How to Apply for CPT on F1 Visa
Hi guys, after we discussed what CPT is and what are the requirements for a student to take one, we are now going to discuss the application process and the steps one should walk in before he is authorized to perform a CPT.
There are some key terms we need to clear before pointing out the steps needed to apply for CPT. There is some probability that you are familiar with them, or even you have these documents, but never knew their real purpose or sense. So, here they are:
The I-20 form, or Certificate for Eligibility for Non-immigrant student status is a document you receive from the school that accepted you and you are going to attend. You need your I-20 form in order to pay your SEVIS fee and in order to enter the United States. It is usually a card that is attached to your passport. You may arrive into the States around 15 or 20 days before the date stated on your I-20 form. Also, you will need the document when you apply for Social Security Number or Driving License, so it is a really big deal (and do not lose itJ).
SEVIS is an abbreviation that comes from Students and Exchange Visitors Information System. From its name, it comes clear that it is a database that includes the information of all incoming students and exchange visitors, or in other words, the people with J, M and F visas. We are talking now about the F-statuses and CPTs, so we are not going to discuss the other cases. When you are accepted into the University, you have to pay the SEVIS fee ($200) in order for your documents to be processed and to have the permit to study in the States.
So, back to our main question – How to apply for CPT?
The first thing to get done is to complete the CPT Online Course Completion Certificate. The course is in presentation mode, divided into three sections, after each section are test questions. The course could be taken for a minimum of 30 minutes. At the end of the last section you can print the Course Completion Certificate which was the main goal and the first document of your CPT application.
Afterwards, you have to ask for Academic or Faculty Advisor Recommendation Form. It is basically a statement signed from an Academic representative whether your CPT is required for your academic program.
You also have to attach an unofficial transcript. As we have already mentioned in a previous section, there are some universities that have requirements regarding your GPA in order to permit CPT performance from their students, so you better check out whether that is valid for your University too.
And, maybe the most important one is the work offer. You have to obtain one before you apply, there is no option for CPT permission without it. There are some mandatory attributes to the letter, and if any is missing your application cannot be processed. The job offer must be written on the company’s letterhead, it must include your job position, dates of employment, indication whether your CPT is full-time or part-time and the amount of work hours, and, lastly, the employment address. To not miss something, it could be better that you use sample letter, and to contact your academic advisor to check in all the details.
After you gather all the documents and you submit your application, it usually takes 3 to 5 business days for the authorities to process your documents. When your new I-20 (which will indicate your CPT status) is ready you will be notified by e-mail. When you obtain the document, the start day of your CPT is current and the semester is started, you can now begin your CPT experience. Congrats!