Information For Employers of International Students
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Basics for Employers
Optional Practical Training (OPT) Basics for Employers
Online Employment Resource from Immigration
The majority of the following information is geared towards situations with international students on an F-1 visa. Should you have questions about students on a J-1 category, please contact our office regarding the eligibility of a J-1 Student visa holder interning or being hired in your office.
Internships for international students on F-1 (student) visas are allowed under immigration regulations which permit Curricular Practical Training (CPT). As described in the Code of Federal Regulations [8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)], this employment is "alternate work/study, internship, (or) cooperative education" which is "an integral part of the established curriculum." Old Dominion University offers all students the opportunity to undertake internships as part of their degree programs, and this is the area of federal law which permits F-1 visa students to participate in such learning experiences.
As CPT is considered a part of the student's course of study, and permission is given only for a specific employer and not for employment in general, students on CPT are not required to obtain the I-688B, Employment Authorization Document, which is required by most other non-resident aliens who may work. Instead, the regulations specify that an authorized official at the student's school may evaluate the application for training and, if it meets the requirements of the law, endorse his/her immigration document (called Form I-20) with the specific training approval [8 CFR 214.2(f)(10(i)]. This endorsement will state the conditions on the CPT.
If the student is authorized for part-time CPT, he/she may not work more than 20 hours per week during the period for which training has been approved. Students who have been authorized for full-time training may work any number of hours desired by the employer.
CPT is granted for a specific employer, which is also noted on the endorsement. If a student wishes to change employers for his/her training, he/she must get permission from the University for the new employer and have the I-20 endorsed with the change.
CPT is also granted for specific dates, which correspond to the University's academic terms. Many times, this authorization can be extended for another semester, but the student must complete a new application with our office.
If the student has been in the United States for five or fewer years, authorized employment under curricular practical training is exempt from FICA (Social Security) taxes for both the student and employer. (Section 3121 (b)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) IRS Publication 515 (Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Corporations) provides further information on taxation.
International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is always glad to answer questions within our scopt of knowledge from an employer or a student on CPT. Please feel free to e-mail us.