2 CPT vs. OPTWhat is CPT?CPT or Curricular Practical Training is an off-campus employment option for F-1 students.The internship (training experience) MUST be considered to be an integral part of the curriculum and directly related to the student’s major area of study.Training that is required for all studentsTraining is required for a particular course or majorDSO authorization requiredNo application fee or USCIS authorization for CPT
3 CPT vs. OPTWhat is OPT?OPT or Optional Practical Training is an employment option available to F-1 students for employment directly related to the major area of study.12 month period of OPT per higher degree level.17 month STEM Extension OPT may be possible for some students.Pre-Completion OPTPart-time or Full-time employment during the student’s annual vacation and holiday breaks, and intend to register for the next term.Employment while school is in session (not to exceed 20hrs/week)Post-Completion OPTAfter completion of all course requirements for the degree, excluding thesis or equivalentDSO authorization requiredApplication fee and USCIS authorization required
4 To be eligible for CPT, you must: A closer look at CPT…To be eligible for CPT, you must:Have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (9 Months)Have a declared majorHave a job/internship offer directly related to your major area of study
5 CPT RegulationsNo limit on the number of times or the length of time a student may engage in part-time or full-time CPTThe use of 12 months of full-time CPT affect eligibility for OPT at the same education levelMay engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location, and period approvedMust have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as CPTMUST receive authorization from ISS advisor (Aleta or Soha) BEFORE starting employmentMust continue to maintain a full-course of study in F-1 status during period of employment.
6 How to request CPTHave a job offer letter (document how job is related to major)The employer must provide the you a written offer on official letterhead. The following information must be included in the letter:Employer NameEmployer Address – and location where student will workEmployment Start and End DatesNumber of Hours Expected to Work Per Week (Full-Time or Part-Time)Position TitlePosition DescriptionName of Immediate Supervisor (if known)Internship Approval form signed by academic advisor (this form is available from the ISS office)Make appointment with the ISS office (bring all documentation of CPT employment)If your CPT is approved, a new Form I-20 with the CPT employment authorization will be issued.
8 To be eligible for OPT, you must: A Closer look at OPTTo be eligible for OPT, you must:Have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (9 Months)Have completed degree programHave not used full-time CPT for 12 months or more
9 OPT RegulationsEmployment must be directly related to your academic major and be commensurate with your educational levelStandard OPT time per degree level is 12 monthsthe 12-month allotment per degree level may be divided into various segments (Pre-Completion or Post-Completion OPT)Post-Completion OPTUsed after degree program completionstart date must fall within 60 days of program completionMUST receive authorization from ISS advisor (Aleta or Soha)USCIS application, application fee of $380, and approval is required before employment can startUnemployment Limit of 90 days starting from OPT start date
10 OPT Con’t…During Post-Completion OPT, F-1 status is dependent upon employment.Students may not accrue an aggregate of more than 90 days of unemployment during any Standard Post-Completion OPT.For Post-Completion OPT, the employment does NOT have to be paid employment as long as there is no violation of labor laws, but must be at least 20 hours a week.interning or volunteering in a position directly related to the academic fieldwork for hire (contractual relationship)employment through an agency
11 How to Request OPT Pick-up an OPT Application packet from ISS office Review any prior CPT or Pre-Completion OPT with your ISS advisor (Aleta or Soha)Complete all requirements of the OPT ApplicationMake appointment with ISS office to review application packetReceive new Form I-20 with OPT authorization from DSO (Aleta or Soha)Mail application packet to USCSIWAIT…
13 Employment Authorization Card (EAD) What does this mean???
14 Can I travel on OPT? Recommended Travel: Not Recommended to Travel: Before the expiration of your I-20, with I-20 travel signatureWith EAD, signed I-20 for travel, valid visa, passport, letter from employerNot Recommended to Travel:Before I-20 has expired but OPT application is still pending and you have NO job offer letter (not prohibited but may cause issues at the port of entry VERY RISKY)Before I-20 has expired but OPT application is still pending and you have a job offer letter (not prohibited but may cause issues at the port of entry)I-20 has expiredIf your F-1 visa has expired and you will need to apply for a new one.While STEM Extension is pending you should not travel outside the US
15 What is my status while on OPT? While you are on OPT you are still considered an F-1 student at Brockport.Therefore you must:Notify the ISS office of any address changes toHave your I-20 signed for travel by the ISS officeDecide if you want to keep your HTH health insurance (there can be no break in coverage)Report employment information (name, address, interruption of employment) and changes to employment to the ISS office at
16 Any Questions?Contact the ISS office at for more information or to schedule an appointment.
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