Frequently Asked Questions About Day 1 CPT

What You Should Know About Day 1 CPT

SEVIS Related

What is the 150 days rule?

If a student transfers Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) from the previous school to the new school, the first day of the new school needs to be within 150 days of the end date of the previous program (specified on the first page of I-20) or the OPT expiration date; otherwise, the school can only issue a new I-20. The student is required to activate the I-20 by traveling outside the US and enter again.

What is the 60-day rule?

If a student transfers SEVIS from the previous school to the new school, he/she is required to obtain the school's acceptance letter and apply for school transfer within 60 days (grace period) after graduating from the previous school or the OPT expiration date. SEVIS will be inactive after 60 days of graduation and will not be able to be transferred to the new school.

If I currently hold the B1/B2, H1b (while unemployed), or H4 visa, should I apply for status change within the US or activate I-20 outside the US if I want to continue working with the F-1 CPT?

If you have a valid student visa, such as a F-1 visa from the original school, you can activate I-20 by travelling to Mexico and Canada, and then re-enter the US.

If your student visa has expired and you want to start school as soon as possible, it is recommended to apply for the student visa online from Mexico, Ecuador, Barbados, or Canada. You can enter the US again after obtaining the student visa from these countries, which usually takes 2-3 days. Click here to learn more about the available appointments for student visa from the countries we mentioned.

If your visa has expired and you still have time before the school starts, you can apply for status change within the US. Please contact CPTDog to learn about status change.

Can I transfer to a different school after enrollment?

Yes, you can.

Can I enroll after the school has started?

Yes, GoElite-partnered schools allow students to enroll even after the semester has started. There are up to 6 enrollment periods during the year.

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Work Related

What are the well-known companies that sponsor H1b visa for Day-1 CPT employees?

Affirm, Adobe, Bloomberg, Barclays, BOA, Box, Citi, Doordash, Google, IBM, JP Morgan, Matterport, Microsoft, Okta, Oracle, Walmartlabs, WeWork and more.

Can I switch to a different company during CPT?

Yes, all you need to do is to contact your school in advance and update your employer info in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) within 10 days of the switch.

When to apply for CPT?

You can apply for CPT 2-3 weeks before school starts after receiving the school's acceptance letter or successfully transfer SEVIS. If you miss the deadline, you'll have another chance to apply for CPT during the semester.

What if I am not selected for H1b? Can I continue with school? What are the maximum years?

If you participate in a master's program, you have 2 H1b draws while studying. If you continue with a DBA program, you will have another 4 H1b draws for a 3-year program. You can take a one-semester break after completing every 3 semesters consecutively. In the meantime, you can still apply for CPT and work. Additionally, you can apply to delay your graduation in the 3rd year of your doctoral program. In total, these count as 6 H1b draws.

Is there a gap while transfering OPT to CPT? Can I continue working?

OPT expires on the second day after SEVIS is transferred out of the original school. You can start working after obtain the new CPT from the new school, as early as on the first day of the school. To start working on the first day, we recommend that you to start your application as soon as possible after receiving the school's acceptance letter and apply for CPT two weeks before the school starts.

Because the school has a limited number of staff overseeing CPT applications, applying near the deadline could result in delays as the school needs to process a large volume of applications. It's possible that this delay could lead to the student not receiving an I-20 containing employer information during the first week class; therefore, the student temporarily will not have work authorization.

After received the CPT applications, it normally takes the school 3-5 days to process the SEVIS transfer and approve the CPT application. Please start working only after the CPT application has been approved. If there is gap, it is better to take a few days off and keep a record with your employer about these days off (we recommend not including these days on pay stub) in case the USCIS requests for extra evidence (RFE) to prove that you did not work during the gap.

If I am selected for H1b, can I drop out school? If so, how?

Yes, you can drop out of school after being selected for the H1b visa. It is recommended to finish the semester with grades reported on the transcript until the H1b takes effect. Should you need to drop out immediately, you can contact your school's academic advisor.

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School Related

Can I waive the university application fee?

We can help you waive the application fee. Please contact us before submitting your application.

Can I visit my home country during CPT? Are there winter and summer breaks?

Yes, you can. We encourage visiting your home country during the breaks after each semester. You can choose to continue working or enjoy the time off during these breaks.

Do I have one OPT opportunity for each degree?

Yes, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees each provide 1 opportunity for OPT or OPT Extension (STEM majors only). Every international student has up to 2 OPT opportunities (bachelor's degree OPT + master's degree OPT, or master's degree OPT + doctoral degree OPT)

How is the academic quality in the Day 1 CPT Universities?

The Universities with the highest level of regional and national accreditations are typically high quality schools. If you are more interested in business, CS, or IT programs, we recommend Westcliff University on the west coast. Westcliff University has a faculty to student ratio of 1:8. A smaller class size gives the students more attention from the professors. Not to mention that many faculty members at Westcliff University are well-known in academia.

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Note: All the information above are time sensitive. We recommend contacting professional lawyers or the school DSO before making any decisions. None of the information in this article is intended to provide legal advice.

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