Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an authorized period of employment that is an integral or important part of a student’s curriculum. At Stanford, there are two scenarios which qualify students for CPT:
***WARNING*** Working without a CPT endorsed I-20 is a serious violation of your legal status which could forfeit your ability to remain in the U.S. and bar you in the future from re-entry to the U.S.
If you are working remotely this summer due to COVID-19, please put the company address in the US under address 1 and 2 and in the remark section state that you are working remotely and list the address where you will be working (either in the US or outside of the US).
You will be notified by email when your new I-20 is approved and ready for pick-up.
Please note: Students applying for CPT must also meet any additional requirements set by departments concerning the minimum number of units they are required to take during the quarter they are enrolled in the CPT course.
CPT is authorized by Bechtel International Center. You can submit your application as soon as you have enrolled in the CPT course, but no later than 10 working days prior to the start date of employment. A new I-20 authorizing the requested employment period will be issued.
If you already have a CPT endorsed I-20, and need to change the authorized dates, please ensure that the request meets the following criteria:
There are two ways to request a change of CPT Employment Authorization Dates.
For CPT during Autumn, Winter and Spring quarters, when students are required to be enrolled full-time and can only work part-time under CPT, the proposed start and end dates of CPT must closely follow the academic calendar.
The allowable CPT employment dates for the academic year are:
**Please Note: If you are participating in CPT in your final quarter, the last day of employment cannot exceed the last day of class/final date of exams.
No exceptions can be made.
Due to COVID-19 my internship will now be remote. Can I still do CPT while abroad?
Yes, the government has given temporary regulations stating that students may work remotely (even from abroad) with CPT authorization. Students must still enroll in their department's CPT course and obtain CPT authorization from Bechtel. Also, the employer must have an office outside the U.S. or the employer must be able to assess student engagement and attainment of learning objectives electronically.
Can I do CPT after I graduate, while waiting for my OPT to be approved?
No, CPT can only be used before graduating, while enrolled in courses.
Do I have to pay for the 1 unit CPT course if I am doing CPT in the Summer?
Can I apply for CPT in Axess while outside the US?
How do I know what advisor to list on my CPT application in Axess?
Please ask your department which advisor you should list.
Can I do CPT while on a leave of absence?
Do I need CPT if I am doing work in my home country (outside the US) for a non-US company?
Can I be self-employed under CPT and work for myself or creating a startup?
No, for CPT you must work for a company other than your own. For self-employment you would need to apply for pre-OPT which can take 3-5 months to obtain from the USCIS before you would be permitted to work.
What do I need to do if my internship gets canceled due to COVID-19?
You need to notify the Bechtel Int’l Center BEFORE the start date of CPT so that we can cancel your CPT in the system.
Can I do more than one job on CPT?
Yes, but you must apply for CPT in Axess for EACH job. So, you will need to do multiple requests in Axess.
Can I work as an independent contractor while on CPT?
Yes, but be sure that you have an employee/ employer relationship with the company you are working for. (The relationship may include having someone who can supervise you or fire you.)
I am a PhD student, is it possible to still apply to CPT after I go TGR?
PhD students in TGR status are only permitted to apply for CPT if it is a requirement to complete their thesis. That is determined by their academic advisor.
What if I want to change my CPT start date after I have received the CPT approved I-20?
If your start date has not arrived yet, than you can request that we change your CPT start date. The update form can be found on the CPT page of our website. You cannot begin working with the new start date until you have received the updated I-20.
I have an internship, but I don’t have a social security number. Can I apply for an SSN now?
Anyone who does not have an SSN, but is eligible for one can now request an in-office appointment with the Social Security Administration. It is no longer necessary to demonstrate "dire need" to be eligible for an SSN appointment. The Mountain View office is booking appointments on a first come first served basis. Students can call the office at 877-319-0161 to request an appointment. Students will be put on a wait list and called by the SSA office when there is an availability. Currently the wait time is about 3-4 weeks. The SSA office is restricted in the number of appointments that they can book each day and are approved to set in office appointments 3 days per week. Students may also try calling the SSA offices in Redwood City or San Mateo. You can find more information about obtaining an SSN on Bechtel's SSN webpage.