Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

The CPT is an alternative work/study internship or any other type of internship. This must be part of an established curriculum and is only available once the first year of the academic year is completed.    

CPT can be pursued along with OPT, or also as a substitute for OPT.

There are a few conditions that must be catered to:

  • The students who received CPT for 12 months or more are ineligible for Post-completion OPT.
  • If the student has received less than 20 hours of CPT (for 3 years), he is still eligible for OPT.

On-Campus Employment

Students with an F-1 visa can work on-campus without the need to apply for any Employment Authorisation. However, one of the main possibilities that should be accounted for by the students is the state of the economy in the United States, and the job opportunities on the campus. Also, students from the United States will be given preference.

So, once you have got through the hurdles and have secured an on-campus employment opportunities, you may then work up to 20 hours per week either when the school is in session or during any vacations. Also, since the term is ‘on-campus’, you can only work on the school premises, or if there are any off-campus opportunities, make sure that this is affiliated with your school.

All on-campus employment must be an integral part of your curriculum, and it depends on the DSO to determine if the proposed employment is in harmony with the requirement.

Off- Campus Employment

Unlike M-1 students (who have to wait to complete their course before seeking any employment), the F-1 students can work full-time after the completion of one year of their curriculum. Also, the F-1 students may in the case of an economic or financial crunch request for work authorization on Form I-538.