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Internship while on a Student Visa

interxavierinterxavier Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
edited June 2013 in International Students
I'm an undergraduate engineering student on a student visa in the US and I received offers of internship from GE and ConocoPhillips. Am I allowed to pursue either of these summer internships on a student visa or do I have to apply for another visa? Am I permitted to have two visas at the same time?

The offers are pretty good and I can't just turn them down because I'm not a resident of the US.

Thanks for your help!
Post edited by interxavier on

Replies to: Internship while on a Student Visa

  • 4kidsdad4kidsdad Registered User Posts: 4,584 Senior Member
    Are you F-1 visa holder?
    Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary employment authorization for F-1 visa non-immigrant foreign students in the United States while enrolled in a college-level degree program.

    CPT permission is granted through the institution's International Students Office or equivalent upon approval of advisor, pursuant to regulations established by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
    See Curricular Practical Training - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • interxavierinterxavier Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Yes, I am.
  • HumphyDumpyHumphyDumpy Registered User Posts: 192 Junior Member
    Based from @4kidsdad you can grab those internships! hooray! How does it feel to be a foreign student? I'm simply curious, I'm about to be one in the near future. Have you applied for the programs by yourself or did you have any help? In my case diversity abroad actually helps me out.
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,130 Senior Member
    4kidsdad pointed you to CPT. More likely, you'll need to apply for OPT ("optional practical training").

    There are a few differences between CPT and OPT. Most crucially, CPT internships need to be an "integral component" of your degree program. In practice, this means that most colleges will only authorize CPT for internships that are done for academic credit, or internships required for your degree, or internships funded by the university.

    OPT, in contrast, can be authorized for any internship that's "related" to your degree program.

    There are a few practical differences between CPT and OPT. CPT would be authorized by your college, whereas OPT would be authorized by USCIS. CPT is tied to a specific position at a specific company, while OPT is flexible.

    Your total OPT time is capped at 12 months, which includes internships during your degree program as well as post-graduation OPT. There is no corresponding cap on CPT eligibility. (However, if you get more than 12 months of CPT authorized, you will lose your eligibility for OPT.)

    In instances when students have a choice between CPT and OPT, they usually prefer CPT because it's easier to apply for and does not count against the 12-month OPT cap. Since OPT can be used for post-graduation employment (unlike CPT), many international students prefer to save their OPT eligibility until after graduation.
  • HumphyDumpyHumphyDumpy Registered User Posts: 192 Junior Member
    I'll keep that in mind @b@r!um. That's actually really insightful. Thanks for the info.
This discussion has been closed.