A student who is maintaining F-1 status may be approved for off-campus employment through CPT if the work is an “integral part of an established curriculum. “ Eligibility requirements for CPT;
- Must be in active F-1 status at the time of application and have been enrolled full-time for one academic year before starting CPT. Exception exists for graduate students whose program requires immediate practical training.
- Work must be identified as an “integral part of an established curriculum.” Must be required by the degree program or part of a course.
- Student must be registered for at least one course related to the CPT for each term during which CPT is authorized. This includes J-term. (Student should apply every semester or every vacation to maintain their CPT status if they are willing to work for a long period of time. Student can apply CPT four times during a year(spring, summer, fall and winter)
- CPT must be approved for one semester at a time, not to exceed the program end date.
- CPT must be approved and authorized on the I-20 prior to the employment start date. Working off-campus without prior authorization is a violation of F-1 status.
- CPT shall be authorized for a part-time basis during regular academic terms while a full-time basis can be authorized during the summer and winter terms.
- OPT must relate to student major or course of study
- Student can apply for 12 months of OPT at each education level.(i.e., student may have 12 months of OPT at the bachelor’s level and another 12 months of OPT at the master’s level)
- Wait to start work until after receive EAD(Employment Authorization Document).
- After receive EAD card, send to registrar office copy of EAD card
- Student may apply up to 90 days before, or up to 60 days after graduation
- After issued I-20 for OPT, student should apply within 1month.
Who can apply:
- Undergraduate students must complete all degree requirements before starting OPT.
- Graduate students must complete required coursework before starting OPT and may complete thesis before beginning OPT.
- Students who did not exceed 12months of full-time CPT for the same academic level
Employment during OPT
- Students on post-completion OPT are limited to a maximum of 90 days of unemployment.
- Employment authorization is active for the exact dates listed on the Employment Authorization Document(EAD). Student must wait until receive EAD card before starting work.
Reporting requirements during OPT
- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security(DHS) now requires all students in F-1 status who have been granted OPT employment authorization to report the location of the OPT experience. Including name and address of their OPT employer or organization.
- While on OPT, student must notify the school office within 10days of any changes in the following information:
1. New employment-offer letter, employer’s name/address, employment dates
2. Personal information-name, contact information
3. Change of employer-employer’s name/address, employment dates
4. Change of immigration status
5. If student leave the country permanently