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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.

Day 1 CPT FAQ

You Ask, We Answer

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. 

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 full-time 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.