Curricular Practical Training FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions about Curricular Practical Training

  • Are there any circumstances in which an international student can volunteer off-campus and NOT need authorization?  Does all off campus volunteering require CPT authorization? 
  • Off-campus volunteer work is always tricky and you should always consult with your SISS advisor before undertaking it.  If the volunteer work is related to your major, you must obtain CPT authorization before starting it.  In other cases we would want to discuss the specifics with you before you start. 

  • What happens if I start work a few days before the authorization if finalized because I know it will be finalized? 
  • Starting work before you have the authorization on your I-20 is a status violation that could have negative repercussions on your ability to obtain other benefits in the future or even on your ability to re-enter the US.  You should NEVER start work without authorization.  

  • If I transfer from another school, do I have to wait 9 months to be eligible for CPT? 
  • If you maintained your F-1 Student status for a full academic year at the other school, you may be able to be authorized for CPT immediately.  Discuss this with an advisor.  
  • Someone told me that I can do CPT during the Summer and take the required class in Fall. Is this true? 
  • That is not correct.  You must be enrolled in a research/internship unit in the same quarter/session in which you are authorized to do the CPT.  The only exception is in the Summer.  You must be enrolled in a single unit in either Summer Session I OR Summer Session II and then can be on CPT all throughout the summer. 
  • I show that I am not in good academic standing, but it is not due to poor grades. Am I still eligible? 
  • If your OASIS record shows that you are not in good academic standing for ANY reason--GPA or failing to achieve minimum progress--you cannot be authorized for CPT. 

  • How many units do I need in order to do CPT? 
  • A single unit.  Please consult your major advisor or graduate coordinator to determine which CRN to use. 

  • How many units do I need to take during the summer? 
  • A single unit in EITHER Summer Session I OR Summer Session II. 

  •  What if I have a job that is longer than 1 quarter? 
  • This is not unusual.  You will need to request and obtain CPT authorization quarter by quarter and we authorize one quarter at a time.  You can use the same job offer letter each time if it lists dates that extend beyond a single quarter. You will need to be enrolled in at least one internship/research unit for each quarter you seek CPT authorization.  

  •   I have a job/internship offer for next quarter, when should I apply for CPT? 
  • Our processing times for CPT authorization are officially 10 business days once everything has been submitted, approved, and you have an advisor or coordinator recommendation.  To speed things up be sure that your employment letter meets all the criteria and alert your advisor or coordinator that they will be getting an email from SISS to provide their recommendation.  

 

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