Center for International Education and Programs at Elgin Community College | 1700 Spartan Drive, B105 | Elgin, IL 60123
Email: | Phone: +1.847.214.7809 | Fax: +1.847.931.4897
Curricular Practical Training
Procedure for students wishing to apply for Curricular Practical Training
What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?
CPT allows F-1 students to seek authorization for practical training to engage in temporary employment to gain
practical experience in their field of study. CPT must be “an integral part of an established curriculum.” CPT can be an
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 ECC for which the student receives credit.
This can be a required part of the program where employment is required in the field of study to graduate or a non-
required part of the program where the practical experience is for credit and directly related to the student’s field of
study. Students must be enrolled in a course that provides academic credit for CPT.
Who is eligible for CPT?
To be eligible for CPT, an F-1 student must have completed at least one full academic year of study (full-time
enrollment in the fall and spring semesters) and work in a position that is an integral part of the established
curriculum. Students in the Intensive English Program are not eligible for CPT. Students applying for CPT must be in
good academic standing per SOAP (Standards of Academic Progress) guidelines.
CPT may be granted for either part-time (maximum of 20 hours per week) or full-time (more than 20 hours per week)
employment. Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location, and period approved and recorded
by the DSO in SEVIS. The student must have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as
curricular practical training and receive written authorization from the DSO before work begins. USCIS approval is not
required. Students on CPT must maintain a full course load at all times unless previously approved for a reduced
course load (RCL).
Effect of CPT on OPT
There is no regulatory limit on either the number of times or the length of time a student may engage in either part- or
full-time CPT. This will be governed by the nature of the training and the requirements of the students program. F-1
students who engage in an aggregate of 12 months or more of full-time curricular practical training, however, become
ineligible for optional practical training (OPT) at the educational level the CPT is authorized.
Important reminders about CPT:
If the CPT application is approved, the DSO will inform USCIS and will issue a new Form I-20 with CPT
authorization. CPT cannot begin until authorized by the Center for International Education and Programs. If
there are any changes regarding a student’s employment, the student must notify the DSO so that student’s
SEVIS record can be updated. Processing time is 3-5 business days.
Students on CPT must apply for and receive a social security number prior to beginning work.
It is the student’s responsibility to comply with all immigration regulations which apply to F-1 students,
including employment regulations. Working without the proper authorization is a serious violation of F-1
status and may jeopardize the student’s stay in the United States.
Center for International Education and Programs at Elgin Community College | 1700 Spartan Drive, B105 | Elgin, IL 60123
Email: | Phone: +1.847.214.7809 | Fax: +1.847.931.4897
Curricular Practical Training Request Form and Checklist
Federal regulations allow for an F-1 student in good standing to engage in CPT upon meeting certain eligibility
requirements. All CPT must be recommended by a DSO at Elgin Community College. Please complete the following
form to apply for CPT and bring the required documents to your appointment with the DSO.
Name: _______________________________________________
Last First Middle
Student ID:__________________________
Address: _____________________________________________ City:________________________________
State: _________________ Zip Code: ____________________ Phone: ______________________________
Email: _______________________________________________
Program of Study: _____________________________________
Start Date at ECC:______________________
Anticipated Graduation Date at ECC:
CPT Checklist:
1. Schedule an appointment to meet with a DSO and bring the following documents:
Proof of registration for the course for which you are requesting CPT.
Letter from the international Academic Advisor or Supervising Department Chair recommending CPT is
either 1) based on a mandatory graduation requirement or 2) is an integral part of the academic
program of study for which you will receive academic credit. A letter from your professor
recommending CPT is not accepted. If the CPT recommendation is based on a mandatory requirement,
please attach a copy of the school publication (i.e. catalog) verifying that this is mandatory.
Social Security Card (if you don’t have a Social Security Number, you will need to apply for one).
Job offer letter from employer printed on a company letter head and signed by the employer. The
letter should include the employer’s name, address and dates of employment.
Copies of your current immigration documents: passport, visa, I-94 (available via the website, and all previous I-20’s.
2. At the appointment, the DSO will review your application and discuss what type of work you will be engaging
in. If CPT is recommended, the DSO will issue a new original I-20 recommending CPT. You may engage in CPT
employment only after you have received the I-20 with your CPT authorization.
Center for International Education and Programs at Elgin Community College | 1700 Spartan Drive, B105 | Elgin, IL 60123
Email: | Phone: +1.847.214.7809 | Fax: +1.847.931.4897
By signing below, I affirm I understand the following:
All students doing CPT are still considered to be an F-1 international student under the jurisdiction of the
institution that issued the I-20 for CPT permission. Any changes of name, address or any other changes in plans
(i.e. quit or change job, transfer to another school, change immigration status, etc.) must be reported to the
Center for International Education and Programs.
I have registered for the course related to this CPT request and understand that CPT authorization will be
canceled if I drop the course. I understand that I have to maintain my F-1 status by attending school full-time
while I am on CPT. I also understand that it is my responsibility to report any changes during CPT to the Center
for International Education and Programs so that I will be properly advised and my I-20 will be updated in
I certify that I have read this form and the instructions and certify that all information is correct to the best of my
____________________________________________ ________________________________
dent Signature Date
This information is subject to change without notice. For individual questions, please contact the Center for
International Education and Programs for an appointment.
For office use only:
Approved: Yes No Approval Date: _____________
Documentation Attached: Yes No DSO Approval Signature: _______________________________