CPT is a type of employment authorization that allows qualified F-1 students to gain practical experience in their field of study while making progress towards the completion of their academic program
U.S. Immigration regulations provide that colleges and universities can, under certain circumstances, enter into “co-operative” relationships with outside entities to provide students with services, training, or internship employment that are not normally included in a school’s regular course curriculum.
The schools are allowed to issue work permits for full-time off-campus employment from the beginning of the student’s studies.
Unlike other CPT programs in the United States, HTIR students are NOT required to wait a full academic year before working.
Immigration Service regulations allow international master study students who are enrolled in an “internship” (also known as a Work Study, CPT, Cooperative Education or Co-op program) to work in internship positions for as many months as the duration of the program will allow. Through the work study program, international students may work up to 40+ hours per week.
This CPT option is designed to give students practical work experience in curriculum-related employment with local US based corporations and businesses. For those who select the work-study option, paid internship employment is mandatory, beginning in the first semester of the first academic year of the student’s program. Along with the mandatory internship employment, students will need to take a total of 15 to 18 courses, depending on the enrolled program.
The Legal Overview:
The option of Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is for international students enrolled in any HTIR participating school’s master degree programs. CPT is authorized by the U.S. Homeland Security Department for F-1 international students and is equivalent to the CPT option for U.S. students.
F-1 students wishing to participate in an off-campus training program that is “an integral part of an established curriculum” must first obtain work authorization for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). The training, which must be directly related to the student’s major field of study, is defined as ”alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum, which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school” (Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 214.2 (f)(10).
HTIR Work-Study Program is unique:
HTIR work study programs have the curriculum set up so that the internships jobs are mandatory and therefore, a student must begin his/her curricular training immediately upon registration and securing his/her social security number.
HTIR Work-Study Programs students can begin working in their first semester of study. This is very different than CPT programs at most universities where the applicant can not start the CPT employment until he/she has been in school for at least one academic year (nine months). Also, most universities do not have a unique program designed specifically for the International applicant. HTIR, in alliance with the schools, has created a unique program that helps International candidates be successful in the United States workforce. The international candidate will learn about resume building, interviewing etiquette, U.S. customs, U.S. law in the workplace and English Phonetics. By the time the candidate graduates from the HTIR work-study program he/she will be a prime candidate for an H-1b job or a good job in his/her home country.
Gain Practical Skills:
The practical training that students receive by working in a U.S. based company gives them skills and experience that cannot be obtained in a normal classroom-only education format, thus giving an advantage in achieving life goals after graduation.
Earn US dollars:
The wages that are paid to the students for their CPT employment are equal to the wages paid to U.S. employees in the same kind of employment. Net earnings are retained by the students and used for their personal or educational needs.