OPT/CPT/AT Related Questions and Answers

Question: What is the difference between Curricular and Optional Practical Training?

Answer:

      Curricular Practical Training (CPT) must be an integral part of an established curriculum. It must be approved by an URI academic advisor and the Office of International Student & Scholars (OISS). Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student’s major area of study. OPT must be approved by USCIS.

Question:

      If I have defended my thesis/dissertation, may I carry one research credit and/or less than a full load next semester?

Answer:

      Regardless of your reasons, you must request permission from OISS if you intend to become part-time at any time.  If you need to do additional research before or after to defending your thesis/dissertation, your academic advisor must send OISS an Extension Request Form, click here.

Question:

      May I participate in Curricular Practical Training (CPT) while I wait for my OPT to be authorized by USCIS?

Answer:

      No, CPT is only authorized while the student is registered in the course of study listed on the I-20.

Question:   Can I apply for OPT if I am part-time student in my last semester?

Answer:      Yes, as long as you have petitioned OISS to become a part-time student.

Question:    Can I request OPT if my I-20 is not current?

Answer:

      No

Question:

       What is Academic Training?

Answer:

      Academic training (AT) allows a J-1 student to engage in employment after the student’s program has ended. The employment must be directly related to the field studied during the exchange program.

Question:

      Who may request Academic Training?

Answer:

              Only J-1 students may request Academic Training

 

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