Applying for CPT

You need ISSS's CPT authorization on your I-20 before you are allowed to start working.

Below are the steps to request adding CPT to your I-20. This process takes at least two weeks.

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Step 1: Receive an offer for a job, internship, or practicum

The work you will do must be directly related to your UMN major.

Be aware that all of the following information must be included in your job offer. You must keep a copy of your offer letter in your records. USCIS may request a copy of your offer letter when you apply for OPT.

CPT authorization is specific! You must have a job offer from the company or organization with the following details. You may need to request an offer letter from the company or organization.

ISSS will enter these details in the CPT authorization on your new I-20:

  1. Your name
  2. A brief description of the work you will do for the employer
  3. The specific start and end dates. For example:
    • Start: 09/01/2023
    • End: 12/15/2023
  4. How many hours per week you will work (ex.: 20 hours per week)
  5. The name of the company or organization where you will work 
  6. Your office's physical location (Even if you will work remotely. You cannot use your home address.) 
    • Street Address (ex.: 155 Main Street)
    • City, State, ZIP code (ex.: Minneapolis, MN 55455)

Step 2: Complete the ISSS Online CPT Workshop

You can access the workshop through the CPT application in MyISSS.

You will gain an increased understanding of the process described here after you complete this online workshop.

Step 3: Meet with your academic advisor

You must meet with your academic advisor to discuss your position. Your academic advisor knows whether the work you will do is related to your major or not, and they will be required to review your application.

Step 4: Obtain appropriate information for your type of CPT

If Elective CPT

  1. Ask your academic advisor what course you should take, when you can take it, and who will teach the course.
  2. Meet with the course instructor to have them complete and sign the Course Instructor Verification form.

If Co-op CPT

Undergraduate students seeking a co-op through the CSE Co-op Office: 
  1. Work with the Co-op Office regarding registration 
  2. In MyISSS, upload the Co-op approval letter verifying your participation in the Co-op program.
All other undergraduate students: 
  1. Consult your academic advisor and register for a co-op course offered by your department. 
  2. In MyISSS, upload a co-op agreement document signed by a designated faculty/staff in your department. 
Graduate students (Plan C only):
  1. Work with the Electrical Engineering Department to obtain a Co-op agreement signed by the Co-op Coordinator.
  2. Register for Industrial Assignment EE 5041.

If Required CPT

Ask your academic advisor:

  1. Does your major require a specific course while you are working in the required internship or practicum?
  2. Where is the requirement published? You will need evidence of the requirement to submit with your CPT application. A letter from your advisor is not sufficient evidence.

Step 5: Complete all three sections of the CPT Request in MyISSS

  • Upload CPT Supporting Documents
    • CPT Workshop Certificate
    • CPT Course Instructor Authorization Form
  • Enter CPT Employment Details
    • Name of the employer (company or organization name, cannot be a person's name)
    • Dates of employment
    • Office address
    • Number of hours per week, part time or full time
    • Description of how employment is related to major/field of study (be specific!)
  • Submit CPT Request

Step 6: Academic advisor reviews request

Your academic advisor will review and respond to your CPT Request. They must review your application to confirm the position is related to your program of study. You will receive an email once your academic advisor approves your request.

Step 7: ISSS processes your request

ISSS cannot begin processing your request before it is approved by your academic advisor.

Reminder: ISSS takes 10 business days to review your CPT Request from the day your academic advisor approves your request.

Step 8: Your new I-20 is available

Your new I-20 with CPT authorization will be available and sent to your UMN email. You will need to make sure that the information is correct, print it out, and sign on the first page.

Last updated: January 17, 2023