CPT Visa USA: Eligibility, Validity and Characteristics 

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CPT Visa USA: Most Indian students prefer studying at the top US universities to improve their knowledge for bright job opportunities. The US has a variety of renowned universities across the world which attract millions of students. Apart from the better education quality, infrastructure, and facilities, they offer tons of different programs and courses which are in high demand across the world. Studying them not only enlightens your knowledge but adds it to your resume and brings you fever-pitch opportunities. 


The full form for the CPT Visa is Curricular Practical Training. It is a type of student visa that allows foreign students studying in the United States to gain practical work experience in their field of study. CPT is an optional program, and students must meet certain eligibility requirements to qualify for it. 

What is a CPT Visa?

When you are on a USA visa i.e. an F1 visa, you get the advantage of enrolling in a practical training program via campus or any external lead. But you can’t take part in it, because these don’t fall under the benefits of an F1 visa. For grabbing employment opportunities, you need to visit the international office of the university to apply for this visa. 

CPT visa, USA lets you gain experience in a particular field and helps the student /employer learn about the practical knowledge within the course. This visa is among the popular visas that students apply for because its benefits are as follows. 

  • One can be a part of paid internship  
  • It helps in exploring new opportunities. 

Also Read: What is a Student Visa and How to Apply?

Eligibility Requirement

In the USA, there are three major types of employment i.e., OPT, CPT, and campus-based job opportunities. To be eligible for the CPT visa, USA:

  • One must have completed at least one academic year of study in the United States and must be enrolled in a qualifying degree program.  
  • One must hold an F1 visa. 
  • The work experience must be related to the student’s field of study and must be an integral part of the curriculum.  
  • The student must also have a job offer or an internship offer from a U.S. employer. 
  • Once the student receives their new Form I-20, they can apply for this visa by submitting the Form I-20, a copy of their job offer or internship offer letter, and other required documents to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  
  • The USCIS will review the application and issue an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if the application is approved. 

CPT Visa, USA Validity

This visa allows the student to work full-time/part-time while studying at the university. The maximum duration of CPT is 12 months, and students can choose to work either during the academic year or during the summer break.  

Characteristics of CPT Visa, USA

CPT is an optional program, and students must meet certain eligibility requirements to qualify for it. The application process cannot be stated as it varies from university to university. To process your application, you need to contact the international office of your university. Let’s discuss the significant features of the CPT visa. 

  • This visa is valid only during your academic’s years. 
  • It cannot be exceeded for more than a year.  
  • The university will approve the said visa for the candidate. 
  • There is a possibility that CPT can affect the process of OPT visa. 
  • The number is not a bar while applying for this visa. One is allowed to apply for this visa as many times as they want. 


What is the validity of the CPT visa?

The CPT visa is valid for up to a year (12 months). It can be further extended up to a year, but one cannot apply for the OPT visa while one is holding the former visa. Students must also maintain their F-1 visa status and comply with all the regulations and requirements of the CPT program to avoid any negative consequences on their future employment opportunities. 

Is it legal to apply for CPT and OPT visa at the same time?

Yes, you can apply for the CPT and the OPT at the same time, but one is only eligible for a CPT visa until the last day of the terminating semester whereas OPT visa can be applied 90 days (about 3 months) prior or 60 days (about 2 months) after the last working day of the semester. 

Can I get a green card with a CPT visa?

Yes, this visa doesn’t bother the process of a green card. A green card allows you to stay permanently in the territory of the USA and then you don’t require any other non-immigration visa like H1B.

The CPT visa is a type of student visa that allows foreign students studying in the United States to gain practical work experience in their field of study. The eligibility requirements for the said visa include having completed at least one academic year of study, being enrolled in a qualifying degree program, and having a job or internship offer from a U.S. employer. To apply for this visa, the student must contact their DSO, obtain a new Form I-20 with the CPT authorization, and submit the required documents to the USCIS. 

If you are going to apply for a CPT visa to begin your overseas education journey. Our Leverage Edu visa experts are here to help you with the application process. So, connect with us today for a FREE Consultation call or call us on 1800572000. 

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