Practical Training

Students on F-1 program can engage in practical training opportunities that are related to their field of studies. You can find more information about practical training here .

Curricular Practical Training (CPT): “…Curricular practical training is defined to be 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.” [8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)]

Optional Practical Training (OPT) :  "Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Eligible students can apply to receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization before completing their academic studies (pre-completion) and/or after completing their academic studies (post-completion). However, all periods of pre-completion OPT will be deducted from the available period of post-completion OPT." (

STEM OPT: Students who are STEM majors are eligible to apply for STEM OPT extension.

Key steps in securing practical training authorization:

i. Learn about the practical training options by learning more about them. Attend a workshop or meet with ISS staff members.

ii. See eligibility criteria. If you are eligible, find about more about application requirements.

iii. Know the timeline for when to apply for practical training authorization

iv. File your application in a timely manner

v. Commence practical training once practical training authorization is approved

vi. Fulfill your reporting responsibilities by updating your SEVP portal and fill out our reporting form



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