Here is an excerpt from the “F-1 Visa for Students” chapter in Giselle Carson’s book Beyond the H-1B: A Guide to Work Visa Options for Employers, Foreign Nationals, and Graduating Students, which is available for purchase on Amazon.
Is CPT a separate visa status?
No, CPT is a benefit of F-1 status. While engaged in CPT, you are still considered to be in F-1 status under the visa sponsorship of your college or university.
Does using CPT affect my eligibility for OPT?
Yes, if you use 12 months or more of full-time CPT authorization, you will lose eligibility for OPT at that academic level. Part-time CPT should not affect OPT eligibility.
Can I change how many hours I work?
Yes, but only within the limits of your authorization (20 hours or less per week for part-time and more than 20 hours for full-time). You may not change from part-time to full-time without a new authorization.
Can I change employers?
No, CPT is employer-specific. You must apply for a new CPT authorization before changing employers. You could work for more than one employer, but you must obtain separate authorization for each.
How do I extend my CPT?
You are only authorized to work for the specific time period listed on your I-20. You need a new CPT authorization to work beyond the end date listed on your I-20.