Curricular Practical Training (CPT) enables F-1 students to gain off-campus work authorization for internships or other work in the student’s major field. Generally, students may apply for CPT after having been enrolled in the academic program for a full academic year, and if the student has maintained valid F-1 status. Graduate students may be allowed to begin CPT during their first year if it is required as part of the college’s curricular program.
CPT employment may be paid or unpaid. If the internship is unpaid, CPT authorization should still be approved. Students are not allowed to participate in unpaid internship unless as part of a ministry practice program.
CPT can be Part-Time or Full-Time, as long as the student maintains a full course of study with the University.
● Part-Time CPT
● Full-Time CPT
Make an appointment with Olivet International Student Office (OISO) to obtain CPT authorization on the 3rd page of your I-20. The following items are required before such authorization can be granted. The appointment should be scheduled at least two weeks before you plan on beginning your internship. Please bring them to the appointment:
Student is eligible to apply up to 90 days before the end of his or her first year of study. The actual CPT employment cannot begin until the first academic year is complete.
Once CPT is authorized, the student must obtain a SSN and be added to the CPT employer's payroll system to be legally participating in the CPT program.
Social Security Administration Office (SSA) generally issues SSN to people who are authorized to work in the United States. A verification letter should be requested to support your SSN application from OISO before going to the SSA Office.
For more information and to find copies of SSA publications, visit their website at www.socialsecurity.gov or call 1-800-772-1213.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization for employment that is related to the OU curriculum. The Ministry Practice program may or may not require CPT authorization, but students may also seek CPT employment as supplemental to their education. The advisors at the OISO will authorize CPT.
You have to have been enrolled in your program for a full academic year, and have maintained valid immigration status before you can apply for CPT. Graduate students whose degree curriculum requires immediate participation in an off campus work experience may be able to work before the academic year is completed.
Students must remain in valid F-1 status, which includes maintaining a full-time study course load, in order to participate in the CPT program.
If a student qualifies for CPT, s/he may use up to eleven months of Full-Time CPT without affecting Optional Practical Training (OPT) eligibility. However, if a student uses 12 months or more of Full-Time CPT, further OPT is not allowed. Part-Time CPT does not count towards this limit.
Employment for 20 hours or less per week while you are also enrolled (full-time) for classes is considered Part-Time CPT. The employment authorization written on the back of your I-20 copy will specify permission to engage in part-time training. You must be careful to limit your work to no more than 20 hours per week. Participation in Part-Time CPT does not affect your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Thus, there is no limitation on the length of time you may participate in Part-Time CPT. Part-Time CPT is allowed during the fall, winter and spring quarters and during summer vacation.
Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered Full-Time CPT. The employment authorization on your I-20 copy will specify permission to participate in full-time training. There is no limitation on the length of time you may participate in Full-Time CPT, but if you participate for twelve months or more you will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
In general, F-1 students who have been in the U.S. for five years or less are “non-residents for tax purposes” and are exempt from Social Security (FICA) and Medicare taxes (see Internal Revenue Service Publication 519, “U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens”). However, your earnings are subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes. Tax returns must be filed on or before April 15 each year for the previous calendar year, which will determine if any of the withheld taxes can be refunded. US tax laws are complex and changing. For more information and to find copies of IRS publications, visit their website at www.irs.gov (foreign student filling requirements for U.S Federal Income Tax Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ).
You should bring your I-20 form authorized for CPT is the document that indicates employment authorization.
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