Who is eligible?
Current F-1 status/visa holders or those who will gain the status/visa before CPT begins.
Must be enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (3 quarters) before CPT begins.
Students in a graduate program which requires immediate CPT for a required internship or applied project are exempt from meeting the one academic year enrollment requirement.
Will time spent at another school or as non-F-1 status/visa holder count toward meeting the one academic year enrollment requirement?
Yes! As long as there are no gaps in enrollment, previous enrollment may count towards the eligibility requirement. Students should provide an unofficial transcript or non-F-1 status/visa documents for verification.
What type of position qualifies for CPT?
Should I get CPT approval for unpaid internships?
Am I allowed to engage in unpaid internships?
In general, students should not participate in internships that are related to their major and unpaid, especially if other people are being paid to do the same work.
Students should refer to the Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm) by U.S. Department of Labor before accepting unpaid offers.
How many hours per week can I work with CPT?
If I register for an internship class for a particular quarter, when is the earliest possible start date and the latest possible end date for the internship?
CPT can start as early as the day after the previous quarter ends and continue until the day before the following quarter starts. For example, if you have a summer internship, the internship can start as early as the day after spring quarter ends and continue as late as the day before autumn quarter starts.
Students should consult with International Student Advisor if CPT dates do not correspond with quarter dates.
CPT start date and end date should be supported by your academic advisor.
However, if you are participating in CPT during your final quarter, your internship and CPT end date must be the last day of the quarter.
Which internship classes should I register for if I want to apply for CPT?
How many internship class credits should I register for?
Do I have to enroll full time while I am engaged in CPT?
Can I do CPT during my final quarter?
Your CPT course cannot be your only class during your final quarter. You must register for one other course, and that course cannot be 100% online.
How do international student advisors verify that the internship is an integral part of an established curriculum and directly related to the student’s major area of study?
An internship is not required but optional for most majors at UW Tacoma.
By registering for an internship course, it shows that the academic department supports your internship and that it is related to your degree.
A support letter from an academic advisor will verify that an internship is appropriate for CPT.
What items are required to apply for CPT?
- An internship offer letter (https://www.tacoma.uw.edu/sites/default/files/opt-cpt-employer-letter-te...)
- Registration for an internship class reflected on class schedule
- Support language from an academic/graduate program advisor
- Submission of online CPT Request (https://www.tacoma.uw.edu/isss/forms/cpt)
Who approves CPT?
How long does it take for CPT approval?
When is the deadline to apply for CPT?
Students cannot begin CPT until a CPT approved I-20 is issued.
My internship is starting but I have not been approved for CPT. Can I begin working?
Working at your internship before your CPT is approved is considered unauthorized work, which is a violation of your F-1 visa/status and can result in the denial of future work authorization benefits (ie, OPT, H-1b, green card, etc.)
Changes After Approval
What if I want to change from part-time CPT to full-time CPT?
What should I do if my internship ends early?
What should I do if my CPT employer or location change?
Can I extend CPT?
Can I withdraw from an internship class?
If you withdraw from your internship class without notifying your international student advisor, it is a violation of your F-1 visa/status.
Is there any effect on OPT eligibility if I engage in CPT?
The exception to full-time enrollment and CPT participation is during a student’s vacation quarter (usually Summer quarter). During vacation quarter, students only need to register for the internship course.
Can I engage in CPT after I graduate?
If you want to continue participating in training after you graduate, you must apply and be approved for OPT (insert link to OPT webpage here).
Do I need a Social Security Number (SSN)?
You will need to take this letter to the Social Security Administration office to request an SSN. Please review this page for additional information on required documents.