Curricular Practical Training Application The USCIS defines Curricular Practical Training (CPT) as employment which is an integral
part of an established curriculum, including: “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. CPT is available
only prior to the completion of your degree program and you must have a job offer
at the time of application. If you are planning to do an unpaid internship, you don't
need to apply for CPT.
Optional Practical Training Application Optional Practical Training (OPT) is off-campus employment authorization that lets
F1 students get work experience in their major field of study. The amount of work
you are permitted is maximum 12 months of full-time employment for each educational
level you pursue in the U.S. You can use it during or after your studies. You can
work for any employer, anywhere in the country.
Economic Hardship Employment Application If you are experiencing unforeseen financial hardship while studying in the US, you
may be eligible for off-campus employment authorization from the USCIS under certain
conditions. According to immigration regulations, unforeseen circumstances may include
loss or financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student,
substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate, inordinate increases
in tuition and/or living costs, unexpected changes in the financial condition of the
student's source of support, medical bills, or other substantial and unexpected expenses.