Should overseas students in the US consider CPT over OPT?
Posted on June 25, 2019
Overseas students who study in the US are permitted to do either OPT or CPT. This is under their F-1 US Study Visas to obtain work experience. OPT stands for Optional Practical Training and CPT for Curricular Practical Training.
Both OPT and CPT are formal work authorizations for overseas students. It is because they are not permitted to work outside the campus.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services – USCIS announced this week that there is a surge in applications for OPT. It has resulted in accumulation and delays in the usual 3 months processing timeline. OPT is largely used as a route to the contentious H-1B Visa. The wait times are now running from 4 weeks to 5 months, added USCIS.
A small number of institutions offer students the choice of using CPT. This will be cheaper and efficient in comparison with pre-completion OPT. It will also ease the OPT applications backlog for graduates, as quoted by the Study International.
In this background, overseas students in the US are better placed by taking the CPT. They can still obtain work experience with no red tape.
The CPT process is by and large handled by the US University and not the Government. Thus, the application process simplified.
Minh Doan a Vietnamese national is pursuing Master’s Degree in Accountancy at the University of Denver. He says that the CPT process has been straightforward and easy. His Graduate Program did not mandate an internship. However, Doan participated in one for credit.
The CPT process did not need many application materials said, Doan. The approval took just a few days, he added. CPT is in fact handled by the concerned Universities and not by the Government with its bureaucratic system. This genuinely impacts the process efficiency, adds Doan.
The processing times are not that long for CPT and it is quicker to obtain as well, adds the Vietnamese national.
International Student & Scholar Services, University of Denver Assistant Director Laura Buhs elaborates in the CPT process. Students are asked to permit 3 to 5 business days for ISSS for reviewing and processing a CPT application. This is if the application is complete, adds Laura.
So, if you are an overseas student in the US seeking work experience, you can consider the CPT. You can check for opportunities at your University.
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