What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to apply to the USCIS for CPT authorization?

No.  You do not need to apply to the USCIS.  In fact, University’s International Office can authorize CPT for eligible students.

Can I use CPT in cases like self-employment or open a business?

No, you can not use CPT for these purposes.

If I do CPT, can I still be able to get OPT later?

Yes, as long as you do not work full-time CPT (more than 20 hours/week) for 12 months. Part-time CPT (20 hours or less per week) has no effect on OPT, even if you work for over an year.

Can I change employers once I have CPT authorization?  Can I switch full-time instead of part-time, or vice-versa?

Yes, you can but only with prior authorization.  If you intend to switch employers, or if you want to change from part-time to full-time employment or vice-versa, you would have to re-apply for a new CPT authorization.  You cannot make the change until you get a new CPT authorized I-20.

What proof of employment authorization can I give my employer? 

Your authorized I-20 for CPT is the document which indicates employment authorization. You should take your authorized I-20 form, along with your passport and I-94 card to your employer. This allows your employer to complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. All employers are required to complete an I-9 form for every employee they hire. 

Do I have to pay U.S. taxes on my CPT salary?
Yes! You are subject to federal, state and local taxes. However, F1 students who have been in the U.S. for only five years or less are exempt from social security and medicare taxes. 


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