Starting June 1, 2017, F and J students can expect to pay a practical training fee (PTF) when applying for off-campus practical training benefits. The fee will support the services and advising offered in the OIE associated with the off-campus training students will receive.
The Office of International Education at Georgia Tech will collect a $35 PTF fee each time an international undergraduate or graduate student holding an F or J student visa receives practical training benefits in the form of Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Academic Training (AT). The fee applies to a CPT, OPT or AT authorization with a start date after the summer 2017 semester. Applications submitted to the OIE for review after June 15, 2017 and related to a period of practical training starting after the summer 2017 semester will be required to show evidence of PTF payment.
What is the purpose of the fee?
The fee ensures the OIE staff can support federal compliance requirements, maintain an existing level of services associated with off-campus employment, and continue to offer unique programs and support to international students holding an F or J visa regarding professional development and practical training benefits in the U.S. Georgia Tech and OIE are committed to providing international students with comprehensive programs and services designed to foster academic and personal success. All revenue generated from the fee will be used to support advising staff and international student programs and services at Georgia Tech
Existing services and programs include:
- Web based materials and resources
- Individual and group advising
Why is the PTF being implemented now?
This fee is a response to several trends in international education both nationwide and at Georgia Tech. The population of enrolled international students at Georgia Tech has grown from 275 to 5,000 over the last 20 years. Similarly, the number of requests for practical training benefits has increased. The increase is due in part to Georgia Tech policy changes which took effect in Summer 2016 and aligned policy for graduate and undergraduate students to pursue CPT and as a result of a March 2016 OPT regulatory change, which created more complex reporting requirements and a longer period of OPT authorization for STEM graduates. As a result, the OIE staff are providing more services to more students over a longer time frame. The fee is necessary to support additional staff and resources that enable us to continue to provide the same high-quality services to international student population during their academic programs and post-graduation practical training periods. Fees associated with administering services, processing requests, and authorizing benefits to international students are a reality at many institutions around the U.S. and the Georgia Tech PTF is considerably lower than peer institutions.
Does this fee apply to all forms of practical training?
Yes, this fee applies to students whenever Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), and Academic Training (AT) is authorized/recommended by the OIE.
How and when do students pay the fee?
Students can pay the fee through the GT Marketplace with an approved credit or debit card. Students will have access to the GT Marketplace via a unique link during the application process provided in the CPT/OPT/AT e-form process. Students do not need to us a credit or debit card in their own name and can use a friend or colleagues with explicit permission.
How do students show proof of payment?
Students will upload proof the receipt they receive via email into the e-form they are completing for practical training benefits.
Does OIE have a policy for refunds?
OIE has guidelines to assist us in determining eligiblity for a refund. Each practical training e-form process (CPT/OPT/AT) will outline the guidelines for refunds for that specific training benefit, as they do vary based on the type of employment.