Have an offer for a job or internship?
Curricular Practical Training, or CPT, is work authorization you can request if you will receive course credit or if the employment is a required component of your degree program. If you are approved for CPT, you will receive a new I-20 with the employer and date-specific approval on the back showing that you are authorized to work off campus. It is generally for work that is temporary in nature, and may not be appropriate for long term job offers. Additionally, it is only available while you are an enrolled student. For authorization for employment taking place after graduation you may need a different type of work authorization called Optional Practical Training. You must have prior permission from ISSS in place before you start any work that is considered off campus.
How do I get the CPT approval from ISSS?
- Talk to your academic advisor to find out if they can recommend CPT as a requirement of your academic program.
- Get an offer letter from the employer and have your academic advisor fill out the CPT Recommendation form.
- Bring the employment offer letter, your completed CPT Recommendation form, and a copy of your current I-94 record to ISSS.
To get the CPT approval and new I-20, you can either use our CPT Drop-Off Service or schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor.
How does the CPT Drop-Off Service work?
Bring your completed CPT recommendation form, a copy of your current I-94 record, and your employment offer letter to the International Office front desk. You will need to sign and complete both sides of the CPT Drop-off Service Checklist. When you drop the documents off, you will get a receipt from the front desk showing the person you submitted your documents to and what to expect next. If you drop everything off at the International Office front desk before Thursday at 5 pm, an advisor will be able to review your documents by the close of business on the following Monday. This means that your CPT authorization and new I-20 will be available on Tuesday morning. An advisor will email you when your new I-20 is ready to be picked up or if there is anything else you may need to do.
Additional things to remember when using our CPT Drop-Off Service:
- Make sure the start date on the offer letter shows a start date that is later than the processing time from ISSS. If you have a start date that is coming up before the drop-off service approval deadline, it may be better to schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor.
- Review the offer letter and make sure it has everything that is required. You can review the offer letter requirements on our website.
- There are no same-day approvals when using the CPT Drop-Off Service.
- Be sure not to start any off-campus work before your CPT approval is in place. Unauthorized employment is a serious violation of the F-1 student visa status.
If you have any questions about the CPT process, you are welcome to also schedule an international student advising appointment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.