Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Conditions

  • Only part-time participation (20 hours per week or less) is permitted while school is in session
  • Full-time participation (more than 20 hours per week) is permitted during vacations
  • Authorization is NOT general for any employer you wish to work for. CPT is granted for a specific employer for a specific period of time
    • You cannot change employers without getting another authorization
    • You cannot extend your employment period without getting authorization
  • Authorization is granted by the ISA, Kathy Quispe
  • Employment details are entered into SEVIS and you will receive a new I-20 with the CPT authorization entered on page 2
  • You must stop work on the end date on the I-20
  • Your CPT authorization is only good for the dates printed on page 2 of the I-20. If you plan on extending your internship, you must tell your ISA in advance so the extension is reflected on your I-20. 
  • You can begin work ONLY AFTER you have received the I-20 and starting the CPT start date listed on the I-20 and through the end date. If you are found to be working without CPT authorization for days outside the authorization period (for example if you start working before the CPT start date or continue working after the CPT end date), then you are in violation of your F-1 status and your ISA would be required to terminate your SEVIS record and you will need to depart the U.S. immediately. You may be able to enter the U.S. with a new I-20 and would have to pay the SEVIS fee to activate that I-20. Please note that this will also reset your F-1 clock meaning you will need to wait one academic year (2 semesters) before you are eligible for CPT or OPT.
  • If you leave your position for any reason before completing the goals or obligations of the assignment, you MUST notify the ISA and the registrar immediately so your records can be changed

If you have not previously been issued a Social Security Card, see International Students and the Social Security Card to review how you can request one.


My employer has asked me to complete an I-9. What is it and how do I fill it out?

The I-9 is the Employment Eligibility Verification form of the Department of Homeland Security. If you have a regular internship (one where the employer is paying you), you will be provided the form by your employer, either electronically or in paper. You must answer some basic demographic questions and then check that you are “An alien authorized to work.” For the authorization expiration, enter your CPT end date from page 2 of your I-20. You will also need either your passport or your I-94 number.

You are then required to show 2 documents. The first, an identification document, is usually your passport. The second is your Employment Authorization Document – the I-20 with the CPT authorization on page 2 signed by the ISA.

What is the W-4? How do I fill it out?

A W-4, an Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, is the form whereon you state how much the employer should withhold from your paycheck toward your income tax. As a single person with no dependents, you’ll claim one or zero allowances. (Claiming zero triggers larger withholding than claiming one.) The amount withheld is not your actual tax. U.S. taxes are calculated and reconciled with the government in April for income received the previous year.