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OPT/CPT/AT Related Questions and Answers

  1. Question: What is the difference between Curricular and Practical Training?

  2. Answer: Curricular Practical Training (CPT) must be an integral part of an established curriculum. It must be approved by an URI academic advisor and the Office of International Student & Scholars (OISS). Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student's major area of study. OPT must be approved by USCIS.

  3. Question: Why may I not register for Continues Registration (CRG) while on CPT?

  4. Answer: USCIS considers CRG and administrative registration that signaling the student's completion of his/her course of study. CRG is not viewed as an academic registration (more course work and/or research work needed to complete the course of study).

  5. Question: In view that I have defended my thesis/dissertation, may I carry one research credit and/or less than a full load next semester?

  6. Answer: Regardless of your reasons, you must request permission from OISS if you intend to become part time at any time. If all you are doing is waiting to defend your thesis/dissertation, you must request OPT from USCIS for the time you will be waiting to defend. If you need to do additional research before or after to defending your thesis/dissertation, your academic advisor must send OISS an Extension Request Form, click here.

  7. Question: Can I do Curricular Practical Training (CPT) while I wait for my OPT to be authorized by USCIS?

  8. Answer: No, CPT is only authorized while the student is registered in the course of study listed on the I-20.

    Question: Can I apply for OPT if I am part-time student in my last semester?
    Answer: Yes, as long as you have petitioned OISS to become a part time student.

  9. Question:Can I request OPT if my I-20 is not current?

  10. Answer:No

  11. Question:What is Academic Training?

  12. Answer:Academic training (AT) allows a J-1 student to engage in employment after the student's program has ended. The employment must be directly related to the field studied during the exchange program.

  13. Question:Who may request Academic Training?

  14. Answer:Only J-1 students may request Academic Training

University of Rhode Island • Office of International Students & Scholars • International Center • 37 Lower College Road; Kingston, Rhode Island, 02881


International Student Orientation
Date: January 21, 2011

Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM:

           Graduate Students

          Undergraduate Students

Place: International Center

Spring 2011
Reporting responsibilities of F-1 International Students while on (OPT)

Spring 2011 OPT workshop schedules are announced.

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