I have been in F-1 status for one full academic year. My academic adviser suggested that I do an internship with a company in my field of study to gain practical experience. How should I go about obtaining employment authorization for this?


You may be eligible for curricular practical training (CPT) authorization to work as an intern. You should consult with your DSO about the specific requirements you must meet to qualify for CPT. Generally, the proposed employment should be an integral part of your program of study, which would need to either be required by your program and/or registered for credit. You should also be maintaining a full course of study while engaging in CPT. Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which is the agency in charge of the F-1 program administration through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), has recently issued guidance requiring a formal cooperative agreement between the prospective employer and the school. Your DSO should be able to provide you with your school’s policy regarding this requirement. (06.Feb.2015)

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