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General Information

What is CPT?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary authorization for off-campus practical training directly related to your major field of study for F-1 students.
 
"Practical training" can include employment, internship experience, or practicum participation. You can apply for CPT during the regular academic year as a full-time student.
 
CPT may be part-time (20 hours per week or less) or full-time (more than 20 hours per week). If you accumulate 12 months of full-time CPT authorization, you lose your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT), another type of employment authorization for F-1 students.
 
Eligibility
 
You are eligible for CPT if you:
  • Are currently in valid F-1 status.
  • Have been enrolled at Illinois College on a full-time basis for at least one full academic year - two full-time semesters.
  • Have declared a major. CPT cannot be authorized based on a minor.
  • Will earn your degree from Illinois College. Visiting exchange students are not eligible for CPT.

Credit Requirement

You may request authorization for CPT to participate in practical training that is integral to your major. Therefore, you must receive academic credit for the internship or practicum through your major academic department in order to authorize CPT.
CPT Application Procedures
  1. Contact Rick Bystry in the Office of Admissions and JJ Sadler in the Office of Career Services to evaluate your eligibility for CPT.
  2. You must submit the following documents to Rick Bystry:
    • Completed Internship Learning Contract
    • A completed "Advisor Recommendation Form" you will receive from Rick Bystry when  you contact him
    • Your unofficial transcript
    • A copy of the internship/job offer from the employer. The letter must:
      • Be written on the company's letterhead
      • Be addressed to you
      • Include the internship/job title
      • Provide a description of the internship/job
      • Specify the employer's address (street, city, state, and zip code)
      • Specify if the employment is full- or part-time and indicate the number of hours per week
      • Specify the exact dates of CPT employment (CPT can only be authorized one semester at a time)
  3. If you qualify for CPT, you will be issued a new Form I-20 endorsed with details of your CPT employment. Do not begin working until you receive your I-20 endorsed for CPT. Your endorsed I-20, together with your passport and I-94 card, is evidence of your eligibility to work and may be used to complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 that all U.S. employers are required to complete.
  4. Register for a Social Security number, if you have not done so already. This is accomplished through Rick Bystry and Dr. Almut Spalding in the Office of Study Abroad and BreakAways once you are authorized for CPT.

CPT is employer-specific. Therefore, you must apply for a new CPT authorization before you can work with the new employer.

    
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