I read on https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/complete-correct-form-i-9/complete-section-1-employee-information-and-attestation/foreign-academic-students (mirror):

F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions.

Can a F1 student in the US do a CPT internship the first summer if the student arrived after the beginning of the academic year (e.g., at the beginning of spring). For example, if the F1 student arrived at the University at the beginning of spring 2019, can they do a CPT internship over the summer 2019?

1 Answer 1


In general, no, because the regulation 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10) says:

... Practical training may be authorized to an F-1 student who has been lawfully enrolled on a full time basis, in a Service-approved college, university, conservatory, or seminary for one full academic year. ... (emphasis added)

However, the next paragraph provides a rather narrow exception:

... Curricular practical training. ... Exceptions to the one academic year requirement are provided for students enrolled in graduate studies that require immediate participation in curricular practical training. ...

So CPT can be authorized earlier if graduate-level studies require it to be. It looks like the USCIS website you linked doesn't mention this exception, but the regulation would take precedence over the website.

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