F-1 visa is a non-immigrant student visa for those desiring to pursue academic and language training programs. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS states F-1 Curricular Practical Training or F-1 CPT also known as F-1 Practical Training, as an internship or training program that must be an intergral part of the established curriculum. F-1 CPT serves to provide work experience to students, where the internship or training is a vital part of the student’s academic program, before the course of study is completed. In order to avail F-1 Practical Training Form I-765 should be filed.
F-1 Practical Training should be provided by the sponsoring employers through schools or universities. There must be a collaborative agreement between the employer and the school or university.
F-1 CPT is a temporary employment authorization that is got by filing Form I-765. Non-immigrant students while enrolled in a college for degree level course should file Form I-765. F-1 CPT permission is granted upon the approval of the advisor from the school or university’s International Student Office. The regulations for approval is established by the USCIS.
Eligibility for F-1 Practical Training
- Lawful enrollment on full-time basis for one academic year.
Graduate students whose academic curriculum require immediate internship or training are an exception.
- The student should be in valid F-1 status.
Students who are engaged in English language programs are not eligible for F-1 Practical Training.
International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) can authorize F-1 CPT if the proposed employment meets one of the two conditions below.
- The training employment is necessary for the awarding of the degree and is required for all students pursuing the degree.
- The training will result in the awarding of academic credit for employment experience
F-1 CPT is always part-time. USCIS does not have an absolute limit on the number of F-1 Practical Training that may be utilized. However, if you are engaged in full-time F-1 Practical Training for one year or more, you will lose your eligibility to engage in Optional Practical Training.
When you file Form I-765 to avail CPT the following documents must be submitted:
- Offer letter signed by the prospective employer with the employer’s name, address and dates of employment on company letterhead.
- F1-CPT Recommendation Form completed by the academic advisor.
- Registration Proof for F-1 CPT course, if academic credit is got for the training.
- Copy of passport
- Copy of Form I-94
- Copy of I-20
If you are eligible for F-1 CPT, prepare the supporting documents along with Form I-765. Fix an appointment with the ISSS advisor. He will authorize F-1 CPT by issuing a new I-20. The processing would take 3 business days. Only after you receive the new I-20 and authorized F-1 CPT from ISSS, you can engage in F-1 Practical Training. This authorized F-1 CPT is specific to an employer, location, and duration. To extend your temporary F-1 CPT to EAD you should file Form I-765 along with the required documents. Before your EAD expires, you should file Form I-765 for renewal. Processing time for Form I-765 takes about three months.