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CPT FAQ's

What is Curricular Practical Training?

At the graduate level, Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an integral part of a student’s academic program at the University of the Cumberlands.  The CPT program allows students to participate in either an internship or practical training experience.  The selected internship/practical training experience must be identified by an academic program advisor as being an integral part of the student’s respective degree program.  The program advisor must assign discipline specific academic credit to the training experience.

 

At University of the Cumberlands, participation in alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education or employment in an area directly related to the student’s course of study is required every semester for each student enrolled in an executive program.

How does a student apply for CPT?

For more information on CPT, click here.

What is the Collaborative Practical Training agreement

The Collaborative Practical Training Agreement details that as the supervisor you understand that the student’s internship/practical training with your organization is contingent on the following:

  • The position must be an integral part of the student’s course of study.
  • The student must enroll in a corresponding course during the semester in which the CPT is authorized.
  • The position must be directly related to the student’s major area of study.
  • The student must be maintaining lawful F-1 status.
  • The student must maintain a full course of study, and that participation in CPT will not delay the student’s completion of their respective academic program. 

What is the CPT Renewal?

The completion of the CPT renewal form documents a student’s continuation of an approved internship or practical training program that has been identified as an integral part of the student’s respective degree program.  By completing this renewal form, the student and his/her practical training supervisor are acknowledging that this is a continuation of a collaborative practical training agreement with University of the Cumberlands. 

How does an F1 student apply for a Social Security Number?

Students are only eligible to apply for an SSN if he/she has a job offer letter and work permission.  Please note, F-2 dependents are not eligible for an SSN. To apply the student must be in the US and apply with the local SSN office no earlier than 30 days before the start date of employment as recorded on their form I-20.  When submitting the application, the student must provide their form I-20 and employment letter. 

How much can a student work when participating in CPT?

Students can work on either full-time or part-time CPT. There is no limit to the length of time a student can participates in CPT; however, if the student has more than 11 months and 29 days or more of full-time CPT, they are ineligible for OPT. There is no limit to part-time CPT participation and OPT eligibility. 

Don't international students need work authorization before I can hire them?

No. International students must have the work authorization before they begin actual employment, but not before they are offered employment. In fact, F-1 students must have a written job offer in order to apply for CPT participation. 

What about taxes for an F1 student?

Unless exempted by a tax treaty, F‐1 and J‐1 students earning income under practical training are subject to applicable federal, state, and local income taxes. Information on tax and tax treaties may be found in Internal Revenue Services.

What is OPT or the STEM extension?

Can I travel if I am participating on CPT?

Yes, but you may not work when you are traveling out of the country. It is our suggestion to be able to provide documentation that you are not working during your travel and are on approved holiday.

What do I need to apply for CPT?

Steps for applying for CPT can be found on the Curricular Optimal Training (CPT) page of the web.

Where can a student find information regarding the USCIS regulations for CPT?

For general CPT information please reference Study in the States https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/sevis-help-hub/student-records/fm-student-employment/f-1-curricular-practical-training-cpt, or the website for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (https://www.ice.gov/sevis/practical-training).

Regulations for CPT are identified in the Code of Federal Regulations under sections 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)-(12)(https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5;node=8%3A1.0.1.2.18#se8.1.214_12) and 8 CFR 274a.12(b)(6)(iv) (https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div8&node=8:1.0.1.2.54.2.1.1). 
 

What does a student need to do if they want to change CPT employers?

Student changing CPT employers will need to submit an initial CPT application (https://www.ucumberlands.edu/student-life/international-students/cpt-opt/cpt) and upload a cooperative agreement, offer letter, and job description for their new potential employer. 

When must a student notify a DSO of changes in employment?

Students must report any changes in employment to a DSO within 5 business days. 

What is the CPT application process and how does a student know what each application status means?

The first steps to being approved for CPT is submitting a CPT application (https://www.ucumberlands.edu/student-life/international-students/cpt-opt/cpt). Once an application has been submitted it can take up to ten business days to be reviewed (please note that this timeframe may be extended for applications submitted during new student orientation). 


CPT applications MUST include the following documents. Applications submitted without these requirements will be denied. Additionally, should a student need to resubmit, the application will go back in the cue for processing and will not be expedited. 
•    Completed CPT application 
•    Signed cooperative agreement
•    Offer letter on company letterhead dated within the past six months. Offer letters must also include an employer signature.
•    Job description on company letterhead


The following is an explanation of what each application status means:


Applied: The student has successfully submitted a CPT application for review. While an application is in this status the student is not permitted to work. 


Approved: The CPT application has been reviewed and the employment opportunity has been determined to be acceptable. Students are not able to work at this stage as CPT authorization has not yet been added to the SEVIS record. Once CPT has been endorsed on the SEVIS record the status of the application will be moved to ‘issued.’ Before a student can begin employment, he/she must have CPT endorsed I-20 document in hand; working without a CPT authorized I-20 is a violation of USCIS regulations and could result in accrued days of unlawful presence.


Issued: The approved CPT employer information has now been updated on the student’s SEVIS record and the employer can e-Verify the student’s employment. Applications in this status are also ready for shipment and requests for an updated I-20 can be made via eShipGlobal. 
 

Can a student apply for OPT if they have previously participated in CPT?

Yes. Students who have not completed more than 12 months of full-time CPT at the same level are eligible to apply for OPT after program completion.

 
Special note: CPT days are calculated per education level and do not restart if a student changes institutions or programs.
 

How can a student continue CPT if he or she is changing programs?

Students changing programs will need to complete a new CPT application (https://www.ucumberlands.edu/student-life/international-students/cpt-opt/cpt). The CPT authorization cannot begin before the start date of the term in which the student is changing programs. 


A cooperative agreement, signed offer letter dated within the past six months, and a job description will still be required for CPT approval, even if the student is still applying for CPT with the same employer. 
 

What does a student need to do if their employer will not sign the cooperative agreement?

The cooperative agreement serves as the employer’s acknowledgement that they understand the rules and regulations required of an F1 student participating in CPT, and that they have verified that the training opportunity directly relates to the student’s program of study. 


As identified in the Code of Regulations section 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i) (https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5;node=8%3A1.0.1.2.18#se8.1.214_12):

 
“An F-1 student may be authorized by the DSO to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum. Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." 

In maintaining compliance with the above regulation, the University requires a signed cooperative agreement from all employers. If the employer will not sign the document then the student will need to search for another CPT opportunity. 
 

Does the University offer students any assistance in finding employment opportunities?

The University has provided several platforms for which students can search for employment. To view these resources, please visit our Career Services (https://inside.ucumberlands.edu/career/) page. 

How can a student obtain a copy of their CPT application and the cooperative agreement?

Once a CPT application has been approved the student will receive an approval notification via email. The student can then save this email as documentation of their CPT application for that semester. Additionally, students are required to upload a signed copy of the cooperative agreement for each initial CPT application. It is advised that students also retain a copy of this document for future reference. 

What does a student need to do if they are no longer working on CPT?

Students must notify a DSO immediately after a CPT opportunity ends so that the CPT placement can be removed from the student’s SEVIS record. If the student is not sure of which DSO to contact, he or she can email the DSO that is listed on their current I-20 document. 

Can a student travel while participating in CPT?

When traveling internationally, it is advised that students have CPT removed from their SEVIS record. To end your CPT placement please contact at DSO at the Univeristy. Once a student returns from travel, he or she can then request the DSO to add CPT back to the SEVIS record. It is also advised that students review the Travel Information guide (https://www.ucumberlands.edu/student-life/international-students/graduate-student-forms) prior to traveling outside the U.S. 

Where can I find information regarding the unlawful presence memo?

To help you navigate the information found in the memo, we have highlighted some key points of information for you.  As outlined in the policy, an F, J, or M nonimmigrant can accrue “unlawful days of presence” in the following ways: 

 

  •  The day after the F, J, or M nonimmigrant no longer pursues the course of study or authorized activity, or the day after the person engages in an unauthorized activity; 
    •    The CPT regulation provides an exception to those students enrolled in a graduate program that requires immediate participation in CPT. This can be referenced in Sec. 214.2(f)(10)(i). Therefore, any student participating in required CPT, that is an integral part of an established curriculum, is NOT engaging in unauthorized activity.

 

  • The day after completing the course of study or program (including any authorized practical training plus any authorized grace period); 
    • Students on OPT or STEM do NOT accrue days of unlawful presence. As with the previous unlawful presence policy, students are still provided with a 60-day grace period after their program or OPT ends to enroll in a new program or leave the U.S. However, you WILL start accruing days of unlawful presence if your program ends and you have not made arrangements to join a new program or apply for OPT within the 60 day window after your program end date. 

 

  • The day after the person’s Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record expires; or
  • The day after an immigration judge or, in certain cases, the BIA, orders the person excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed).


We encourage you to take a few minutes to read the memo for yourself so you can further understand what it entails. A link to the memo can be found here: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Outreach/Draft%20Memorandum%20for%20Comment/AccrualofUnlawfulPresenceFJMNonimmigrantsMEMO_v2.pdf