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.
- 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 full-time (40 hours/week) during vacation periods.
- Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location and period approved and recorded by the DSO in SEVIS.
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 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 upon the length of time you may participate in full-time "CPT", but if you participate for twelve months or more you will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training upon completion of your degree.
Application and Authorization Procedures:
Go to International Students and Scholars in Suite 5 (basement) of the Cheney International Center for evaluation of your employment opportunity to make certain that both you and the job meet eligibility requirements. To obtain the ISS recommendation for "CPT", you should submit the following documents for processing:
- A letter from your adviser describing why the employment experience is a required, or an important or integral part of your academic program, the name of the internship course you will be enrolled in, and the number of credit hours you will receive for the experience (get a sample letter from ISS);
- A letter from the potential employer outlining the specific job duties, dates of employment, name of supervisor and location of employment (get a sample letter from ISS);
- A letter from you (the student), describing how the proposed employment is directly related to your academic program of study, the dates of CPT is being requested for, and verification that you are enrolled in an internship course through your department; or provide documentation that while not receiving academic credit, the internship is a mandatory requirement for graduation.
Upon receipt of all of the above documents, ISS will evaluate your eligibility. If you qualify for "CPT", the necessary documents (a new SEVIS I-20 and a work 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" must be requested for each academic semester at UW (including summer).