Practical Advice on Practical Training

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Curricular Practical Training
for F-1 Students
LA Southwest College International Student Services & Programming
[email protected]
323-241-5277
http://www.lasc.edu
Before We Begin the Workshop…
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Are all attendees in F-1 status?
Please hold your questions until the end of
all general information.
If you have a unique and complicated
question, wait until the end of the workshop
to speak with an advisor.
Important Terms
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DSO: Designated School Official –
International Student Advisor
USCIS: US Citizenship and Immigration
Services
CPT: curricular practical training
OPT: optional practical training
EAD: employment authorization document
(card)
Practical Training: Two Types
• An F-1 student may wish to find an
internship or short-term employment to
gain practical experience in the field of
study.
• To obtain permission for this type of
employment authorization, the USCIS
permits an F-1 student to seek
authorization for practical training.
Type 1:
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Internship offered by sponsoring employers
through agreements with the university that is
required as an integral part of an established
curriculum, or will count toward degree
requirements. CPT is recommended by the
academic advisor and authorized by the DSO
or PDSO.
Type 2:
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
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Temporary employment authorization granted
by USCIS for practical training that is directly
related to the student’s major area of study.
OPT can be taken during annual summer
vacation, part-time during regular school
session, after completion of course
requirements or after completion of course of
study.
Curricular Practical Training:
What is it exactly?
• An F-1 student may wish to find an
internship to gain practical experience in
the field of study. To obtain this type of
employment authorization, the USCIS
permits an F-1 student to seek
authorization from the DSO for curricular
practical training.
Curricular Practical Training
Preconditions
Lawfully enrolled as
full-time student for
one academic year
(fall + spring
semester).
Location
Employed only by
specific internship
employer, location,
and for specific
dates as approved
by DSO.
Duration
Approval granted
each semester.
Must reapply prior
to each semester if
interning multiple
semesters.
Hours/Week
CPT approved for
part-time (20h or
less per week) or
full-time (20+ hours
per week). Fulltime CPT granted
for summer
semester only.
Field
Must be an integral
part of curriculum
and count toward
degree
requirements
(required or
recommended)..
Offer of
Employment
Must obtain specific
internship offer
letter before
applying for CPT.
Enrollment
Enroll in and
complete at least 1
credit hour required
for the internship.
Minimum enrollment
requirements apply
in spring and fall
semesters.
Approval
Receive work
authorization from
DSO on I-20 before
internship begins.
CPT and other work authorization
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Students who use 12 full
months of full-time CPT
become ineligible for
OPT under US
immigration law
Use of part-time CPT
does not affect OPT
Consider applying for
pre-completion OPT if
your degree program is
not eligible for CPT
Important!
An F-1 student pursuing recommended – not
required - CPT cannot hold a concurrent,
part-time, on-campus job during the fall and
spring semesters. Total number of hours
worked per week cannot exceed twenty
during the fall and spring semesters!
If this applies to you, please speak with an
advisor before you apply for CPT.
This does not apply to Summer CPT.
Other considerations
The internship must be an integral part of an
established curriculum. This means that the
internship is:
1. required for all degree candidates, or
2. part of an internship course for academic credit
towards the degree – support letter from
academic advisor required, or
3. required to complete thesis/dissertation
research; results will be included in thesis or
dissertation - support letter from academic
advisor required
CPT Application Process and Deadlines
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Meet with your academic advisor. Does your degree
program require an internship of all students, or will it
award internship credit toward your degree
requirements?
If your program does not require an internship, or will
not award credit for an internship, plan ahead for Precompletion OPT in your field of study
Enroll in the internship course when your enrollment
window opens, and before the add/drop period closes of
the semester in which you wish to do CPT
Gather documents and submit CPT application packet
to LASC ISS – allow 10 business days for processing
LASC ISS WILL PROCESS NO CPT APPLICATIONS
IN A CURRENT SEMESTER AFTER THE CLOSE OF
THE ADD PERIOD FOR THE SEMESTER
IMPORTANT REGULATION!
CPT employment authorization is strictly
regulated under US federal immigration law.
Working at your internship before the CPT
start date on your I-20 or continuing
internship employment (paid or unpaid) after
the CPT authorization end date on your I-20
IS A SERIOUS VISA VIOLATION AND CAN
RESULT IN A LOSS OF YOUR F-1 VISA
STATUS.
Curricular Practical Training
application procedure
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Attend LASC ISS CPT/OPT
workshop
Meet with your Academic Advisor;
request that s/he complete the
recommendation form, and provide
support letter, if applicable
Obtain detailed internship offer
letter (see template)
Submit application to LASC ISS
Pick up CPT I-20 after you have
been notified via email by LASC
ISS
DO NOT START THE
INTERNSHIP BEFORE YOU ARE
AUTHORIZED FOR CPT!
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER (SSN)
& TAXES
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If you find PAID employment or if you are approved for
OPT or Severe Economic Hardship, you will need to
apply for a Social Security Number through a Social
Security Administration Office: http://www.ssa.gov/
When you find employment, you will need to file taxes for
every year you work. If you need assistance, seek a tax
accountant. Form you may need:
 Form 1040EZ or 1040NR (Income Tax Return)
 Form 8843 (statement for Exempt Individuals)
 Form 843 (refund for Medicare &Social Security)
Deadlines to Submit
CPT Applications
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Applications due in ISS office before the 2nd
week of class
Submit CPT packets in person to
LASC ISS
Room 116, Student Services Building
Call 323-241-5277 or email
[email protected] with questions
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