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At a Glance

Day 1 CPT: Simplified

For F-1 international students in the US, understanding Day 1 CPT (Curricular Practical Training) is crucial, as it offers a legal pathway to gain practical work experience from the first day of their studies. At, we are a group of former international students who have benefited from Day 1 CPT"in the past. We have spent an entire month creating this comprehensive guide. If you do not have time to go through the entire guide, at least read this first section. It will provide you with the essential information needed when considering Day 1 CPT as an alternative to the H1B visa, ensuring you make informed decisions about your work authorization options.

Beware of Illegal Day 1 CPT Schemes

It is crucial to recognize and steer clear of illegal Day 1 CPT programs. Illegal programs are typically characterized by charging students tuition without requiring class attendance or homework submission. Such arrangements, which are often found in purely affiliation-based programs, should be avoided at all costs. Moreover, many agencies heavily promote certain prestigious schools offering Day 1 CPT that are, in fact under scrutiny by the US Immigration Service. To help you choose an eligible program, we have compiled a blacklist of schools to avoid when considering Day 1 CPT.

The Path to Completely Legal Day 1 CPT

On the bright side, there are completely legal "Day 1 CPT" opportunities that comply with US immigration laws. Legal Day 1 CPT programs require 2-4 hours of academic engagement per week, as well as periodic on-site school visits, either monthly or every semester. These programs allow students to legally work or search for employment while enrolled in their academic programs. The typical tuition range for legal Day 1 CPT masters programs is $10,000 to $20,000 annually.

Selecting the Right Day 1 CPT School and Major

The process of choosing the most suitable Day 1 CPT Universities and Day 1 CPT majors involves several steps:

  1. In-depth Research: Gain a solid understanding of  Day 1 CPT, including its benefits, drawbacks, risks, and how to navigate them. Our Day 1 CPT comprehensive guide is designed to provide detailed information to assist in this endeavor. If there is anything in the guide that confuses you, we are here to help. All of our consultations regarding Day 1 CPT are 100% free.
  2. Avoiding Violation-Prone Schools: It is imperative to identify and exclude schools with a history of  Day 1 CPT violations from your consideration list. Avoid schools on the Day 1 CPT universities blacklist. 
  3. Choosing a Compliant School: Select an appropriate Day 1 CPT program from a list of compliant schools that match your intended work field. This selection should be based on the program's compliance, your previous education, and your career goals.
  4. Considering Key Factors: Evaluate potential schools based on:
    • Your master’s degree status
    • Your previous major
    • work location
    • on-site frequency
    • tuition costs, and
    • the frequency of CPT Agreement updates. 

The goal is to find a school that offers convenience, affordability, and alignment with your professional objectives.

For a comprehensive guide, please continue reading or use the menu ≡ function on the left side to jump directly to the sections of greatest interest to you.

Understanding Day 1 CPT

1. What is Day 1 CPT?

Day 1 CPT (Curricular Practical Training) refers to a provision in certain university programs in the United States that allows international students on an F1 visa to start working in roles related to their major field of study from the very first day of their academic program. This arrangement is particularly appealing to international students who are eager to gain practical work experience alongside their academic studies.

The vast majority of schools, about 98%, require you to be enrolled for at least nine months to a year before you can apply for a CPT work permit. Some schools allow students to work on-campus in their first year but only permit off-campus work after a year of course registration.

DAY 1 CPT refers to those programs that allow you to apply for a full-time CPT work permit as soon as you start your studies. Therefore, DAY 1 CPT acts like a "salvation" for those capable of finding employment in the US, including but not limited to those without a US work permit (not yet in the US) or those about to lose their legal working status in the US (facing H1B layoffs or OPT expiration without having been selected for an H1B). 

To better understand 'What is Day 1 CPT?', let's compare it with other concepts you might be familiar with:

Work on F1 Visa: OPT, CPT & Day 1 CPT: What's the Difference?

Stands For Optional Practical Training Curricular Practical Training Curricular Practical Training From Day 1 
Who can apply? International students on a F-1 visa who have enrolled for at least one full academic year International students on a F-1 visa who have enrolled for at least one full academic year International students on an F-1 visa enrolled in accredited Day 1 CPT universities to their specially designed courses that integrate work experience.
When can you participate? OPT occurs before or after your program end date CPT occurs during your study program Throughout your program
How long can you use it? 12 to 36 months Throughout your CPT course Throughout your entire program
How many hours can you work by using it 20-40 hours 20-40 hours 20-40 hours
Who authorizes your practical training? After your DSO’s recommendation, will authorize your OPT Your DSO  Your DSO 
Do you need to have a job lined up before your DSO authorizes or recommends practical training? No Yes Yes
Which document do you need for eligibility? Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (sent by USCIS) CPT I-20 form (provided by your DSO) CPT I-20 form (provided by your DSO)
Employer Specified? No  No No
H1B Eligibility? Yes Yes Yes


Legitimacy and Long Term Immigration Implication

2. Is Day 1 CPT Legal?

Day 1 CPT is 100% Legal Under USCIS Practical Training Guidelines

The legality of Day 1 CPT is a common concern among international students. Day 1 CPT is legal, as long as it adheres to the guidelines set by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Typically, international students are required to have been enrolled in their academic program for more than a year before they are eligible for CPT. However, for students who have already completed a program in the US are exempt from this restriction, and, thus legally able to participate in Day 1 CPT under certain conditions.

How does USCIS view DAY 1 CPT?

The official website of USCIS has the following official statement regarding CPT: if CPT is needed from the first semester upon enrollment, consult with the DSO (Department of Student Office) for processing. 

USCIS delegates the authority to formulate CPT policies to universities, including whether to allow on-campus/off-campus CPT internships in the first year, whether to allow full-time or part-time CPT internships; these are policies set by each school, and USCIS does not intervene.

USCIS is most concerned with the following: whether students illegally work during their full-time CPT, whether the work content is sufficiently related to their field of study, whether there are any gaps between student status and H1B status transition, any illegal overstays, and whether students attend classes as required by the school, among other concerns.

It's important to note that USCIS, at different times, may indeed have varying levels of inquiries when transitioning from Day 1 CPT to H1B, so choosing DAY 1 CPT universities with full qualifications and majors strongly related to the job content is crucial.

In fact, the quality of schools supporting DAY 1 CPT varies significantly. USCIS has even set up fake schools with misleading intentions to spook out F1 visa frauds, but there are still some fully qualified, legitimate schools available for selection.

As long as you understand the assessment method described below, you can securely obtain a US work permit and face the various risks and pitfalls mentioned without fear.

Therefore, when considering Day 1 CPT to gain practical work experience in the US, selecting an accredited and reputable Day 1 CPT university is crucial. Before applying:

Choose the Right Day 1 CPT Universities

  • Confirm SEVP Registration: Ensure that the Day 1 CPT universities on your list are officially registered with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Remember to check not only the university's status but also the specific campus you're interested in.

  • Check Accreditations: Investigate the accreditations of your chosen Day 1 CPT universities. Ideally, the universities should have regional accreditation, which is the highest level of accreditation in the US.

  • Beware of Purely Online Programs: Schools offering Day 1 CPT exclusively through online courses, without any requirement for campus attendance per semester, are not compliant with legal standards.

  • Penalized or Warned Institutions: Schools that have received warnings or penalties from USCIS should be approached with caution. Despite retaining their Day 1 CPT offering, the reasons behind these disciplinary actions are often significant.

  • Discerning Agency Promotions: Many agencies display a wide array of partner institutions offering Day 1 CPT across the U.S. However, genuine, legally compliant, and worry-free Day 1 CPT programs are fewer in number. It's crucial to consult a trusted and comprehensive Day 1 CPT school whitelist for guidance.

  • Connect with Alumni and Current Students: Engage in conversations with alumni or current students of the program. Their insights and experiences can provide valuable perspectives. Pay attention not only to their testimonials but also to the general reputation of the institution.

Is Day 1 CPT Legal? - Video - 


Choose the Right Day 1 CPT Major

To ensure your DAY 1 CPT program is entirely legal, choosing the right school is only the first step; selecting your major is significantly more complex.

  • Relevance Between Work and Major: The essence of DAY 1 CPT is practical training within your course of study. The work you engage in must be closely related to your field of study. This relevance is determined based on the job position and responsibilities you submit to your school for the CPT application (which can be discussed with the employer).

  • Avoid Repeating the Same Major: Under the same degree, you should never re-enroll in the same major.

  • Steer Clear of Very Similar Majors: To demonstrate the necessity of your chosen field to USCIS, avoid enrolling in majors that are very similar to your previous studies. For example, if you've completed an MS in Data Science, do not assume you can safely pursue an MS in Business Analytics just because the name is different. Pay attention to the overlap in coursework; if more than 50%, there is a high risk of receiving an RFE (Request for Evidence) when transitioning to H1B.

  • Low Risk in Switching from STEM to Business: If you already have a STEM degree, pursuing an MBA is a safe choice, especially since many MBA programs offer STEM tracks. Common fields like CS (Computer Science)/DS (Data Science) pose no problems.

  • Avoid Enrolling in Two DAY 1 CPT Programs at the Same Academic Level: If you already have a master's degree through DAY 1 CPT, generally avoid pursuing another master’s in the same level. Opting for a doctoral program, like the DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) at Westcliff University that covers common fields like business, CS, DS, etc., is advisable.

  • Zero Risk for Those Averse to Risk: If you've already completed a master's degree in the US and want to avoid any risk, opting for a doctoral DAY 1 CPT program is the safest path. However, as long as you heed the points above, pursuing a master's degree also carries low risk. This advice is particularly for those who are extremely risk-averse. 

    List of Doctoral Day 1 CPT Programs:


Long-term Effects on Residency or Citizenship

The F1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, but it allows for the application of other visa types while you are on it. For instance, as an F1 student utilizing Day 1 CPT, you can apply for an H1B visa. Additionally, if your employer is willing to sponsor a green card, you can even initiate your permanent residency petition while studying at Day 1 CPT universities.

There is a common concern that working while on an F1 visa might complicate future immigration procedures. However, this concern can be dispelled with clear understanding of the underlying issues. If you are worried about this, ask yourself why. Why would USCIS have an issue with international students using CPT from the first day of their program when their guidelines explicitly state its legality?

Suspicions arise not because the use of CPT is inherently problematic, but rather because not all students adhere to the rules and restrictions that come with this opportunity. A few cases of abuse have caused USCIS officers to be more cautious when reviewing CPT I-20 records. 

Avoiding complications to your eligibility is straightforward: Ensure you maintain your F1 status effectively while exercising your right to use CPT for employment. To maintain your status, keep your GPA above 3.0, meet all on-site study requirements, promptly update your records, and adhere to other relevant guidelines. Neglecting these responsibilities of F1 students while attempting to reap the benefits of the visa is lead students into trouble and tarnishes the reputation of Day 1 CPT.

Day 1 CPT at Various Stages of Your US Path

3. Who is Day 1 CPT For?

Day 1 CPT offers versatile solutions for international students at various stages and dealing with different status maintenance issues. Choose the tab below that describes you best to discover how Day 1 CPT can be beneficial for you.

F1 - OPT Students

Facing the end of your OPT? What happens if you don't get H1B after OPT?

In recent years, it has become increasingly challenging for international students to secure an H1B visa before their OPT (Optional Practical Training) expires. With the odds of being selected in the H1B lottery hovering around a mere 20%, many students are left wondering what options they have to continue working in the US after their OPT ends. This is where Day 1 CPT emerges as an ideal solution. 

Day 1 CPT offers a strategic pathway for students facing the end of their OPT period. By enrolling in a master's level program that aligns with their professional field, students can not only advance their academic knowledge but also maintain their work authorization in the US through CPT (Curricular Practical Training). This approach allows them to continue gaining valuable work experience while awaiting the next H1B lottery.

The benefits of this route are twofold. Firstly, Day 1 CPT participants can achieve a higher degree, enhancing their academic credentials. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, they can accumulate additional work experience. This combination of advanced education and practical work experience significantly boosts Day 1 CPT participants' competitiveness in the US job market over the long term. For many international students, Day 1 CPT has been a lifesaver, providing them with the necessary tools and opportunities to build a successful career in the United States.

Laid-Off H1B Workers

Nearing the end of your H1B grace period?

If you're an H1B visa holder who has been laid off, exploring the option of Day 1 CPT could provide a crucial lifeline.

Under the H1B visa regulations, there is a 60-day grace period following a layoff. This means you have 60 days to find a new job that offers H1B transfer support, or you'll be required to leave the U.S., potentially ending your American journey. Finding a new employer within this timeframe, especially one willing to provide immigration support, is challenging. In such situations, maintaining a positive and proactive approach is essential. It's also wise to have a backup plan to preserve your legal status in the U.S.

One viable strategy is to return to school. Consider applying to universities that offer Day 1 CPT programs, as they often have more openings compared to traditional universities. By changing your status from H1B to F1, you can secure your legal presence in the U.S. This shift allows you to continue searching for a new employer without immediate pressure.

Once you secure an employer, you have the option to change your status back to H1B. If your new employer does not support H1B, you can still work under CPT and continue accumulating work experience while seeking a more permanent solution. Meanwhile, you also have the opportunity to earn another U.S. degree from an accredited university, adding to your qualifications and experience.


Feeling restricted by your dependent visa and seeking a way to work in the U.S.?

Dependent visas like H4 or F2 come with certain limitations. For instance, F2 visa holders are not permitted to work in the U.S., and while H4 visa holders may apply for an EAD (Employment Authorization Document), there are prerequisites. The H1B holder must be in the I-140 process before an H4 visa holder can apply for work authorization, a process that can take years.

If you're a dependent who came to the U.S. with your loved ones and find yourself struggling to live a fulfilling life due to these immigration restrictions, it can be incredibly frustrating. We have assisted many individuals in similar situations by helping them change their status to F1 and enroll in Day 1 CPT universities. These programs not only allow them to earn a U.S. degree but also to engage in paid internships.

If this resonates with you, don't hesitate to reach out for assistance. Book a free consultation with us. At CPTDog, we are committed to providing a pathway to career development and helping you navigate through these challenges.

COS Candidates

Considering an Extended Stay in the U.S.?

If you're thinking about switching from a B1/B2 to an F1 or J1 to F1 visa, Day 1 CPT universities are an excellent option. These institutions offer flexible enrollment and courses that are practically oriented, perfect for those looking to blend academic growth with real-life work experience in the U.S.

We've encountered students who initially came to the U.S. on a B1/B2 visa for leisure but then decided they wanted to study or even intern here, given that the U.S. is a top destination for international education. However, transitioning from a B1/B2 visa to starting your educational journey in the U.S. can present timing challenges. Most traditional schools have only two enrollment periods per academic year and processing applications, particularly for international students, can take months. This is where Day 1 CPT universities stand out. Thanks to their program structure, these universities often have up to 6 intakes per year.

As the official admission representative, CPTDog can expedite your application process. You could receive an offer and your I-20 in as little as three days, allowing you to start your American journey without delay.

Oversea Students

Planning for a Comprehensive U.S. Experience?

If your goal extends beyond just obtaining a degree in the U.S. to also include gaining valuable work experience, it's important to think strategically about your long-term plans.

IDP's 2022 research highlights a key concern among international students in the U.S.: the rate of employment post-graduation. Take, for instance, Chinese students, who represent the second-largest group of international students. A significant 80% return to their home country after graduation, often due to a lack of competitiveness in the job market. International students in the U.S. often face hurdles in accumulating similar internship experiences due to stringent immigration requirements and the challenges in obtaining CPT authorization from traditional schools. This puts them at a disadvantage in terms of competitiveness, further compounded by language barriers and limited networking opportunities.

The takeaway is clear: As an international student, to enhance your employability, gaining internship experience is crucial. This is where considering a Day 1 CPT program becomes a strategic choice for those focused on long-term success and a comprehensive U.S. educational and professional experience.

F1 Emergency Transfer

Seeking a Fresh Start as an F1 Student?

For F1 students who have faced expulsion from a previous institution, Day 1 CPT universities offer a beacon of hope. These institutions provide increased enrollment opportunities and the possibility of I-20 reinstatement, paving the way for a new beginning in the U.S.

Such situations are more common than many realize. F1 students in the U.S. often encounter challenges that their local counterparts do not, such as illness, family issues, or unfamiliarity with U.S. academic standards. Sometimes, these students inadvertently make mistakes without even realizing it.

A key difference between international and local students is the need for the former to maintain a legal immigration status. When international students make a mistake, they risk not just their academic standing but also their ability to stay in the U.S., potentially leading to deportation.

If you find yourself in such a predicament, CPTDog is here to assist. We have aided students dealing with issues ranging from depression to accusations of academic dishonesty, helping them secure a second chance in the U.S. 

Pros & Cons

4. DAY 1 CPT Benefits

  • Immediate Employment Upon Enrollment: Want to start legally working full-time, 40 hours a week, from the first day of school? DAY 1 CPT schools meet this need, unlike other institutions where you might have to wait 9to 12 months to start working.

  • Extended Applicability: Don’t worry about not getting selected for the H1B visa for years. DAY 1 CPT offers various master's and doctoral programs, allowing you to pursue several different master’s programs (each lasting 2 to 2.5 years) or even doctoral programs (each lasting 3 to 4 years). This gives you 5 to 10 years to fearlessly study, work, and participate in the H1B lottery or pursue other means of obtaining US residency.

  • Seamless Transition: Day 1 CPT universities usually has 3-6 terms per year, and enrollment is available every term. No matter when your OPT expires, with proper planning, you can easily transition without any gap. Similarly, this applies to other expiring statuses. For example, if your tourist visa is about to expire after six months, doing nothing would result in an illegal stay. However, you can quickly switch to an F1 student visa.

  • Easy Application with Low Entry Requirements: Unlike traditional universities, DAY 1 CPT universities are primarily offered by private institutions, where meeting the basic admission requirements is usually sufficient for acceptance.

  • Work Unaffected: Primarily online, requiring only monthly or quarterly campus visits, often on weekends, which hardly impacts a full-time job.

  • Affordable Tuition: Tuition fees are much lower than those of conventional universities, costing only $15,000 to $20,000 per year.

  • Flexible Majors: Whether it's business, arts, or engineering sciences, there are many schools and programs to choose from.

  • Low Academic Pressure: These programs generally require only 2-4 hours per week, making them less stressful.

  • No Commitment Experience: Leave once you're done. After another status becomes effective, you can choose to withdraw. Once you get selected for the H1B, you can proceed with withdrawal procedures after your H1B becomes effective on October 1.

  • Company Sponsorship: A few companies might even sponsor tuition fees, offering a free way to maintain legal status and gain knowledge, which is highly appreciated in the US.


Things to Watch Out When Using DAY 1 CPT

The benefits mentioned above almost seem too good to be true.

In fact, there are indeed some circumstances regarding Day 1 CPT that require special attention:

  • Suitable only for those who can currently find a job in the US based on their background: Because the schools offering Day 1 CPT generally do not have a high US News ranking, it might be difficult to convince employers of your abilities solely based on your academic experience and degree from these institutions. Therefore, it is generally only suitable for those urgently needing to solve their work status, not so much for those looking to merely enhance their background for academic purposes. For better improvement, opting for regular schools, even community colleges, which allow CPT work permits after a year, might be more beneficial.

  • The work must be related to the course content: You cannot freely choose your major. For instance, if someone's job is a programmer, then choosing an MS in Computer Science is more sensible than an MBA because the job content for a programmer is more closely related to the course content of Computer Science.

  • Consider the for-profit nature of the school: If you are applying for your first master's degree in the US, it's better to choose non-profit universities offering Day 1 CPT programs. In the US, non-profit universities are generally seen as focusing more on educational quality and student services. Additionally, applicants with degrees from non-profit universities are eligible for an extra 20,000 slots in the H1B visa lottery, significantly increasing their chances of obtaining a visa.

  • Consider STEM-certified programs if you haven't used your graduate-level OPT: Choosing a STEM-certified program allows you 3 years of OPT after graduation as long as you do not work full-time (defined by immigration as more than 20 hours a week) for more than 365 days during your CPT.

  • May not be able to use OPT after graduation: If you use full-time CPT for over 365 days, you will be ineligible for OPT after graduation. However, as mentioned earlier, even without OPT or after it's used up, you can legally maintain your status through different Day 1 CPT programs.

Mitigate Risks

5. Day 1 CPT Risk Management

In fact, there are indeed many pitfalls with Day 1 CPT. Here's a brief guide to avoiding regrettable pitfalls:

Risk of transitioning from Day 1 CPT to H1B status

After winning the H1B lottery, transitioning from F1 to H1B status might trigger a Request For Evidence (RFE) from USCIS. However, if you understand what USCIS may question, there is no need for excessive worry. With years of experience, RFEs mainly focus on four issues to check when it comes down the usage of Day 1 CPT:

  1. Prove genuine engagement in studies: Stay away from Day 1 CPT programs that claim you only need to pay without doing assignments or exams. Keep good records of attendance, assignments, exams, and tuition payments as evidence.

  2. Prove the relevance of your studies to your job: Day 1 CPT programs cannot be chosen arbitrarily; they must be related to the content of your full-time job.

  3. Explain why you studied a similar major twice: Be cautious when applying for programs to ensure your new field of study is not too similar to your existing degree. There should be a clear difference. If the field of study is the same, consider advancing to a higher level, like going from an MBA to a DBA.

  4. Prove that CPT was not misused for employment: Choose programs where the curriculum explicitly requires CPT internships, leaving no room for USCIS objections.


We've also made a essential documents list for Day 1 CPT users. This is a list of documents for those who worry about RFE to prepare ahead of time while enjoying the benefit of Day 1 CPT >>> read and save it here.

Accredited Day 1 CPT universities can provide substantial RFE support to their students, who already benefit from a low RFE rate to begin with. For example, one of our partner schools Westcliff University, boasts an RFE pass rate as high as 98% . In fact, many employees of attended Westcliff University. Our recommendation comes from the trust we place in the institution to support our own employees. 

Risk of F1 visa renewal

If you work for an extended period under Day 1 CPT, the visa officer may question your real intent to study in the US during your F1 visa renewal process outside the country.

To mitigate risks similar to the status transition, maintain good records of class attendance and other relevant evidence. Also, consult with school advisors or immigration lawyers in advance, prepare the necessary visa documents, and understand how to respond to questions from immigration officers. To ensure a smooth visa process, be thoroughly prepared.


USCIS Former Officer Tells How to Ace the F1 Visa Interview


Tuition & Fees

6. How Much Does Day 1 CPT Cost?

Compared to other American schools that can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year, a significant advantage of Day 1 CPT schools is their affordability. The annual cost ranges from $15,000 to $20,000. Tuition varies by school; for specific details, see our Day 1 CPT universities page.

The longest programs can take up to two and a half years to complete, providing ample time for visa lottery participation.

However, when it comes down to the total cost, tuition is merely one part. Read our analysis on Why Tuition is not be Your only Priority When Choosing Day 1 CPT Programs

Day 1 CPT Employers

7. Which Companies Accept Day 1 CPT

According to official statistics from the US Department of Homeland Security, over 200 large companies support CPT, including well-known companies such as Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Deloitte, Intel, Cummins, IBM, Apple, Tesla, Goldman Sachs, Randstad, Qualcomm, JP Morgan Chase, Ernst & Young, World Bank, Adobe, Walmart, Samsung, Uber, Nokia, and others.

For small and medium-sized companies, the process is also straightforward, requiring just a signature from the HR department.

See full Day 1 CPT Employers List >>> HERE

Day 1 CPT Universities Shortlist

8. Day 1 CPT Universities Blacklist & Whitelist

When choosing a school and program, it's essential to consider the following aspects:

  1. Is the school accredited by a reputable American authority?

    • This is the primary criterion for assessing the reliability of a school. Schools without accreditation carry significant risks.)

  2. Has the school ever been investigated or warned by US Immigration?

    • The reasons behind this are often serious, and the school could lose its eligibility at any time, including many so-called CPT "prestigious" schools still recommended by some agents.

  3. Does obtaining CPT require an employer to sign a CPT agreement?

    • Most employers usually have no problem with this, but some, like Amazon and Google, may be unwilling to sign. It's necessary to negotiate alternative solutions with the school, such as providing an Employment Verification Letter. However, some schools do not offer alternative solutions. Therefore, before choosing Day 1 CPT universities, it is essential to get familiar with each school's CPT policies. You can check them out on, our ask our consultant directly. 

  4. Are there legitimate courses, assignments, and exams?

    • Schools that only require tuition payment and do not require attendance in classes and assignments are usually illegal and likely to attract attention from US Immigration.

  5. How often must you report to the school?

    • Weekly, monthly, or each semester? Consider commuting time and costs.

  6. Is the academic pressure high?

    • Academic pressure can affect the energy needed outside of work and may impact your job. It's important to understand this in advance.

  7. In case of an RFE, can the school provide sufficient support?

    • A common reason for H1B RFEs is to prove the job's relevance to the degree. Providing relevant materials can reduce the risk of rejection.

  8. What is the total tuition? Is it possible to apply for scholarships or financial aid? Or to have a payment plan?

    • When financial resources are limited, tuition and scholarships need to be considered as important factors.

  9. Can the degree be accredited upon returning to your home country? 

Day 1 CPT Universities Whitelist

Westcliff University 

  • Irvine, California 
  • Miami, Florida 
Main Advantages 
Main Disadvantages
Summer Break: After every three semesters, you can take a break for one semester (during the break semester, you only need to register for 1 credit of CPT class to continue working)

Location: Located in popular cities on both the East and West Coasts

Full accreditation: Accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (the highest level of accreditation in the US) 

Low on-site Frequency: 1/semester 

Many Day 1 CPT Majors to Choose From: 7 programs support Day 1 CPT

Reliable Day 1 CPT with the only STEM-accredited MBA program, as well as a STEM DBA program: Just these two programs, if managed correctly, can allow you to legally work in the US for up to 10 years! The MBA and DBA programs last for 2 and 3 years respectively. If you do not work full-time for more than a year during your studies, you are eligible for 3 years of OPT for each degree. In theory, this could total up to 11 years, but since some courses in the DBA are covered in the MBA, it may be reduced by 1-2 years, still totaling 9-10 years.

Positive learning environment: Student-to-teacher ratio of 1:10, small class teaching, frequent guest lectures by industry executives for case studies, a consulting project every semester, offering high practical and networking value.

Relatively High workload: Some students have mentioned that selective courses and instructors require weekly essays with strict format and plagiarism checks. Join our WhatsApp group to chat with alumni or currently enrolled students, share study experiences, and avoid overly harsh professors or high-maintenance courses.

For-profit university: Degrees from this institution do not qualify for the H1B advanced degree exemption lottery

Relatively high tuition: Tuition is not the lowest among accredited Day 1 CPT universities, but considering the location and quality of programs, the overall value for money is still very good.


Day 1 CPT Programs:
  • MBA (STEM)
  • MS, Computer Science (STEM)
  • MS, Information Technology (STEM)
  • MS, Engineering Management (STEM)
  • MA, TESOL (non-STEM)
  • DBA (STEM)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
Day 1 CPT Tuition: 

Starting from $13,870 / year.

Monthly payment available


CIAM-California Institute of Advanced Management

  • Alhambra, California
Main Advantages
Main Disadvantages

Location: Located in the heart of Alhambra, 30 mins away from LA Lax by Uber

Non-profit university: An ideal choice for students with undergraduate degrees. Not only can you obtain OPT, but you also meet the requirements for the H1B Master Cap lottery.

Low tuition: Approximately $4,000 per semester, with a total tuition of $24,000.

No additional fees for textbooks and parking & Lunch Included: Saving about $500 per semester. It is perhaps the only Day 1 CPT universities provides free lunch during students' on-site visit. 

Scholarships for excellent students: Students with a GPA above 3.8 are eligible for a $3,000 scholarship.

Small class sizes: Classes typically have around 15 students.

Partnerships with well-known Los Angeles businesses: such as Universal Studios and Coca-Cola.

Low on-site Frequency: 1/semester

Requires work experience to apply:  lack of experience could lead to rejection. contact us for an evaluation before applying. 

Only offers an MBA program: However, there are three tracks available, including a data track.


Day 1 CPT Programs:
  • MBA

  • MBA in Executive Management (General)

  • MBA in Executive Management with a Concentration in Business Analytics

  • MBA in Executive Management with a Concentration in Project Management

Day 1 CPT Tuition:
From $12,000 / year

New England College


Henniker, NH


Main Advantages
Main Disadvantages 

Non-Profit: Master's degree obtained from NEC are eligible for H1B master cap

Local Students: NEC has a long history and a full undergraduate program with mainly local students. Day 1 CPT programs host by schools like this are considered "safer" and has a lower RFE rate.

Affordable Tuition: Comparing to other schools near Boston or New York City, NEC is pretty affordable with a tuition of $16,944 - $18,704 / program

Accreditation: NEC has one of the "golden accreditation", namely NECHE

Low on-site Frequency: 1/semester, only 3 times in total for the whole year

Location: Near Boston, but it may not be very convenient if you're not accustomed to driving.

Work Requirement: Prior to joining the program, you must have a job offer, and you need to maintain employment throughout the program. Losing your job could jeopardize your ability to complete your degree.

Workload: Compared to other Day 1 CPT universities, the workload is relatively high but still considered reasonable. To date, we have not received any complaints from our students regarding the workload at NEC.


Day 1 CPT Programs:
  • EMBA
  • MSDS

Day 1 CPT Tuition:

Starting from $8,316 / year

Monthly payment available


Monroe College


New Rochelle, NY

Main Advantages 
Main Disadvantages

New York's Preferred Choice: Currently the only reliable Day 1 CPT school in the Big Apple.

Unique DS Certificate Program: The Data Science Certificate program might sound basic, but it actually stands as an independent level between a Master's and a Doctorate. Students in this program not only can obtain one year of Day 1 CPT but also are eligible for one year of OPT after graduation.

Save One-Third for a Second Master's in the US: If you don't yet have a US Master's degree, the cost for one semester is $6,352. If you already have a US Master's degree (which applies to the majority of Day 1 CPT applicants), then the cost for one semester is $4,318.

Does not support Change of Status: If you need to change your status from other visas such as H1B, H4, B1, B2, L1, or L2, you can skip this school.

Requires monthly attendance at the school: The attendance requirement is strict.

Only has 3 enrollment windows every year: enroll time and CPT starting time is way less flexible than other Day 1 CPT universities


Day 1 CPT Programs:
Programs that allow weekend classes only:
  • MBA (Non-STEM)

  • MS Computer Science (STEM)

  • MS Data Science (STEM)

  • Data Science Certificate 

Programs that require weekday classes:
  • MS Accounting

  • MS Criminal Justice

  • MS Health Care Administration

  • Master of Public Administration

  • Master of Public Health Administration

  • Master of Public Health

Programs not available to international students:
  • MS Forensic Psychology

Programs that do not allow full-time CPT during the study period:
  • Master of Arts in Teaching


Day 1 CPT Tuition:

$25,908 - $38,112 / Program 


Saint Peter's University


Jersey City, NJ 

Main Advantages
Main Disadvantages

Accreditation: SPU also boasts a prestigious "golden accreditation" from MSCHE.

Location: Situated in Jersey City, it is even closer to Manhattan than Monroe College.

Swift Response: The admissions officers and advisors at SPU are notably responsive. Their post-enrollment service is excellent. 

On June 2, 2022, due to internal structural reforms, the school's flagship enrollment program, the Professional Hybrid MBA/Business Analytics, ceased to accept international students.

On-site Frequency: Required attendance is 2 weekends per semester. This is relatively higher compared to NEC but lower than Monroe College.


Day 1 CPT Programs:
  • MS Data Science 

  • MS Business Analytics

Day 1 CPT Tuition:

$26,000-29,000 / Program


McDaniel College


Westminster, MD


Main Advantages
Main Disadvantages

Non-Profit: Master's degrees from non-profit schools qualify for the H1B lottery's master's cap.

Low On-site Frequency: Once per semester

Small School: Boasts a favorable student-to-teacher ratio, offering a great learning experience and a positive track record with USCIS.

Only 1 CPT major


Day 1 CPT Program:

MS Data Analytics


Day 1 CPT Tuition:



Day 1 CPT Universities Blacklist

University of North America

As of November 1, 2022, all schools accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), including the well-known University of North America (UoNA), are no longer recognized by US Immigration. In fact, as of August 2022, ACICS accreditation was already not recognized by the US Department of Education.

Currently, international students enrolled in language programs at ACICS-accredited schools will have their F1 status terminated. However, students can reinstate their status by submitting Form I-539 along with proof of enrollment in a language program recognized by the US Department of Education. Students graduating from ACICS-accredited schools after August 19, 2022, will no longer be eligible for OPT Extension applications and will not qualify for the H1B master cap lottery. Furthermore, USCIS will also deny I-140 applications submitted under advanced degree and professional categories for these graduates.

Therefore, it is advised that international students currently enrolled at ACICS-accredited schools consult their international student advisors as soon as possible to understand how their status and eligibility may be affected and what actions they need to take to protect their legal rights. 


Stratford University

In August 2022, the US Department of Education (DOE) revoked Stratford University's accreditation under the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). This decision resulted in Stratford University being unable to enroll new students, leading to the university's closure.


Fairfax University of America (formerly Virginia International University)

In 2018, Virginia International University (VIU) was found to have significant shortcomings in academic rigor and quality. The audit revealed widespread occurrences of academic integrity violations and an admissions policy that "implicitly allowed" international students with poor English proficiency to enter the university. This issue attracted the attention of the Virginia State Council of Higher Education, which threatened to revoke VIU's operating license in Virginia.

To emphasize the school's transformation and change, VIU was renamed Fairfax University of America on January 1, 2020.


University of Farmington

In 2015, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) created the fictitious "University of Farmington" in Michigan as a sting operation to target illegal students and fraudulent agents in the USA. The fake university claimed to have no teachers, courses, exams, or dissertations; students were told they could obtain documentation for immigration by simply paying tuition fees. The advertised tuition was $8,500 per year for undergraduates and $11,000 per year for graduate students. The exposure of this operation implicated about 600 students and was intended to entrap illegal students and fraudulent agents, drawing criticism towards ICE's entrapment practices.


Silicon Valley University

Founded in 1997 by the Taiwanese couple Fengming Xiao and Meixin Cheng, Silicon Valley University focused on computer science and engineering. From 2008 to 2014, the school's average annual enrollment was about 300 students. However, enrollment dramatically increased to nearly 4,000 students from 2015, predominantly international students. 97% of these students were enrolled in graduate programs, mainly in computer science, indicating widespread CPT abuse. 

Once hailed as the go-to school for Day 1 CPT in Silicon Valley, in December 2017, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) announced it would no longer recognize Silicon Valley University's qualifications. Senator Charles E. Grassley had written to the Department of Homeland Security, questioning whether Silicon Valley University was a “visa mill” unable to provide adequate educational resources to its students and attempting to circumvent immigration law by enrolling international students for profit. According to the university's website, the staff never exceeded 28 people, even as enrollment skyrocketed to around 4,000 students.

Silicon Valley University faced revocation of its operating license by California authorities in April 2018 and announced its closure, requiring students to transfer to other institutions to complete their studies.

Generally speaking, if a university has undergraduate students or a large number of local students, it is safer.

Cross Reference

9. Day 1 CPT Universities & Majors Paired Based on Your JD

  • Business Related
  • CS
  • DS/BA
  • Engineering/PM/Supply Chain
  • Others

Business/ Marketing/ Finance/ Advertising/ Management/ Entrepreneurship

MBA program is ideal. However, which MBA to choose? ↓

If this is your first master's degree and you wish to be eligible for the H1B Master’s Cap lottery after graduation, it's best to opt for programs from non-profit universities, choices are:

  • CIAM California Institute of Advanced Management MBA (Los Angeles, Alhambra)

  • Trine University MBA (Midwest Detroit campus/West Phoenix campus)

  • Humphreys University MBA-IT (Northern California Bay Area)

If you wish to have three years of OPT after graduation, you'll need to limit full-time CPT use to under one year and choose a STEM-certified MBA program. The only Day 1 CPT STEM-certified Day 1 CPT MBA program is:

  • Westcliff University MBA (Los Angeles Irvine campus/East Miami campus) *STEM

If the H1B advanced degree lottery and three years of OPT aren't crucial for you, you may also consider the following schools and programs:

  • Monroe College MBA (East New York)

  • Ottawa University EMBA (Midwest Kansas campus/Midwest Wisconsin campus/West Arizona campus)

If you've already have an MBA or similar master's degree in the US, then opting for a DBA program would be suitable:

  • Westcliff University DBA (Irvine, CA)

  • National Louis University DBA (Tampa, FL)

If you've previously earned a US master's degree that is not similar to an MBA, the following MBA programs are available to you:

  • Trine University MBA (Midwest Detroit campus/West Phoenix campus)

  • Westcliff University MBA (STEM) (Los Angeles Irvine campus/East Miami campus)

  • Humphreys University MBA-IT (Northern California Bay Area)

  • CIAM California Institute of Advanced Management MBA (Los Angeles, Alhambra)

  • Monroe College MBA (East New York)

  • Ottawa University EMBA (Midwest Kansas campus/Midwest Wisconsin campus/West Arizona campus)

Computer Science

If this is your first master's degree and you wish to be eligible for the H1B Master’s Cap lottery after graduation, it's best to opt for programs from non-profit universities, choices are:

  • Trine University MS in Information Systems (Midwest Detroit campus/West Phoenix campus)

  • Harrisburg University MS in Computer Science (East Philadelphia)

  • Humphreys University MBA-IT (Northern California Bay Area)

If the H1B advanced degree lottery isn't a priority for you, you can choose from the following schools and programs:

  • For direct CS-related programs:

    Westcliff University MS in Computer Science (Los Angeles Irvine campus)

    Monroe College MS in Computer Science (East New York)

  • For MBA programs with a CS focus:

    Ottawa University EMBA in Information Systems (Midwest Kansas campus/Midwest Wisconsin campus/West Arizona campus)

If you've already obtained a master's degree but not in MS CS or similar:

  • For direct CS-related programs:

    Harrisburg University MS in Computer Science (East Philadelphia)

    Westcliff University MS in Computer Science (Los Angeles Irvine campus)

    Monroe College MS in Computer Science (East New York)

    Trine University MS in Information Systems (Midwest Detroit campus/West Phoenix campus)

  • For MBA programs with a CS focus:

    Ottawa University EMBA-IS (Midwest Kansas campus/Midwest Wisconsin campus/West Arizona campus)

    Humphreys University MBA-IT (Northern California Bay Area)

If you've already obtained an MS in CS or similar, you can't pursue another MS in CS. You have two options:

  • Consider directly pursuing a doctoral program:

    Westcliff University DBA in Applied Computer Science or Cybersecurity (Los Angeles Irvine campus/East Miami campus)

  • Consider MBA programs with a CS/IT focus:

    Ottawa University EMBA-IS (Midwest Kansas campus/Midwest Wisconsin campus/West Arizona campus)

    Humphreys University MBA-IT (Northern California Bay Area)


If you've only completed one US master's and can tolerate a bit of risk, consider these slightly different programs from MS CS:

  • Harrisburg University MS in Information Technology (East Philadelphia)

  • Westcliff University MS in Information Technology (Los Angeles Irvine campus)

  • Trine University MS in Information Systems (Midwest Detroit campus/West Phoenix campus)

DS/BA (Data Science/Business Analytics)

If this is your first master's degree and you wish to be eligible for the H1B Master’s Cap lottery after graduation, it's best to opt for programs from non-profit universities, choices are:

  • Trine University MS in Business Analytics (Midwest Detroit campus/West Phoenix campus)

  • Harrisburg University MS in Data Science/Business Analytics (East Philadelphia)

For DS/BA programs:

  • Monroe College MS in Data Science (East New York)

For MBA programs with a DS/BA concentration:

  • CIAM MBA in Business Analytics (Los Angeles Alhambra)

  • Ottawa University EMBA in Business Data Analytics (Midwest Kansas campus/Midwest Wisconsin campus/West Arizona campus)

  • Humphreys University MBA-IT (Northern California Bay Area)

Engineering/Project Management/Supply Chain

  • Westcliff University MS in Engineering Management (Los Angeles Irvine campus)

  • Trine University MS in Engineering Management (Midwest Detroit campus/West Phoenix campus)

  • Harrisburg University MS in Project Management (East Philadelphia)

Other Fields

  • Westcliff University MA in TESOL, EdD in Education (Los Angeles Irvine campus)

  • Harrisburg University MS in Media System/Learning Technology (East Philadelphia)

  • Monroe College MS in Public Health, Accounting, Criminal Justice, Hospitality Management (East New York)

  • Ottawa University EMBA in Operational Effectiveness, Healthcare Management (Midwest Kansas campus/Midwest Wisconsin campus/West Arizona campus)

Get Ready to Work

10. Day 1 CPT Application Process

Depending on the Day 1 CPT universities you are enrolled in, the CPT application process usually takes up to 1-2 weeks.

Numerous inquiries have surfaced regarding the specifics of transitioning from a previous degree's OPT to a new degree's CPT. Questions abound: Will there be a gap between the two? If so, how lengthy might it be, and how to minimize this gap? Furthermore, navigating the conversation with HR about this transition period and identifying schools that facilitate a smooth OPT to CPT shift can also be challenging. To address these concerns, we've crafted a detailed guide dedicated to this very transition.

If you don't have time to read through, a simplified CPT application is outlined in this infographic:

day 1 cpt application process simplified

It's advisable to check for emails from your school regarding CPT renewal before the end of each semester and submit the application for the next semester's CPT as early as possible. It's recommended to apply for CPT renewal at least 2 weeks in advance; approval usually comes within 1-2 days, along with a new I-20.

Stay Authorized and Stay Out of Trouble

11. Status Maintain & Next Step

F-1 Status Maintenance 

While Enjoying your Day 1 CPT Authorization, You'll have to maintain your status at all times, which means: 

  • Maintain valid F-1 immigration status by having a current I-20 throughout the program.
  • Ensure the internship/job is directly related to your field of study and matches your level of study 
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Begin work only after your CPT I-20 is approved or renewed; working before approval is not allowed.
  • Avoid having a work supervisor who is an F-1 or J-1 visa holder, as this can lead to the denial of CPT authorization by your DSO.
  • Regularly renew your CPT authorization according to university regulations.

What's Next?

After obtaining Day 1 CPT, students can continue to work and study in the United States. Since Day 1 CPT does not require binding to a single employer and does not involve a transfer process like the H1B, there is more flexibility in changing employers. Students can also continue to seek opportunities to participate in the H1B lottery and apply for a green card. When job hunting, you can explain to employers that Day 1 CPT allows you to legally work from the first day of school and emphasize the legality and stability of Day 1 CPT.


Another OPT

If the Day 1 CPT degree you are pursuing is higher than your previous degree, you are eligible for OPT for the new degree. If the new degree is in STEM, then you will have 3 years of OPT. Using OPT can further extend your work period in the U.S. It's important to note that if you engage in full-time work (defined as 20 hours per week or more) using CPT for a year, you will lose eligibility for OPT, even with a higher degree. To obtain new OPT, students can work full-time for 11 months using CPT and then switch to part-time.


Change Status to H1B

If you previously had an H1B but switched to F1 due to being laid off, you can switch back to H1B upon finding employment without needing to re-enter the lottery. Note that once you submit the application for a change of status to USCIS, you enter a pending period during which you can stay in the U.S. but cannot work. If you were unable to secure an H1B after your OPT expired, you could discuss with your employer about continuing to enter the H1B lottery during your Day 1 CPT. If you win the lottery and your H1B application is approved, you can also switch from F1 to H1B. Students can opt to complete their current program before switching to H1B. Alternatively, you may leave the program midway, but this might require further explanation to USCIS.


Apply for Green Card Directly from F1

USCIS does not specify which visa types are required to apply for a green card. If during your Day 1 CPT, your employer is willing to sponsor you for a green card, or if your partner can apply for you, then obtaining a green card can be a viable option.

You Ask, We Answer


We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions about using Day 1 CPT, addressing the most common inquiries from our students. We hope you find this resource helpful. If you have further questions, don't hesitate to reach out to our experts for a free consultation. We are committed to dismantling information barriers for international students, so feel free to ask any questions you may have.

What is Day 1 CPT? Day 1 CPT is a type of graduate level program that allows international students to use CPT work authorization with their F1 visa right at the start of their program. Many students who are nearing the end of their OPT but are not selected for an H1B visa choose to opt for Day 1 CPT to continue working legally in the US while pursuing another degree.
Is Day 1 CPT Legal? USCIS guidelines confirm that Day 1 CPT is legal when required by academic programs, with universities' Designated School Officials (DSOs) determining CPT eligibility. It's the university's responsibility to ensure their Day 1 CPT programs comply with USCIS regulations. Therefore, selecting an accredited and reputable Day 1 CPT university is vital for legally gaining work experience. 
What are Day 1 CPT Universities

Day 1 CPT universities, as the name implies, offer programs that focus more on practical training than academic research. This unique approach, in line with USCIS regulations, allows F1 international students to obtain CPT work authorization from Day 1 of the program. These universities provide multiple enrollment windows and utilize a hybrid teaching model, combining online and on-site classes. With most classes conducted online, the on-site requirement can be as minimal as once per semester, giving students ample time to engage in internships.

Due to their flexible learning schedules, low tuition costs, and CPT-friendly policies, Day 1 CPT universities are ideal for:

- International students nearing the end of their OPT without the ability to secure an H1B visa

- H1B workers who have been laid off and wish to pursue another degree before reentering the job market

- H4 visa holders who are eager to start their U.S. learning and working experience promptly, rather than waiting for the EAD card process.


Can I apply for green card while on Day 1 CPT? Yes, Day 1 CPT is a work authorization for F1 visa holders. Day 1 CPT does not affect green card processing.
Can I work 40 hours a week on Day 1 CPT?

You can work either full-time or part-time through CPT work authorization.

CPT requires a signed cooperative agreement or a letter from your employer.

If you use full-time CPT more than 11 months throughout the program, you will not be eligible for OPT post-graduation. 

Can I work outside of the U.S. while using Day 1 CPT?

Yes, the government has given temporary regulations stating that students may work remotely (even from abroad) with CPT authorization.

However, F-1 students can not study any program fully online, you have to attend onsite courses in the US throughout the semester.

Do I need an EAD card while using Day 1 CPT? NO. An EAD card is not required for CPT. The Day 1 CPT university will issue you I-20s with CPT instead.
Can I travel back to India while using Day 1 CPT?

Yes, the travel rules for Day 1 CPT students returning to their home country are the same as for any F-1 students:

  1. Ensure you have a valid F-1 Visa in your passport.
  2. Carry your I-20 form, which includes CPT details.
  3. Have your course syllabus on hand.
  4. Bring evidence of your employment.
  5. Keep your DSO's phone number handy for additional assistance at customs.
Can I get Day 1 CPT for a second Master's? Yes, once you are enrolled on a full-time student visa you are eligible for CPT. Day 1 CPT eligibility will be specific to the programs you enrolled in.
What is the 150-day rule?

If you are a student who transfer the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) from the previous school to the new school, the first day of the new school needs to be within 150 days of the end date of the previous program (specified on the first page of I-20) or the OPT expiration date; otherwise, the school can only issue a new I-20. You are required to activate the I20 by traveling outside the US and entering again.

When transferring SEVIS, make sure your new program starts within 150 days of the end date of your previous program or the OPT expiration date. Otherwise you are required to activate the I20 by traveling outside the US and reenter.

What is the 60-day rule? To transfer your SEVIS to a new school, you need an acceptance letter and must apply within 60 days of graduation or your OPT expiration date. Otherwise, your SEVIS status will become inactive, thus transferring won't be possible.
Can I enroll after the program has started? Yes! CPTDog partner schools allow you to enroll even after the semester has started. There are up to 6 enrollment periods during the year. Contact us for an emergency transfer!
What are the well-known companies that sponsor H1b visas for Day 1 CPT employees?

Affirm, Adobe, Bloomberg, Barclays, BOA, Box, Citi, Doordash, Google, IBM, JP Morgan, Matterport, Microsoft, Okta, Oracle, Walmartlabs, WeWork, and more.

Please see a list of 200 employers who hired part-time CPT or full-time CPT employees in 2019. All of these employers support full-time CPT authorization.

Attachment: USCIS official list of employers allowed to hire CPT employees

Can I change employers/jobs during CPT? Yes! But remember to contact your school in advance and update your employer info in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) within 10 days of any employment change.
If I am selected for H1b, can I drop out of school? If so, how?

Yes! You can drop out of school after being selected for the H1b visa. It is recommended to finish the semester with grades reported on the transcript until the H1b takes effect.

You can contact your university's academic advisor if you need to drop out immediately.

Is there a gap while transferring OPT to CPT? Can I continue working?

Yes, there will be a short gap and you can’t continue working during the gap.

OPT as soon as SEVIS is transferred out of the original school. You can restart working after obtaining the new CPT I-20 from the new school. To start working on the first day, we recommend that you start your CPT application as soon as possible after receiving the school's acceptance letter and ideally two weeks before the school starts.

Because the school demands time and efforts to carry out CPT applications, applying near the deadline could result in CPT I-20 delays. It's possible that this delay could lead to the student unable to start work with CPT on the first-week class.

After receiving the CPT applications, it normally takes the school 3-5 days to process the SEVIS transfer and approve the CPT application. Please start working only after the CPT has been approved. If there is a gap, it is better to take a few days off and keep a record of the day-offs (Do Not including these days on pay stub) in case the USCIS requests RFE to prove that you did not work without authorization.

When can I start applying for CPT?

You can apply for CPT 2-3 weeks before school starts after receiving the school's acceptance letter or successfully transferring SEVIS. If you miss the deadline, for some Day 1 CPT universities, you may have another chance to apply for CPT during the semester.

Contact us for details.

Can I take more than one job while using Day 1 CPT?

Certainly! Some students may choose to pursue internships with multiple employers, which can enhance their chances of securing H1B sponsorship in the future. Internship experiences play a vital role in the search for H1B sponsorship. Day 1 CPT programs, with its focus on real-world work opportunities, assists international students in securing better job prospects post-graduation.

However, it is advisable not to exceed 40 hours of work per week to avoid raising questions about F1 status maintenance. CPT serves as a valuable benefit for F1 students, but it requires students to maintain full-time status. Spending excessive time working while on H1B status may result in inquiries from USCIS that could potentially lead to a denial of H1B application in the future.

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