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Los Angeles

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)


If you are an international student studying in the United States, you have the opportunity to work at an internship part-time but remember that you are restricted by the terms of your visa.

Most international students in the United States hold an F-1 visa, which is the U.S. non-immigrant student visa. F-1 students are allowed to work in the United States, but only under certain conditions and in accordance with guidelines and restrictions issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

Curricular practical training (CPT) is an off-campus employment option for F-1 students when the practical training is an integral part of the established curriculum or academic program. Before you can begin work at an internship, you must have your I-20 updated to show you have received curricular practical training (CPT) approval to work in the U.S.

You must receive an offer letter from a company before you can apply for CPT. The internship start date on your offer letter and the approval start date of CPT listed on your I-20 must match.

You can receive credit and get paid for CPT employment. A social security number is not required to begin employment.   See here for more info on SSN and ITIN

Students will need to submit paperwork for an updated I-20 w/CPT approval directly with the The Center for International Services. The Center for International Services will then obtain approval from USCIS.

In-person:  Come to The Center for International Services during PT processing times (Mondays from 3-5 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.). Bring the above listed documents along with proof that you have registered your CPT experience for credit in the semester(s) it will occur. (e.g., registration form, MySlice registration screen), your original passport, visa, and most recent I-94 Arrival-Departure record.

If you are outside of the Syracuse area and cannot come in-person for PT processing:   Scan and email the required documents to for processing. Please be sure to select your mailing option and put the correct mailing address on your PT Data Sheet. If you select express mailing, please make sure to follow the instructions on Document Shipping for setting up and paying for express mailing. Note: CPT cannot be processed for individuals outside of the United States.

Visit The Center for International Services website for more information and a checklist. Students are strongly encouraged to attend a Curricular Practical Training Seminar.