Curricular practical training is open to the F-1 student looking to complete a paid internship.
As taken from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement:
Q: Under CPT can a student work off campus, as in another state, for an employer and receive only money, no credits and do they need an EAD card?
A: The regulations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i),(B) specify that CPT must be an "integral part of an established curriculum." Our understanding is that such employment must therefore be required by a particular class or program. The payment, while allowed, is secondary to the program requirement for this employment. The regulations further specify, "Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." Thus, the school cannot simply require that the student get a paying job in a particular field, but rather must have some connection to or arrangement with the employer(s) that will offer the CPT positions.
If the work is required by the student's program, and is therefore part of their course of study, the student can be engaged in full time CPT. However, after having one full year (12 months) of full time CPT, the student is no longer eligible for post-completion OPT at that program level.
As for required documentation for CPT, the regulations specify that "an F-1 student may be authorized by the DSO to participate in a curricular practical training program" and that, to authorize this type of employment, the DSO needs to "update the student's record in SEVIS as being authorized for curricular practical training that is directly related to the student's major area of study... [and] indicate whether the training is full-time or part-time, the employer and location, and the employment start and end date. The DSO will then print a copy of the employment page of the SEVIS Form I-20 indicating that curricular practical training has been approved. The DSO must sign, date, and return the SEVIS Form I-20 to the student prior to the student's commencement of employment.
Thus, the student can work in a full time CPT program for payment and without an EAD so long as the employment meets the qualifications of CPT and has been properly endorsed by the DSO. This information is also specified in the I-9 employer guidelines.
be used by the F-1 student as a means of support, nor should a prospective student count on it for funds or training.
Application instructions and information on CPT can be obtain from the International advisement office of your college or university.