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FAQ

Questions about CPT Employment

Q: Will the university secure an internship job for me?
A: No, the university will not secure employment for the students. However, because the internship is mandatory, the school’s CPT Employment Counselor will assist the applicants in finding and applying for an employment position. The school and/or HTIR associates will help the student in this endeavor by assisting with the preparation of a resume, introductions to companies looking for employees and showing students how to search for employment through the newspapers, the internet, job fairs or other placement services. In the end, however, it is your responsibility to obtain your internship position.

Q: What is the likelihood that I will find my internship employment?
A: New internship positions become available on a regular basis. However, the type of internship position and how long it takes you to obtain it will depend on your skills, your experience, your English ability and your personal ambition.

Q: How long will it take for me to obtain my internship employment?
A: Most students will obtain employment in the first two months at the campus. For those with limited skills, it may take much longer to find a suitable internship position. English ability is also a factor in how quickly a student can obtain his/her internship position. Legally students can not start the internship until they have 1)enrolled and paid for school, 2)started classes and 3) obtained the Social Security number. Getting the social security number takes on average, about two to four weeks.

Q. Will my internship job be arranged before I come to the U.S.?
A. It is very difficult to have a job arranged for students prior to their arrival due to the fact that employers almost always want to interview the candidates personally. However, the university has contacts with companies that will hire students for a temporary entry level job, so they can be employed as soon as possible. At some of the schools the entry level job may be pre-arranged. While working in the entry level position, the student can simultaneously be searching for a more suitable job, and still fulfill the requirement of being in an internship.

Q: What kind of employment will I get initially?
A: Initially, most students will be asked to accept an “entry level” position paying $7.00 to $10.00 per hour, mostly in the service or sales industry. These entry level jobs must be an “integral” part of the program or course. These initial jobs are generally below the skill and wage level of jobs for which the students are actually qualified. However, at any time after starting in the initial employment, when the students have become accustomed to the American workplace and feel they are ready to apply for and accept a position which is more satisfying and which pays a higher salary–they are free to change employers. (Usually, only a two week advance notice will need to be given to the current employer in order to leave for a different job).

Q: How much can I earn in an internship job?
A: Some entry level jobs will pay approximately $7.00 to 10.00 per hour, but more highly skilled positions may pay $10 or more per hour. Students are allowed to work up to 40 hours per week, with overtime also possible, depending on the job. The type of job will depend on the school curriculum, along with a student’s work experience, background, skills, English ability and personal ambition.

Q: What kind of work will I do?
A: The work you do will depend on the school curriculum, along with your background, previous work experience, bachelor degree’s major, skills, English ability and personal “drive.” We have applicants in a variety of jobs, all at different levels and pay scales. The lower paying jobs are between $7-10 an hour and require little work experience and skills. The highest paying job an HTIR intern had was a gentleman who was a financial advisor in a bank and his pay was over $100,000 a year. However, he came into the program with quite a bit of experience and skills, and his English abilty was excellent. Please check this page which shows examples of companies where HTIR interns are working.

Q: Can you tell me some of the companies that I might be working for?
A: Although we cannot tell you exactly where you will be working, we can tell you what companies have hired students in the past. These companies include, Intermountain Health Care, Primary Children’s Hospital, American Express, Discover Card, Goldman Sachs, Dillard’s, Citibank, Convergys, Fidelity Investments, Alt View Hospital, Aerotek, CCI Mechanical, Overstock.com, Marriot Hotel, Ramada Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Fifth Third Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Delta Design. For a full list of where the HTIR interns have worked, please visit the companies page.

Q: Can I find an internship job only in the field related to my major or is any field O.K?
A: The employment needs to be related to an integral part of the curriculum or your field of study. Consequently, a job which is related to concepts and principles that you may be learning in any of your classes will be acceptable.

Q: How many hours will I probably work each week?
A: Your employment can be as a regular full time employee with the same benefits as are granted to all other employees. Many employees work 40 hours per week and receive a one week vacation per year. However, part-time employment is also available.

Q: How soon after my arrival can I begin Curricular Practical Training employment?
A: By law, you can apply for a Social Security number 10 days after your arrival. However, immediately after arrival you are allowed to begin working with a career specialist at the campus in locating and identifying possible employers, and in learning how to apply for employment in the U.S. Most students obtain employment in the first month, while for others, it takes longer. The time required to obtain employment depends on the skill sets of the student, especially the level of the student’s oral English and communication ability.

Q: Do I have to work overtime? Can I keep the overtime bonus?
A: Some companies want the interns to work overtime, while others do not have overtime available. However, you may keep for your own use all overtime income that you may earn.

Q. What if I can’t find employment?
A. Because there are many entry level jobs available, it is highly likely that an intern would be able to find some type of employment. However, depending on your work experience, skills, English ability and personal ambition, it may take up to several months to be placed in the entry level job. The more work experience you have, and the better your English skills, along with the more positions you apply for, the quicker you will obtain a position.

Q: Do I have to have a social security card and a work permit?
A: Yes, you will need a social security card in order to start working. The procedure for obtaining a Social Security card and permission to work begins with obtaining a job offer letter from a prospective employer. Once an employer agrees to hire an applicant, such a letter will be issued by that employer. The letter is to be taken to the university for a signature on the student’s original I-20 form where Curricular Practical Training is authorized. This signature by the university official on the I-20 serves as the CPT student’s “work permit”. The next step is to take the job offer letter and the signed I-20 to the Social Security office where application is made for a Social Security Number.

Q: Will I have to pay taxes?
A: Your employer will be required to hold back funds from your monthly earnings to cover any taxes that you might owe. However, after April 15th of each year most international students find that they get a refund for some of this withheld amount.

Q: Is there a way for me to work before actually starting to attend classes in order for me to save more money and add it to my current savings?
A: Students must first be registered and attending their first semester classes, be in the US for at least ten days, and obtain a Social Secruity number before they can legally start working.This process can take two to four weeks. However, at most schools, students can start looking for employment as soon as they are registered for classes.

Q: Could the work authorization be possibly converted into a full time work permit upon completion of the Masters program?
A: Converting the internship job into a full time job, such as under an H1-b, is possible. But, it all depends upon whether the company you find to work for during the internship is willing to sponsor you for an H1-b.

Questions about Admissions

Q. Is there a deadline for applying?
A: Most schools have start dates from five weeks to three months. Applications will be accepted and processed at all times of the year and the school will make special efforts to notify the applicants quickly of the status of their applications.

Q: I can not get my bank statement until I have an acceptance letter. Can I send my application packet in now (without a financial document) and send the bank statement in after I receive acceptance?
A: Yes, your application can be processed with most schools without the financial documents. As soon as you do receive your financial documentation you will need to submit it, because the school cannot issue your I-20 without having the required financial documents. If you need the acceptance letter before you can get the financial documents, then please write a note to the school stating this fact and include it with your application packet. This way the school can go ahead and process your application without the financial information.

Q: Does the bank statement have to be in a sponsor’s name or is it ok if it is in my name?
A: The bank statement can be either from your bank account or that of a “sponsor”, or a combination of the two bank statements. If you use a sponsor’s bank statement you will also need to have the sponsor write a letter to the school stating the following: “I am the sponsor for _______ and I intend to provide him/her with financial assistance during his/her first year at the (name of school) up to the amount of $_____,

Q: What should I do if my bank statement does not reflect US dollars?
A: If you can not obtain a bank statement reflecting the equivalent value of your money in U.S. dollars, you may get the conversion from the internet. Just print the page showing the conversion and include it with your bank statement. www.currency-exchange.co.uk/Currency-Converter.htm

Q: Can I have more then one sponsor?
A: You can have as many sponsors as you need. However, you and the sponsors need to make it clear to the visa officials why they are willing to provide money to you for your education in the U.S.

Q: I am from a country where all the schools are taught in English. Why do I need to submit English Proficiency Documents?
A. In order to not be in violation of the accreditation association, the schools need to have physical documentation in the student’s file. Unless the country is considered to have English as the first language, (i.e. Canada, U.S., Australia, UK) all applicant’s need to submit physical proof of proficiency.

Q: Is the GRE or GMAT score required for admission?
A: No. For admission, it is not required that you have taken either the GMAT or the GRE exams. However, we recommend you take the GMAT or GRE exam. We suggest this because, having taken the test, you are more likely to be viewed as a more serious student by the U.S. visa officer when you go to apply for your visa.

Q: What if I am in my last semester of undergraduate study. Can I apply to the program now?
A: Some schools will process your application even if you have not yet graduated. You can send the transcripts that you now have along with the other required application materials. Also, include a letter indicating that your final transcripts will be sent as soon as you have received them from the school. In the meantime, the school can work on “conditional” acceptance for you–that is, you can be accepted for admission subject only to presenting those final documents of graduation. Please contact us to find a list of schools that will process your file in this manner.

Q: What is the role of HTIR Work-Study USA?
A: HITR Work-Study USA is a global advisory and student support provider that has established unique work and study CPT Programs for international students at numerous colleges and universities throughout the U.S.A.. Read More about HTIR and the HTIR work and study CPT programs. HTIR answers all questions from potential CPT applicants and they receive and pre-screen all documents sent by the application materials sent by the students. When HTIR determines that the applicant is qualified and that all documents are in order, the applicant’s file will be sent to the Admission Department where the school staff will process the file and make a prompt decision about the applicant’s admissibility. HTIR has an immigration attorney on-staff who through an online visa course and personal emails will assist the students with ideas and suggestions designed to help them prepare themselves for the visa interview with the American consulates abroad.

Q: Can I apply directly to the school for admission to the CPT program, or do I need to go through a consulting agent or placement agency in my home country?
A: You must apply through HTIR or an authorized agency. If you are already a student in the U.S. and are wishing to transfer to a CPT program, you can apply directly by contacting HTIR. If you are living abroad and need to apply for a visa from the U.S. consulate in your home country, you will need to contact an HTIR office in your country or an authorized consulting agency or placement agency there. There may be a fee charged by the consulting or placement agency to handle your application material, assist you with complying with U.S. government Immigration Service regulations, training you in preparation for the visa interview with the U.S. consulate, and in the scheduling of the dates for enrollment in the program and for the visa interview.

Questions about Work and Study CPT Programs

Q: What is Curricular Practical Training?
A: Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is the legal description for the paid internship employment that students engage in while in a graduate school work-study program. The purpose of CPT is to give students practical experience in the workplace to augment what they are learning in the classroom.

Q: What is Optional Practical Training?
A: Optional Practical Training (OPT) is the legal description for the one year employment that you are allowed to engage in after you graduate from your Master’s program. The purpose of OPT is to give you further practical experience in the workplace relating to your major.

Q: Am I allowed engaging in both CPT and OPT?
A: Yes, but not at the same time. If you work for more than one year of full-time CPT, then you may not be allowed to do the one year of OPT.

Q: If I choose to work in CPT for the entire length of time I am in the Master’s program, will I be allowed to do so?
A: Depending on the school you choose. Some of the HTIR schools will allow you to engage in CPT for as long as you are a student in the Master’s program, even if that is for 2 1/2 years or more. However, as indicated above, if, in fact, you do work full time for more than a year in CPT you may not be allowed to do the additional one year of OPT after you graduate.

Q: How can I go to school and work at the same time?
A: Most courses in a CPT program will be offered in the executive format. That is, classes will be offered in the evenings and/or on weekends.

Q: Can I take on-line courses?
A: Yes. Some courses offered in the Master degree programs are available on-line. It is legal for international students to take one on-line course along with two on-site classes per semester. You cannot, however, take stand alone online courses. You must have at least 2/3 of your courses be in class.

Q: Can I transfer my credits from another school?
A. The university may give credit for some courses already taken at the Master’s level at another school, if the other school is accredited and if the course content being transferred is basically the same as one of the courses in the university’s requirement for that major. The Registrar at the school will make this decision when you arrive for registration.

Q: What if I decide to transfer to a different university?
A: If you enroll at the university and choose to transfer to another university you are free to do so, subject to any limitations or requirements published in each schools’ policy statements or catalogs.

Q: Is there any financial aid available?
A: The financial aid that we can offer at the university is the legal right to obtain full time, paid employment from U.S. based companies while you are in a CPT program. Thus, students have the potential of earning in internship employment much more often than what they might obtain in a scholarship from a different university.

Questions about U.S. Visas

Q: Can I apply for a U.S. visa in a country other than my home country?
A: The U.S. consulates in each country of the world make the decision about whether or not a visa applicant must be in his/her own country in order to apply for a visa. However, the general custom is that an international student will be allowed to apply for a visa in countries other than his/her own. We recommend you check with the U.S. consulate in the country you are residing to make sure they will allow you to apply. We have seen applicants denied the visa because they did not check on this ruling first.

Q: What is SEVIS?
A. SEVIS is the Homeland Security Database. Homeland Security is now requiring F-1 students to pay a $200 SEVIS fee before the student can apply for the visa. Students will need a receipt showing payment of the fee before they can go to the visa interview.

Q: How do I pay the SEVIS fee?
A. Students can go to www.fmjfee.com and apply on line using a credit card which is the fastest way to make this payment. Students will receive an e-mail receipt which they will take to the consulate office at the time of their visa interviews.

Q: I don’t have a credit card. How can I pay for the fee online?
A: HTIR can assist you in paying the SEVIS fee. Please contact us at admissions@htir.com or an authorized HTIR agency in your home country.

Q: Can my spouse or children accompany me to the US?
A: A spouse will be allowed to apply for a visa to accompany the student. The spouse (with children) may apply at the same time the student applies, or may wait for several months to apply until after the student arrives in the U.S. and gets settled. The spouse will need to show additional financial support or a bank statement with sufficient additional money to support him/herself (and children) when accompanying the student spouse to the U.S. Most schools need an additional $6,000 per dependent.

Q: Can I apply for a U.S. visa in a country other than my home country?
A: The U.S. consulates in each country of the world make the decision about whether or not a visa applicant must be in his/her own country in order to apply for a visa. However, the general custom is that an international student will be allowed to apply for a visa in countries other than his/her own. We recommend you check with the U.S. consulate in the country you are residing to make sure they will allow you to apply. We have seen applicants denied the visa because they did not check on this ruling first.

Q: What is SEVIS?
A. SEVIS is the Homeland Security Database. Homeland Security is now requiring F-1 students to pay a $200 SEVIS fee before the student can apply for the visa. Students will need a receipt showing payment of the fee before they can go to the visa interview.

Q: How do I pay the SEVIS fee?
A. Students can go to www.fmjfee.com and apply on line using a credit card which is the fastest way to make this payment. Students will receive an e-mail receipt which they will take to the consulate office at the time of their visa interviews.

Q: I don’t have a credit card. How can I pay for the fee online?
A: HTIR can assist you in paying the SEVIS fee. Please contact us at admissions@htir.com or an authorized HTIR agency in your home country.

Q: Can my spouse or children accompany me to the US?
A: A spouse will be allowed to apply for a visa to accompany the student. The spouse (with children) may apply at the same time the student applies, or may wait for several months to apply until after the student arrives in the U.S. and gets settled. The spouse will need to show additional financial support or a bank statement with sufficient additional money to support him/herself (and children) when accompanying the student spouse to the U.S. Most schools need an additional $6,000 per dependent.

your I-20 form from the university to the consulate in your home country and apply for an F-1 student visa, the decision can me made immediately by the visa officials there. Then there will be no delay in your starting school and getting a paid internship job.