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OPT & CPT Guide and Forms

Guidelines for CPT and OPT Requests
For International Students ONLY

Section I: General Information on Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT)/US Federal Government Rules and Eligibility Criteria :
Students enrolled in any graduate program offered by the Long Island University Brooklyn campus College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences are eligible to apply for either Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) under the specified departmental guidelines. CPT and OPT are classified and defined as follows (please visit the following page for more information: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/practical-training/) :

Definition of Practical Training:
As an F-1 student, you have the option of working in the United States by engaging in practical training during your program or after it ends. There are two types of practical training available for F-1 students: Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT).

USCIS CPT Eligibility Criteria:
-CPT must relate to your major and the experience must be part of your program of study.
-If approved, the Office of International Students will provide you with Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” which demonstrates permission for employment.
-You can work on CPT either full-time during the Summer term (40 hours) or, under special circumstances, part-time during the Fall and Spring terms (20 hours)
-CPT requires a signed cooperative agreement or a letter from your employer.
-If you have 12 months or more of full-time CPT, you are ineligible for OPT, but part-time CPT is fine and will not stop you from doing OPT.

USCIS OPT Eligibility Criteria:
-OPT must relate to your major or course of study.
-You may apply for 12 months of OPT at each education level, (i.e., you may have 12 months of OPT at the Master’s level and another 12 months of OPT at the Ph.D level).
-If approved, the Office of International Students will provide you with Form I-20, which demonstrates recommendation for this type of employment.
-You must apply for work authorization by electronically filing Form I-765, “Application for Employment Authorization,” with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and paying a filing fee. USCIS will send you a Form I-766, “Employment Authorization Document,” (EAD) upon approving your Form I-765.
-Wait to start work until after you receive your EAD.

17-Month OPT STEM Extension:
As candidates in a STEM field, you may qualify for an additional 17 months of OPT under the following circumstances:
-The employer from which you are seeking employment uses the E-Verify program.
-You have not previously received a 17-month extension of OPT.
- If approved, the Office of International Students will provide you with a new Form I-20 that shows the DSO recommendation for this employment.
-You must apply for work authorization by electronically filing a Form I-765 with USCIS and paying a filing fee. USCIS will send you an EAD upon approving your petition.
-You may continue to work on your expired EAD for OPT up to 180 days while your 17-month extension petition is pending if you meet these conditions:

  • You are currently in a period of post-completion OPT.
  • You properly and in a timely manner filed your application for the 17-month extension with USCIS.

-You must report changes in name, address, employer and loss of employment to your DSO within 10 days of any change.

Section II: College of Pharmacy Eligibility:
To qualify for CPT, students must meet all of the following requirements:
-Have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher.
-Provide an employment/internship offer letter on official company letterhead with clear mention of the start date, job title (INTERN), job duties, supervisor contact information, as well as any and all other details pertinent to the position.
-Be registered and enrolled in either the M.S. or Ph.D. programs offered by the Long Island University Brooklyn-campus College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
-Have completed at least two semesters of coursework and be registered for coursework (Research and Thesis, MM1, etc.) in the semester for which CPT is being requested. Note: Under no circumstances will CPT be provided to students in their first semester of study.
-Have no outstanding balance with the Office of the Bursar.
-Have no probation blocks or other registration restrictions imposed by the Office of the Registrar.
-Have valid (unexpired) Student Visa information on file with the Office of International Students.
-Not hold a Graduate or Teaching Assistantship during semester for which CPT is being requested.
-For Ph.D. candidates and M.S. thesis candidates, a letter from the dissertation supervisor clearly outlining the request and justification for the CPT must be provided.
-If applicable, successful completion of the Comprehensive Examination or formal registration for the next upcoming examination is required.
-Complete and electronically submit Form # PP 0001 to the Graduate Programs Coordinator (Marianna.Azar@liu.edu) with all the necessary signatures and supporting documentation. See Section III for form, supporting documentation, and submission instructions.

To qualify for OPT, students must meet all of the following criteria:
-Have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher.
-Be registered and enrolled (Coursework, Research and Thesis, MM1, etc.) in either the M.S. or Ph.D. programs offered by the Long Island University Brooklyn-campus College of Pharmacy.
-Must be approved for graduation by the Registrar at end of term during which request for OPT is made.
- If applicable, successful completion of the Comprehensive Examination or formal registration for the next upcoming examination is required.
-For Ph.D. candidates and M.S. Thesis candidates, a letter from the dissertation supervisor clearly outlining the request and justification for the OPT must be provided. A thesis defense date must be clearly specified and approved by the thesis supervisor.
-Have no outstanding balance with the Office of the Bursar.
-Have no probation blocks or other registration restrictions imposed by the Office of the Registrar.
-Have valid (unexpired) Student Visa information on file with the Office of International Students.
- Not hold a Graduate or Teaching Assistantship during semester for which OPT is being requested.
- Complete and electronically submit Form # PP 0002 to the Graduate Programs Coordinator (Marianna.Azar@liu.edu) with all the necessary signatures and supporting documentation. See Section III for form, supporting documentation, and submission instructions).

Disclosure Notice: All requests for OPT and CPT will be processed, on average, within two weeks following the date of submission. Processed forms are referred to the Office of International Students for final approval. Please note that approval from the College of Pharmacy Graduate Studies division does not guarantee approval from the Office of International Students or USCIS.

Further, please note that CPT and OPT are NOT required for successful completion of the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees offered by the Brooklyn-campus of the Long Island University College of Pharmacy. Permission for CPT and OPT are granted solely at the discretion of the department, the Office of International Students, and USCIS.

Section III: Departmental Processing Procedure-

  • Student electronically submits (using his or her official LIU email address) Form # PP 0001 or PP 0002 with all supporting documentation to Graduate Programs Coordinator (Marianna.Azar@liu.edu)
  • Upon electronic receipt of Form # PP 0001 or PP 0002 and all supporting documentation, the Graduate Programs Coordinator reviews the request and supporting documents and forwards the application to the relevant Graduate Program Director if qualification criteria are met.
  • The relevant Graduate Program Director reviews the request and offers recommendation to either approve or deny the request based on the departmental criteria outlined in this document.
  • The relevant electronic form is returned to the Graduate Programs Coordinator, who then submits an I-20 form request on the student’s behalf to the Office of International Students.
  • The Office of International Students processes the form and notifies the student of the USCIS decision according to the internal timeline and notification procedures and policies of that office.

Useful links: 
http://www.ice.gov/sevis/practical-training/ 
http://www.uscis.gov/i-765 
http://www.ice.gov/sevis/employment/
http://www2.brooklyn.liu.edu/bbut10/studentactivities/internationalstudents/