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Day 1 CPT Application Process

Is there an express channel to get CPT I-20? How long does it usually take before I can start legally working in the U.S. after enrolling at a day 1 CPT university? Today, we will use Monroe College as an example to demonstrate how to get a CPT I-20 without delay.

Step 1: Get an offer from one of the accredited day 1 CPT universities.

When choosing day 1 CPT universities, accreditation is very important. Accredited day 1 CPT universities design their courses to fit all USCIS requirements, and they will provide sufficient support to their international students in the case of RFE. Day 1 CPT universities that are known for having a very low RFE rate are Westcliff University (California), Harrisburg University (near New York), and Monroe College.

We provide expedited service that can help you get an admission offer within 24 hours, presumably you have all the required materials.

Step 2: SEVIS Transfer

Usually, an instruction will come along with your offer letter to guide you through the transfer process. Only after you finish the SEVIS transfer, the new school can issue you the new I-20, which will lead to the authorization for CPT.

**You need to select your SEVIS transfer date when filling out the form, though USCIS will be the one who makes the final call. Nonetheless, in most cases, your decision will not be overturned by USCIS. Monroe College recommends its students transfer their SEVIS at least 15 days before the semester starting date. Different day 1 CPT universities may have different recommendations/requirements. For example, if you are transferring to New England College, 3 working days before the semester starting date will be sufficient.

**After your SEVIS is transferred to the new school, your current OPT will be terminated automatically, which means before you get the new CPT I-20, you have no legal rights to work in America. Please be patient during this period and do not break any rules that may put your F1 status in jeopardy.

Step 3: Enroll in a CPT course

After you paid for the first semester’s tuition, you can start your course selection process. If you wish to get CPT authorization, you need to join a 0.5 or a 1-credit CPT course.

Step 4: CPT Approval Process

After registering for a CPT course, you will receive a letter. You can find the list of materials for the CPT application in it. In most cases, you will need to prepare:

1.     I-94

2.     Job Offer Letter

3.     CPT Cooperative Agreement Signed by your employer

4.     Proof of tuition payment

Gather all the materials and hand them in.

Step 5: Waiting Time

Typically, it takes 5-10 business days for the whole process. At Moneron College, it takes only 3 days for the process. Other than Moneron College, New England College is also famous for its efficiency in processing CPT applications.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

-       SEVIS was not released by the previous school in time [remember to follow up on that]

-       Didn’t pay tuition on time [Don’t miss the payment deadline]

-       Your employer did not send the signed CPT Cooperative Agreement back to school in a timely manner [a warm reminder to your boss might be necessary]

Still have questions regarding the day 1 CPT application? Contact us for a free consultation.

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