Curricular Practical Training for F-1 Students LA Southwest College International Student Services & Programming firstname.lastname@example.org 323-241-5277 http://www.lasc.edu
Before We Begin the Workshop… Are all attendees in F-1 status? Please hold your questions until the end of all general information. If you have a unique and complicated question, wait until the end of the workshop to speak with an advisor.
Important Terms DSO: Designated School Official – International Student Advisor USCIS: US Citizenship and Immigration Services CPT: curricular practical training OPT: optional practical training EAD: employment authorization document (card)
Practical Training: Two Types An F-1 student may wish to find an internship or short-term employment to gain practical experience in the field of study. To obtain permission for this type of employment authorization, the USCIS permits an F-1 student to seek authorization for practical training.
Type 1: Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Internship offered by sponsoring employers through agreements with the university that is required as an integral part of an established curriculum, or will count toward degree requirements. CPT is recommended by the academic advisor and authorized by the DSO or PDSO.
Type 2: Optional Practical Training (OPT) Temporary employment authorization granted by USCIS for practical training that is directly related to the student’s major area of study. OPT can be taken during annual summer vacation, part-time during regular school session, after completion of course requirements or after completion of course of study.
Curricular Practical Training: What is it exactly? An F-1 student may wish to find an internship to gain practical experience in the field of study. To obtain this type of employment authorization, the USCIS permits an F-1 student to seek authorization from the DSO for curricular practical training.
Curricular Practical Training Preconditions Lawfully enrolled as full-time student for one academic year (fall + spring semester). Location Employed only by specific internship employer, location, and for specific dates as approved by DSO. Duration Approval granted each semester. Must reapply prior to each semester if interning multiple semesters. Hours/Week CPT approved for part-time (20h or less per week) or full-time (20+ hours per week). Full- time CPT granted for summer semester only. Field Must be an integral part of curriculum and count toward degree requirements (required or recommended).. Offer of Employment Must obtain specific internship offer letter before applying for CPT. Enrollment Enroll in and complete at least 1 credit hour required for the internship. Minimum enrollment requirements apply in spring and fall semesters. Approval Receive work authorization from DSO on I-20 before internship begins.
CPT and other work authorization Students who use 12 full months of full-time CPT become ineligible for OPT under US immigration law Use of part-time CPT does not affect OPT Consider applying for pre-completion OPT if your degree program is not eligible for CPT
Important! An F-1 student pursuing recommended – not required - CPT cannot hold a concurrent, part-time, on-campus job during the fall and spring semesters. Total number of hours worked per week cannot exceed twenty during the fall and spring semesters! If this applies to you, please speak with an advisor before you apply for CPT. This does not apply to Summer CPT.
Other considerations The internship must be an integral part of an established curriculum. This means that the internship is: 1. required for all degree candidates, or 2. part of an internship course for academic credit towards the degree – support letter from academic advisor required, or 3. required to complete thesis/dissertation research; results will be included in thesis or dissertation - support letter from academic advisor required
CPT Application Process and Deadlines Meet with your academic advisor. Does your degree program require an internship of all students, or will it award internship credit toward your degree requirements? If your program does not require an internship, or will not award credit for an internship, plan ahead for Pre- completion OPT in your field of study Enroll in the internship course when your enrollment window opens, and before the add/drop period closes of the semester in which you wish to do CPT Gather documents and submit CPT application packet to LASC ISS – allow 10 business days for processing LASC ISS WILL PROCESS NO CPT APPLICATIONS IN A CURRENT SEMESTER AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE ADD PERIOD FOR THE SEMESTER
IMPORTANT REGULATION! CPT employment authorization is strictly regulated under US federal immigration law. Working at your internship before the CPT start date on your I-20 or continuing internship employment (paid or unpaid) after the CPT authorization end date on your I-20 IS A SERIOUS VISA VIOLATION AND CAN RESULT IN A LOSS OF YOUR F-1 VISA STATUS.
Curricular Practical Training application procedure Attend LASC ISS CPT/OPT workshop Meet with your Academic Advisor; request that s/he complete the recommendation form, and provide support letter, if applicable Obtain detailed internship offer letter (see template) Submit application to LASC ISS Pick up CPT I-20 after you have been notified via email by LASC ISS DO NOT START THE INTERNSHIP BEFORE YOU ARE AUTHORIZED FOR CPT!
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER (SSN) & TAXES If you find PAID employment or if you are approved for OPT or Severe Economic Hardship, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number through a Social Security Administration Office: http://www.ssa.gov/http://www.ssa.gov/ When you find employment, you will need to file taxes for every year you work. If you need assistance, seek a tax accountant. Form you may need: Form 1040EZ or 1040NR (Income Tax Return) Form 8843 (statement for Exempt Individuals) Form 843 (refund for Medicare &Social Security)
Deadlines to Submit CPT Applications Applications due in ISS office before the 2nd week of class Submit CPT packets in person to LASC ISS Room 116, Student Services Building Call 323-241-5277 or email email@example.com with questions firstname.lastname@example.org