TN 54 (02-24)

RM 10211.255 Evidence of Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for an F-1 (Foreign Student) for an SSN Card

A. Acceptable evidence of employment status under CPT

F-1 students participating in CPT must submit Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) which includes the evidence of nonimmigrant status and evidence of employment status per RM 10211.135. Accept the Designated School Official’s (DSO) annotations on page 2 (employment page) of the I-20 as evidence of employment status. Page 1 of the I-20 must have the original DSO signature and page 2 must show all of the employment information as follows:

  • CPT is full-time or part-time;

  • employer name and location; and

  • employment start and end dates (Employment start date can be 30 days before the start of classes).

Sometimes the DSO completes page 2 of the I-20 to show approval for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Make sure the annotation specifies CPT.


An F-3 (Border Commuter Student) may have no authorization to accept any employment in connection with their foreign student status, except for CPT. Please follow the same policy and procedure for an F-3 as you would for F-1 participating in CPT.

B. Background information on CPT

CPT is an alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. CPT must be an integral part of an established curriculum.

For example, participation in cooperative education and working for University-approved off-campus employers is a degree requirement for many students at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

CPT can also include a cooperative work program that is an integral part of an established curriculum at the school where the student is enrolled and that is related to the student’s major area of study.

CPT may occur on OR off campus.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not require an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but SSA requires the school’s DSO documentation of CPT on page 2 of the student’s I-20. The DSO’s completion of page 2 of the I-20 with employment information is evidence that the F-1 student meets academic requirements and authorized for CPT. When establishing CPT work authorization, F-1 Student does not need a DSO letter, pay stub, or other evidence of employment status as described in RM 10211.270.


Do not accept page 2 as evidence of CPT for English-language program students because English-language-program students are ineligible for CPT.

C. Reference

RM 10211.275 Reviewing the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status)

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RM 10211.255 - Evidence of Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for an F-1 (Foreign Student) for an SSN Card - 02/07/2024
Batch run: 02/07/2024