Curricular Practical Training (CPT) gives students a leg up on the H-1B process

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) offers foreign college students a chance to work while still pursuing their bachelor’s or advanced degree at university. Foreign students on an F-1 visa should speak with their school’s Designated School Representative (DSO) to secure employment related to their studies.  F-1 students can work during the annual vacation and when school is not in session, and even while school is in session so long as they only work 20 hours a week or less.

Working while still in school in a field directly related to your study is called Curricular Practical Training (CPT).  Remember, the job cannot be tending bar, or being on wait staff in a restaurant, the employment MUST be directly related to your field of study.  So if you are majoring in computer science, look for work at a local development shop.  If you are in engineering or science, maybe a local company, or your university, offer a better opportunity for employment.

Look for CPT work directly related to your major

Let’s recap what an international student on an F-1 Visa needs to do to start working.  Work should not be under-estimated.  It’s who is in your net work that will result in eventual sponsorship for an H-1B Visa so that you can have a career in the United States, or even become a permanent residence and a citizen!  You should start immediately!  You have the chance!  Do these steps:

  • Talk to your school’s DSO
  • Make sure the job you apply for is directly related to your major
  • Make sure your employer is E-verified by the Department of Labor
  • Make sure you do not work more than 20 hours a week during school
  • Make sure full time employment is limited to when school is not in session

As you notice, not one of the steps of your CPT is to hire an attorney.  Typically, attorneys are not involved in the CPT process.  The student, DSO, employer and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) handle the CPT.

Now that you know how to go about it, get started!  Create an account with Work Visas Solutions and start building your profile with all the data you need to apply for jobs.  Or you can come back after you have a job to get a head start on the H-1B visa application process.  Cheers!

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