Top Benefits of Day 1 CPT for F-1 Visa Holders

If you’re looking for an opportunity to study and build your career at the same time in the US, CPT is absolutely a valuable option you can choose. However, this opportunity is not available for everyone. You can apply for it only If you’re a F-1 visa holder. 

This early employment authorization provides numerous benefits that enhance both your academic and professional prospects. Hence, in this article, we’ve discussed the top 10 benefits of Day 1 CPT that you can use to boost your career.

What is Day 1 CPT?

CPT, or Curricular Practical Training, is a form of temporary employment authorization available to F-1 visa holders enrolled in full-time degree programs. It allows students to gain practical experience through internships, cooperative education programs, or research projects directly related to their field of study. 

Additionally, Day 1 CPT universities specifically allow students to apply for this authorization as early as their first semester.

Now, let’s discover the benefits you’ll get from Day 1 CPT;

1. Early Workplace Experience

One of the most significant advantages of Day 1 CPT is the early exposure to the professional environment. When you start your practical training from the very first semester, it immediately applies classroom knowledge to real-world situations. 

Moreover, this hands-on experience enriches your learning and helps you develop a deeper understanding of your field. Besides, you can also master essential and valuable skills.

2. Enhanced Job Prospects

The Day 1 CPT is a direct way to strengthen your resume with relevant work experience during your graduation. And guess what! Employers often look for candidates who have both academic qualifications and practical experience. 

Additionally, you can also accumulate this experience throughout your degree program, which gives you an edge in the competition. This can be especially beneficial in competitive fields where practical experience is a key differentiator.

3. Financial Support

Studying in the US is indeed expensive! But Day 1 CPT provides a way to earn an income while pursuing your degree. This financial support can help you offset living expenses and tuition fees, making your education more affordable. Moreover, the financial independence you gain can help you to focus more on your academic and professional development.

4. Networking Opportunities

Day 1 CPT offers extensive networking opportunities that can be very useful for your career. Through your CPT placements, you’ll meet professionals in your field, gain mentorship, and build a network to get job recommendations and long-term career connections. In addition, networking is a vital aspect of career development! 

Remember, the connections you make during your CPT can open doors to future employment opportunities and collaborations.

5. Potential for H-1B Visa Sponsorship

It’s surprising that CPT can get you a chance to secure an H-1B visa sponsorship after graduation. Employers who have seen your work firsthand are more likely to sponsor you for a long-term visa. This pathway can lead to better employment opportunities in the US. 

We believe this is a significant advantage any international students can aim to establish their careers in America.

6. Practical Application of Academic Knowledge

Day 1 CPT allows you to apply theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom to practical scenarios in the workplace. This application reinforces your learning and helps you understand the relevance of your studies in real-world contexts. 

It bridges the gap between academia and industry! This is how you can prove the things you learn from academia are directly applicable to your future career.

7. Career Exploration

Engaging in Day 1 CPT enables you to explore different areas within your field of study. This early exploration can help you identify your interests and strengths, guiding you toward the career path that best suits you. 

Additionally, you’ll also get some opportunities to test different roles and industries. And that’s how you can make the right decisions about your professional future.

8. Strong Professional Network

CPT placements often lead to building a strong professional network, which can be very useful for your career. The mentors, colleagues, and industry contacts you meet can provide guidance, support, and opportunities long after your CPT has ended. 

Remember, a solid professional network is one of the most critical assets you can develop in your career. And hopefully, Day 1 CPT gives you a head start in building this network.

9. Improved Time Management Skills

Balancing academic responsibilities with a work schedule requires effective time management. Engaging in Day 1 CPT can help you develop this crucial skill, which is highly valued in the workplace. Managing your time efficiently ensures that you can meet academic deadlines while gaining valuable work experience. And this experience can help you stand out in the full-time demands.

10. Increased Employability

Finally, the Day 1 CPT helps you combine your academic knowledge with practical experience making you a more employable candidate. Employers value graduates who can apply their studies in real-world settings and who have the soft skills developed through workplace experience. Day 1 CPT equips you with both, making you a well-rounded candidate ready to take on professional challenges.

Final Thoughts

Day 1 CPT undoubtedly offers a unique and valuable opportunity for F-1 visa holders to gain practical experience while pursuing their academic goals. However, it’s essential to approach this opportunity with a genuine academic purpose and a clear understanding of how it aligns with your long-term career goals.

As you consider whether Day 1 CPT is right for you,  introspect the benefits carefully and ensure that you choose a program and university that supports your career. 


How long can I stay on Day 1 CPT?

The duration of Day 1 CPT depends on your program length. It can last anywhere from 12 to 36 months. Always check with your university for specific details.

Can I work full-time on Day 1 CPT?

CPT regulations typically allow part-time work (20 hours per week) while enrolled in a full course of study. Full-time CPT (40 hours per week) might be possible during breaks or with reduced course loads. Consult your DSO for specific regulations.

What are the criteria and requirements for Day 1 CPT?

– F-1 student status with a valid visa and I-94 form.

– Enrollment in a full-time degree program at a Day 1 CPT university.

– The program must be eligible for CPT authorization (check with the university’s DSO).

– Internship or job offer directly related to your field of study.

How can I be eligible for Day 1 CPT?

Generally, any F-1 student enrolled in a program that allows CPT can apply for Day 1 CPT. You can contact the university’s DSO for details on specific requirements.

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