CPT Students: Be Ready for the RFE!

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a program that some F-1 students participate in when their course of study requires an internship, externship, or other hands-on work experience as part of the coursework. When an F-1 student who is working on CPT submits an H-1B petition requesting a change of status, USCIS will often issue a request for evidence (RFE) asking for additional documentation to show that the F-1 student was properly maintaining status while working on CPT. If you are an F-1 student working on CPT and you have submitted or will soon submit an H-1B cap petition, it’s a good idea to start preparing the documentation that USCIS will likely request now. This documentation can include, but is not limited to the following types of evidence:

  • Proof of tuition payments made by beneficiary for most recent academic year
  • Receipts for books, parking passes, and school supplies, for the most recent fall term and most recent spring term.
  • Evidence that the beneficiary has not taken more than one three-credit or less, on-line or distance education class per session, term semester, trimester, or quarter of study
  • statement from the DSO or transcripts that show online vs. in-person classes
  • Name of the course and course code in which the student is enrolled that requires CPT
  • Evidence of the beneficiary’s current major and that CPT is an integral (essential) part of the beneficiary’s degree program
  • A letter from beneficiary’s CPT employer, explain the beneficiary’s job duties and pay, and
  • A copy of the cooperative agreement b/w the CPT employer and beneficiary
  • A copy of the beneficiary’s student ID, for the most recent Fall term and most recent spring term.
  • Documentation from the Designated School Official (DSO) certifying that the beneficiary’s postgraduate study is considered a full course of study.

It can be time-consuming to gather this documentation, but by having at least some of it ready ahead of time, you can reduce the stress of finalizing your RFE response.

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