International Students & Scholars Program, U.Va.

International Students & Scholars Program

A Division of the International Studies Office

Scholarship
Community

F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Eligibility

CPT can be authorized for employment that fulfills a specific academic requirement.

  • The employment must be either required for the degree program, or a specific course within the major field of study, or;
  • If the employment is not a degree requirment, then enrollment in a credit-bearing course related to the student's major degree program is required. The course that will satisfy this requirement must be specifically named on the CPT application's Advisor Recommendation.  Undergraduates may alternatively register through the University Internship Course offered by the Office of the Provost each Fall semester.  Failure to complete the course will result in termination of legal status.
  • Employment must be directly related to the major field of study.
  • You must be in lawful F-1 status at the time of filing, and your period of CPT may commence only after having been enrolled for a full and continuous academic year, unless the employment is required for the degree.
  • CPT during Fall and Spring semesters requires full-time enrollment.  Full-time enrollment in summer is required only if it is the final semester of study.  Affiliated status cannot be used in place of the full-time requirement.
  • CPT is not an employment workaround.  The employment must make a direct contribution to the advancement of your degree.  You should not use CPT in your last semester of enrollment unless a compelling case can be made that your degree or thesis relies on knowledge gained through the employment.

 

Legal Requirements

  • CPT requires a specific job offer. CPT is approved by the ISO and noted on a newly-produced Form I-20.
  • You cannot engage in your CPT-based employment until the CPT I-20 is in hand, and then only within the dates authorized. 
  • You must remain a full-time enrolled student throughout your CPT period, except Summer, unless summer is your last semester of studies.
  • Your I-20 must remain valid throughout the period of authorized CPT.

 

Curricular Practical Training Instructions

To apply for CPT, please bring the following materials to the ISO during advisor office hours:

1) A job offer letter that includes:

  • name and complete location of the employer,
  • duties of the job,
  • exact beginning and ending dates of the position,
  • # hours per week.

    All elements must be included in the job offer letter or letters.

    2) Academic Advisor Recommendation Form completed by a faculty member in your major or department.. 

    (Graduate Engineering students may only get a signature from the department chair or director of graduate studies.  Undergraduates enrolling in the University Internship Course should seek the signature from the instructor of the course.)

    3) I-20 Request Form which the student should complete.

     

    Social Security

    Please read the section on Social Security to fulfill the requirements for having an SSN in order to be gainfully employed.