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Work Authorization Document:
Employee's Form I-20, page 2

  • Employees may work full-time for up to 2 years as W-2 employees under U.S. work authorization sponsored and issued by their university. This full-time employment is part of the employee's curricular practical training (CPT) program. Employees may work full-time for up to 2 years as W-2 employees under U.S. work authorization sponsored and issued by their university. (Details about CPT may be found at the bottom of this page.) Issuing an employee's work authorization is generally done the same day the employer makes the offer. The employment authorization document is the employee's Form I-20, page 2. The University is responsible for all parts of the employee's work authorization. The employer is not involved with sponsoring or registering an employee's work authorization.

  • After confirming with an employer a job offer, the University's processors will promptly supply to the employer the updated Form I-20, page 2. Included will be: The employer's name and address; the start date of full-time employment; the title of the employee's position (such as SDET; Developer; Consultant; Database Administrator).

  • Candidates have completed their on-campus studies in a Masters of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) at Maharishi International University (Fairfield, Iowa) which is accredited through the Ph.D level by The Higher Learning Commission ( Employees work full-time under CPT for up to 2 years while taking distance education courses evenings and weekends (about 10 hours/week) to complete their MSCS. The University is registered with the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security. The University's placement officer enters the employment information on-line in the SEVIS system.

  • Form I-9 employer verification of employment eligibility of CPT employee: These 3 documents are required: 1) Unexpired passport; 2) Form I-94; 3) Updated Form I-20, page 2. See: "Handbook for Employers: Instructions for Completing the Form I-9", page 13:

  • CPT employees work under the same employment regulations as other employees (such as "at will employment"). Additionally, the employer saves 7.65% of a CPT employee's salary amount due to the FICA/Medicare tax exemption of F-1 visa holders; see the web page How To Hire for more information on this tax savings.

  • MSCS candidates initially are eligible for up to 2 years of CPT employment. After this 2-year period, candidates in good standing academically may take an academic specialization that would extend CPT by approximately 12 months. Additionally, an employer may choose to sponsor employees for an H1-B work visa that would allow up to 6 years of employment.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) vs Optional Practical Training (OPT)

At the Master's level, USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) rules allow students to undertake required CPT positions during the first year of study, without having to be in the program at least one full year beforehand. Unlike Optional Practical Training (OPT), participation in CPT does not require separate USCIS approval with issuance of an I-766 EAD card.
All of our graduate level programs with off-campus internship components, have been fully reviewed and approved by various USCIS officials in the Omaha District Office, which has oversight of our school.

Text below taken from pertinent section of USCIS Regulations:

Practical Training

If you are an F-1 student, you have the option of working in the United States by engaging in practical training during your program or after it ends. Practical training can provide valuable work experience by sharpening and adding to the skills you are learning in school. There are two types of practical training available for F-1 students: curricular practical training (CPT) and optional practical training (OPT).


  • CPT must relate to your major and the experience must be part of your program of study.
  • When you enroll at the graduate level, your designated school official (DSO) may authorize CPT during your first semester if your program requires this type of experience. Ask your DSO for details.
  • Your DSO will provide you a new Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, that shows that the DSO has approved you for this employment.
  • You can work on CPT either full-time or part-time.
  • CPT requires a signed cooperative agreement or a letter from your employer.
  • If you have 12 months or more of full-time CPT, you are ineligible for OPT...

Our DSO Issues the Work Authorization
When a candidate receives a job offer, a university Designated School Official (DSO) logs onto the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) site and authorizes the candidate electronically. Participation in CPT does not require USCIS approval because it is a mandated part of the university's program. The DSO prints a copy of the employment page of the SEVIS Form I-20 (page 2), signs it and sends it to the employer. The employer needs only to receive this signed form to verify that the employee is officially enrolled in CPT and can begin work on the start date indicated on the form.

Academic Credit
During curricular practical training, candidates receive academic credit from the university. Candidates complete their MSCS degrees through part-time distance education courses during evenings and on weekends, while working full-time.

Contact Information
Email Phone
Jim Garrett 641-472-1214
General inquiries

Mailing Address
MSCS Career Center
Dept. of Computer Science
Maharishi International University
1000 North 4th St.
Fairfield, IA 52557

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