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Work Authorization Info

Maharishi University of Management is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. The University is registered with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). All of our graduate level programs with off-campus curricular practical training have been fully reviewed and approved by various USCIS officials in the Omaha DHS District Office, which has oversight of our school.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Employment

Candidates in the Accounting Professionals MBA Program at Maharishi University of Management who have completed their on-campus studies in Fairfield, Iowa, are available for full-time employment anywhere in the U.S. during the curricular practical training (CPT) component of their MBA degree program. Candidates work full-time for up to 2 years while taking distance education courses evenings and weekends (about 10 hours/week) to complete their MBA in Accounting. This full-time employment is part of the student’s curricular practical training (CPT) program. (Details about CPT may be found at the bottom of this page.)

The University Sponsors the Work Authorization

Candidates work full-time as W-2 employees under U.S. work authorization sponsored and issued by their university.The University is responsible for processing all parts of the employee’s work authorization. The employer is not involved with sponsoring or registering an employee’s work authorization. The University’s designated school official (DSO) enters the employment information on-line in the SEVIS system and issues the work authorization. The employment authorization document is the employee’s Form I-20, page 3.

A University DSO Issues the Work Authorization (page 3 of Student’s I-20)

  1. After confirming and approving an employment offer, the University’s placement officers will promptly process and fax to the employer the updated Form I-20, page 3. Listed will be: The employer’s name and address; the start date of full-time employment; the title of the employee’s position (such as Accountant, Financial Data Analyst, Auditor, etc.). Issuing an employee’s work authorization is generally done within a few days after the employer makes the offer.
  2. The DSO logs onto the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) site and authorizes the candidate’s employment electronically. (Participation in CPT does not require separate USCIS approval because it is a mandated part of the University’s program.)
  3. The DSO prints a copy of the employment page of the SEVIS Form I-20 (page 3), signs it and faxes it to the employer.
  4. 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.

Employer Verification of Employment Eligibility (Form I-9)

Form I-9 employer verification of employment eligibility of CPT employee requires these three documents: 1) Unexpired passport; 2) Form I-94; 3) Updated Form I-20, page 3. See Handbook for Employers: Instructions for Completing the Form I-9, page 25, point #27

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. Supporting documentation can be found in IRS Publication # 519, Chapter 8 (page 50). More information.

Length of Employment

After a maximum of two years of CPT employment, students may enroll in an MBA Elective Extension that allows them to work full-time for an additional 11-12 months while taking distance education courses part-time with the University. The employer may choose to sponsor employees for an H-1B work visa that would allow up to an additional six 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-765 EAD card.

Pertinent Sections from USCIS Regulations

US Citizenship and Immigration Services Guide 8CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)(B)


Curricular practical training programs. An F-1 student may be authorized by the DSO to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum. Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. Students who have received one year or more of full time curricular practical training are ineligible for post-completion academic training. Exceptions to the one academic year requirement are provided for students enrolled in graduate studies that require immediate participation in curricular practical training. A request for authorization for curricular practical training must be made to the DSO. A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving his or her Form I-20 with the DSO endorsement. (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256)


SEVIS process. To grant authorization for a student to engage in curricular practical training, a DSO at a SEVIS school will update the student’s record in SEVIS as being authorized for curricular practical training that is directly related to the student’s major area of study. The DSO will indicate whether the training is full-time or part-time, the employer and location, and the employment start and end date. The DSO will then print a copy of the employment page of the SEVIS Form I-20 indicating that curricular practical training has been approved. The DSO must sign, date, and return the SEVIS Form I-20 to the student prior to the student’s commencement of employment.