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Internships/Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

While studying in the U.S., there are federal government regulations that international students must adhere to. The following information will guide you through the process.

Federal Guidelines

Students holding an F-1 visa must adhere to federal government regulations regarding Curricular Practical Training (CPT).  International students working as interns in the U.S. are participating in CPT. The federal government states that international students interning in the U.S. must have their internship tied to their academic program. Because no program at NYIT requires students to complete an internship, international students must receive academic credit for their internship experience.

Each academic program has a course related to internships or externships. International students must be registered for this course for the semester that they are doing their internship (CPT). For every semester that an international student interning (CPT) they must be registered in the internship course in the department. This is how international students receive credit during the internship and meet the federal requirement.

Regardless of if the international student is being paid or not, the student must receive credit for their internship (CPT). Unpaid internships should not be confused with volunteering.

Steps for CPT (curricular practical training)

  1. Go to your DSO to make sure you are eligible for CPT and receive a CPT application. Fill out the CPT application. 
  2. Do you have a letter of intent to hire from an employer including the internship description? If yes, go to 5. If no, go to 3.
  3. Go to your academic department to see that your GPA and credits make you eligible for the internship course in your department. You must receive academic credit to do an internship.
  4. Go to Career Success and Experiential Education and make an appointment to write your resume and cover letters, and learn about job search techniques. Register for Handshake or update your Handshake profile. Bring a copy of your CPT application. Find and get an internship. Fill out the last page of the eligibility form.
  5. Go to your academic department to receive approval for the internship and approval to register for the internship course in your department.
  6. Go to the OIE to be unlocked so that you can register for the course.
  7. Register for the internship course in your academic department at the Registrar's office.
  8. Go to your DSO to have your SEVIS record updated with your internship information. You will receive a new I-20. Give a copy of your I-20 to your employer when you fill out the I-9.
    Important note: You cannot begin working until CPT is authorized by your DSO. If you work without this authorization you will be out of F-1 status. This is mandated by the federal government.
  9. Come to Career Success and Experiential Education to report your hire in your Handshake account.
  10. If you would like to continue in the current internship for the following semester or are working at a different internship you must restart these steps with step 1.

Getting a Social Security Number

To get a social security number an international student must get a job in the U.S. This could be an on-campus job or an internship. Volunteer positions do not qualify for getting a social security card.

International students do not need a social security number to work in the U.S. It violates labor laws to require job applicants to have social security cards. When an international student gets a position the student's foreign passport, I-94, and position are enough documentation to begin working legally. If the student is getting paid, the student can then apply for a social security card.

To apply for a social security card the student must have the employer's information, supervisor's information, tax ID of the employing organization, and additional documentation as directed by the student's DSO. For assistance with this procedure, please contact International Education.