Office of the University Registrar

November 3, 2020

CPT Application Overview

Step 1: Review Information and Instructions

Review the CPT general information and all application instructions.

Step 2: Contact Your Department Adviser

Contact your department adviser to learn about the internship course credit policy in your academic department.

Your academic department adviser might be your:

  • Major academic adviser
  • Graduate program coordinator
  • Department career center adviser (examples: Career Center @ Engineering; Evans School Career Development Team)

The department adviser will need to complete the “Adviser Section” of the CPT application on your behalf; this person should be familiar with your degree program and job/internship offer.

Step 3: Find a Job/Internship Offer

Finding CPT opportunities:

Step 4: Coordinate with Your Adviser

Coordinate with your department adviser to ensure they have all the necessary information to complete the “Adviser” section of the CPT application.

Provide your department adviser with the following information:

  • Expected graduation quarter/year
  • Course name and number of credits you will earn for CPT
  • Which quarters you will register for CPT-related credit
  • Brief description of proposed work/training experience and how it is integral to your degree
  • Name of employer, work site address
  • When to expect the Adviser Section of your CPT application

Step 5: Complete the Application’s Student Section

Complete the student section of the online CPT application. You will need to ensure is a “safe sender”.

The CPT application will ask for the following:

  • Student contact information
  • Department adviser information
    • Department name
    • Adviser’s name
    • Adviser UW email address (make sure your adviser will be able to complete the “Adviser Section” as the application cannot be forwarded to other staff)
  • CPT eligibility information
    • You will need to confirm that you have been enrolled for one academic year at UW
    • If you would like to count study time from another U.S. college towards your “one academic year” eligibility for CPT, you will need to upload a copy of your transcript(s) from your previous college
    • If you have been authorized for previous full-time CPT, you will need to review your previous CPT I-20s to count your previous CPT days
  • CPT information
    • Number of hours you will be working/training per week
    • Preferred start date
      • You must allow 2-3 weeks for CPT processing
      • Approved start date will be the ISS processing date or requested start date, whichever is later
    • Preferred end date
      • Your CPT end date must be on or before the last day of your final quarter (quarter dates are set by the UW academic calendar and include finals week)
    • Final quarter class schedule
    • Vacation quarter plans
  • CPT I-20 delivery preference
    • You can select one of these four options: Standard United States Postal Service (USPS) mail, express mail, pick up at ISS office, or authorize a friend to pick up the document on your behalf

What happens after you click ‘submit’?

  1. The application will be routed to your department adviser by email
    • Your adviser must complete their section
    • The department adviser submits the final application to ISS on your behalf
  2. You will receive a confirmation email when your department adviser completes their section
    • If you do not receive the confirmation email:
      • Contact your department adviser
      • Have them check their spam/junk email folder
  3. After your department adviser submits their portion of the application, the application will automatically be sent to ISS

Step 6: Wait for your CPT Authorization

Do not begin your work/internship until you receive your CPT I-20 from ISS. You do not have CPT permission until you have your I-20 and have reviewed the authorization for accuracy.

ISS Processing

ISS requires 10 business days for processing. The processing clock starts from the date we receive the completed CPT application from your department adviser, not the date you submit the student section.

  • Expedited processing is not possible.
  • You might need to contact your employer/CPT supervisor to defer your start date if you don’t allow enough time for ISS processing.
  • You will receive an email notification from ISS when your CPT approval (new I-20) is ready.

If you qualify for CPT, your ISS adviser will issue you a new I-20 with details of your CPT employment on page 2.

After you Collect your CPT I-20:

  • Check for errors right away. Review the authorized start date, end date, full-time/part-time information, employer name, and employer city and state on Page 2 of your CPT I-20 carefully. Contact ISS if anything needs to be changed by submitting the ‘Have a Question‘ form on the ISS website.
  • Register for and earn the CPT course credits listed on your CPT application. Your CPT application is a contract between you, your academic department, and the U.S. government. Failure to register for the exact number of credits and the exact class written in your application can cause the loss of your student status and serious problems with future visas and U.S. travel.
  • Follow the rules of the authorization. Don’t work outside of the start and end dates. Unauthorized employment is a violation of federal regulations/student visa status.