Navigating Employment Options: A Comparative Look at CPT and OPT for International Students

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does CPT Impact OPT?

CPT generally won't affect OPT if authorized for less than 12 months of full-time work (20+ hours per week). However, a full-time CPT duration of 12 months renders you ineligible for OPT. Part-time CPT (20 hours or fewer per week) doesn't impact OPT eligibility.

Can I simultaneously apply for CPT and OPT applications?

Yes, simultaneous application is possible. Working 12 months full-time on CPT, however, bars you from applying for OPT. Part-time CPT, even beyond 12 months, doesn't affect OPT eligibility.

What is a Cap-Gap Extension?

A Cap-Gap extension allows students to stay in the US between the end of F-1 OPT or OPT STEM work authorization and the start of H-1B status, bridging the gap even if their OPT authorization expires before October 1.

Can I switch from CPT to OPT?

Yes, students can switch from CPT to OPT, but working full-time CPT for 12 months or more makes them ineligible for OPT.

Can I work for 20 hours under OPT?

Yes, international students can work more than 20 hours per week under OPT, depending on the job role and OPT type.
Lakshmi Lavanya Pagallu

Lakshmi Lavanya Pagallu

Sr. Content Marketing Specialist

Lakshmi Lavanya Pagallu has been working as Content Marketing Specialist with GetGIS since 2022 and has been extensively working to help candidates’ career transitions. Her experience spans across multiple industries in the fields of Sales and Marketing. Her core competencies include communication and research, which enable her to create and deliver in-depth guides as a Subject Matter Expert

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