|CURRICULAR PRACTICAL TRAINGING (CPT)||OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING (OPT)|
|CPT requires a job offer||OPT does not require a job offer|
CPT requires enrollment in an internship class in which on-the-job training is required and for which course credit is received.
Student must be enrolled in the internship class at the same time they are working
|OPT does not require you to enroll in an internship class|
|CPT authorized during the summer or winter would require the student to pay summer & winter tuition||OPT does not require the student to pay for class registration, but U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires a filing fee (it is $410 as of December 2019)|
|CPT is authorized for a specific employer for work related to student’s major field of study||OPT allows work with ANY employer based on the student’s major field of study|
|CPT is authorized by OIP within 5 business days||OPT is authorized by USCIS in 90 - 120 days (after preliminary processing by OIP)|
|CPT work permit is granted on the I-20 (page 3)||OPT work permit is called the EAD (Employment Authorization Document)|
|CPT may only be issued for work before graduation||OPT allows for employment both before and after graduation|
CPT usually does not affect OPT as long as CPT is authorized for less than 12 months of full-time employment (more than 20 hours per week). Part-time CPT (20 hours per week or less) is never deducted from OPT.
NOTE: if you work total 4 months of full-time CPT, you will still have 12 months of OPT
OPT authorized part-time (20 hours or less per week) is deducted at half-time rate, but full-time OPT (more than 20 hours per week) is deducted at full-time rate from the 12 months of OPT.
NOTE: if you received 6 full-time months of OPT before graduating you will only have 6 months of OPT left after graduation
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