Update: The CPT application form has been updated as of November 15, 2012. Please use the new application form linked below.
The basic rule for the F-1 visa student is that he/she may only work part time on campus serving the student body. When the guidelines were set up for the F-1 visa, the government realized that programs in the US vary in structure and many programs require students to participate in different types of internships. Since students on an F-1 visa may not work off campus without meeting specific requirements and receiving prior approval, the government allows CPT when an internship is a required part of the student’s program.
While CPT gives work authorization, it should not be seen as work authorization. Rather, CPT is an internship authorization. Any off-campus internship, paid or unpaid, must have CPT authorization.
- Determine if you are eligible
- Download CPT Application Form below
- Find an appropriate internship
- Complete require documents
- CPT Application form (all sections filled out and approved)
- Employer offer letter (with required information)
- Supplemental documents showing the internship is an integral part of your program or a class for credit.
- Submit all approved forms to the proper DSO (Designated School Official) in International Admissions office.
- Pick up new I-20 when it is ready*
You will not need to pay any fees or file any forms to the government for CPT authorization. The DSO will make the final judgment, and if approved, will issue you a new I-20. This I-20 is your employment authorization document.
*Note: CPT is not approved until the I-20 is created with the approval notice on page 3.
- CPT internships must be for credit or a designed part of a student’s class/program.
- Eligibility: You must be an F-1 student Enrolled in a full course of study continuously for at least 1 academic year. The only exception is if a post-graduate student is required to take an internship as part of their program. Example: Counseling Practicum
- You may not begin working until you receive work authorization on your I-20. Even one day working before this puts you in violation of F-1 visa rules.
- More than 12 months of full-time CPT will disqualify you from Optional Practical Training (OPT). Part-time CPT does not count against OPT.
General DBU Requirements
- You must apply in person.
- All sections must be complete or the application will be denied.
- No long distance CPT will be approved. CPT internships should be in the DFW metroplex.
- The end date of your internship may not be later than the last day of the semester.
- You must be registered in the class that requires the internship before CPT can be approved.
- Summer and Winter Breaks: If the supervising professor agrees, you may add the summer break into a Fall class internship, and the winter break into the spring class internship.
- Full-time CPT will only be approved during Summer break or in a student’s final semester if they have less than a full course load to graduate.
There are no deadlines for applying for CPT as long as you can complete the course requirements before the end of the semester.
Download CPT Application
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