the completion of the degree.
  • CPT does not require authorization from USCIS.
  • Student must have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as curricular practical training.
  • The training program must be "an integral or required part of the establish curriculum."
  • The student must be enrolled in a UW internship course and must receive academic credit in order to participate in CPT.
  • CPT is limited to 20 hours/week while school is in session and 40 hours/week during vacation periods.


Location:

  • Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location and period approved and recorded by the DSO in SEVIS.  This information is printed on the back of the form I-20 and on the employment authorization letter issued by ISS upon approval.


Part-time VS Full-time CPT:

  • Part-time Training: Employment for 20 hours or less per week while you are also enrolled for classes is considered "part-time CPT". There is no limitation on the length of time you may participate in part-time CPT, but you must be enrolled full-time in school during your training in order to maintain lawful F-1 status.
  • Full-time Training: Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered "full-time CPT". There is no limitation on the length of time you may participate in full-time "CPT", but if you participate for 365 days or more you will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training upon completion of your degree.

Application and Authorization Procedures:

You may want to contact ISS staff for evaluation of your employment opportunity to make certain that both you and the job meet eligibility requirements. You may pick up a CPT application packet from ISS, or download it here.  Complete the required sections, ask your academic advisor and intended employer to complete their designated sections, enroll for at least one credit of internship at UW, and submit all documents to ISS.  CPT application materials must be submitted to ISS at least two weeks before the intended CPT start date to allow time for evaluation and completion of the approval documents.


Upon receipt of the completed application, ISS will evaluate your eligibility. If you qualify for CPT the necessary documents (a new SEVIS I-20 and an employment authorization letter) will be prepared as quickly as possible. Please give your employer a copy of your I-20 and the original work authorization letter for their proof of your eligibility to be employed.

Remember: You may not begin employment through your internship until your request has been approved by ISS and until the date noted on the back of your I-20. Also, CPT will only be approved for one academic semester at a time to ensure proper enrollment in internship credit for any authorized periods of CPT, including summer.

 


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