* This article about Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is part of series of articles about F1 Visa. Refer to Table of Contents at end of this article**
According to Department of Homeland Security Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined 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.”
Thus, CPT for F-1 visa students is intended to provide work experience in situations where the work serves as an integral part of a student’s academic program, prior to completion of that program.
The student must have enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year before being eligible for CPT.
An exception exists for graduate students whose programs require immediate participation in an internship.
One Academic Year
- Starting College in Fall – Fall and Spring (CPT from Summer)
- Starting College in Spring – Spring, Summer, Fall (CPT from Spring)
CPT is available only while the student is in valid F-1 status and before the completion of degree.
CPT – Part-Time vs. Full-Time
It is possible to get Part Time of Ful-time CPT.
During the school year while classes are in session, students can get internship offer and work part time (limited to no more than 20 hours per week)
If you find a full time internship after completing one academic year, then apply for Full-time CPT. This could be in Summer, Fall or Spring.
Some schools may not allow full time CPT during Fall and Spring semesters (only in Summer break).
Important – If you use CPT for 12 months or more, you will not be eligible for post-completion optional practical training (OPT).