So, do you want to know the difference between CPT, OPT and STEM OPT?
Let’s start with the acronyms, OPT and STEM first, Ok?
- CPT – Curricular Practical Training
- OPT – Optional Practical Training
- STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
- EAD – Employment Authorization Document (it looks like more a credit card)
OPT and STEM OPT is available for International Students studying in the USA on F-1 Student Visa.
OPT vs STEM OPT
That’s the main set of differences between OPT vs STEM OPT. Did I miss anything? Please let me know in the comments section.
CPT vs OPT vs STEM OPT
CPT is a different beast altogether. And there’s no commonality with OPT or STEM OPT to be included in the above table. So, including some of the key points in a separate section.
- CPT is typically used for doing an Internship while in School
- For instance, some courses require CPT as part of the Curriculum.
- It can be Full Time or Part-Time
- Schools set their own rules when it comes to approving CPT
PS: I typically don’t recommend a university, if they have a policy to not allow CPT during the Fall or Spring Semester or Full-Time CPT.
Key Dates to Remember for OPT and STEM OPT
The Study in States site has a really useful tool for OPT Dates.
Please pay close attention to the Key OPT and STEM OPT application dates.
I have a quick question and it is an emergency. Today is the last day for USCIS to receive my initial 12 months OPT package. I have mailed them my the OPT package today. Today will be the 60th day. Will my opt application gets rejected?
I can’t think of any reason why someone could mail the Initial 12 Months OPT on the 60th day of their Grace Period.