Difference Between OPT and CPT for International Students

If you are searching about OPT and CPT you might have good plans to become an international student. The international students look forward to the work options after the master’s degree in the USA. There may be many job opportunities but, restricted by several complex rules. So, you should know everything about the options like OPT jobs, CPT jobs and the difference between them. Let’s peep into it in detail.

What is OPT or CPT?

CPT means Curricular Practical Training. OPT stands for Optional Practical Training. The F1 International student had options to get F1 to opt for jobs or CPT jobs and to job experience but has many rules that are needed to be understood before applying for the OPT or CPT. OPT and CPT are similar to each other but, they are very different when it comes to the application process.

CPT – Curricular Practical Training

Curricular practical training is a temporary authorization for employment to F-1 international students. The CPT gives access to Jobs for opt students and cpt jobs and training to the students in the major field of study. It also allows them to go off-campus and provide an amazing experience. The Internships for CPT should meet all the conditions like requirements for a degree or a course.

Some majors require work experience or an internship in any organization to complete the graduation or degree course in the university or a college. It is also known as a CPT.

Types of CPT

The Curricular Practical Training includes both full-time and part-time training. A student is allowed to work up to 20 hours or less in a week if they received approval for the part-time CPT. If they have the approval for the full-time CPT, they will be allowed to work more than 20 hours a week.

If we combine the 12 months for a full-time CPT, the students might not be eligible for the OPT. It is something students should need to understand while choosing between the CPT vs OPT. They should also note that the studies performed independently will not get accepted by the CPT.

Who is Eligible for CPT?

The students who are F-1 international students may apply for the CPT to go for opt jobs in the USA. They might have enrolled Full-time for at least a single academic year before the CPT start date that is suggested. The students have to prove their majors and get enrolled full-time to receive the internship that is preferred. They need to enroll for the internship or a course that is designed for practical learning. The CPT needs an employment agreement.

Application procedure for CPT

To apply for the CPT, the students need to confirm all the requirements and eligibility. They should contact the academic advisor and has to be informed about the credit policy for the internship course in a specific academic department. They also need to find a better Cpt jobs offer or an internship offer. They need to make sure about the completion of the adviser and student section of the CPT application and need to submit the same. They will be allowed for the 3 weeks for the application process to get completed and has to be patient till the process gets completed.

OPT – Optional Practical Training

The Optional Practical Training is an opportunity for the F-1 International students to continue maintaining the status if they are eligible to apply for one year of Optional practical training. The training offers the candidates with hands-on experience in the relevant field of study through opt jobs

The students may also choose to opt jobs in USA under the OPT after the program gets completed. If they approve, they will receive an Employment Authorization Document is known as EAD. An EAD card allows students to work in a complete authorization in the United States. The students’ who received the approvals have to report all the information to the Student and Exchange visitor program. They may also need to apply for the 12 months OPT at each level of education.

Types of OPT

There are three types of Optical Practical Training OPT such as pre-completion Opt, Post-completion OPT, and STEM OPT extension. The pre-completion of OPT is a period before the end date of the program. This period will get reduced or deducted from the one year of the OPT eligibility. Students prefer the post-completion OPT for OPT jobs in the USA which is generally started after completion of the degree. The STEM OPT is a 24-month extension that allows STEM majors which extend their post-completion of OPT.

Who are eligible for OPT?

Students who are eligible for the OPT maintain the F-1 international student status. They must also be enrolled for full-time study for at least one academic year. The eligible students are required to get an F1 opt jobs job offer and a social security number. There will be a fee of $410 that needs for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

STEM OPT extension and the eligibility

To qualify for the 24 month STEM OPT extension, the students have to be F-1 international students. They must also be working in a period of post-completion of their OPT. The students need to have a higher degree or a bachelor’s degree to get eligibility for the STEM field. They need to be a current participant in the regular period of OPT.

The extension will get started after the last day of the regular OPT study. They also need t to have a paid job offer which should fulfill the various requirements like working at least 20 hours per week. In F1 opt jobs. The employer must be using the E-verify program to fulfill the employment for the students.

Application procedure

The students who are already applying for the OPT need to request the DSO of the university to recommend for the OPT. The DSO will them recommend back by endorsing the I-20form. They need to properly file the form I-765. The application for the Employment Authorization with USCIS and they need to pay the necessary fee and has to get all the supplemental documents ready. Once all the above process is completed, the documents have to mail to the USCIS.

In case, if there are F-1 international students, they should remember to stay informed about the process update promptly. The main difference between the OPT and Opt jobs, the CPT and CPT jobs is a bit confusing and complicated subject but, it is a great opportunity for the career.


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