Curricular Practical Training (Islamic Chaplaincy Program Students Only)
Employment is limited to on-campus work and for 20 hours a week while classes are in session . Students are eligible to work 40 hours (during the January Intersession if you are not registered for courses) and the summer session if you will register for the fall semester.
You are permitted to volunteer 20 hours or more per week on or off campus without approval.
Please make certain that this is strictly volunteer work and that you are not receiving payment. Receiving payment without prior authorization and an employment card is in direct violation of F-1 Visa regulations and you will fall out of status. Please see the CISSS before you begin any volunteer work and submit documentation of the volunteer position for approval.
Pre-Completion Occupational Practical Training (Pre-Completion OPT)
This is employment approval prior to completing your program of study. You must receive prior authorization from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and an employment card. To be eligible, you must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis at Hartford Seminary for one full academic year. Please plan to apply for employment authorization three months prior to the date you wish to begin employment.
Employment must be directly related to your degree. We recommend that you keep documentation that your Pre-Completion OPT employment is directly related to your degree. Documentation should also be given to the CISSS. The documentation should include: position held, proof of duration of that position, job title held, supervisor or manager contact information, and description of job. You may request authorization to work part-time (20 hours per week or less) during the fall and spring semesters. Also, you may request authorization to work full-time during official school breaks only (January Intersession if you are not taking courses and the summer session if you will register for the fall semester).
Application and Instructions for applying for Pre-Completion OPT – http://www.uscis.gov/i-765
Note: The amount of time you are employed through Pre-Completion OPT will count against the 12-months of Standard Post-Completion OPT available.
You must maintain the full course of study requirement during employment (unless done during school breaks). Also any change in employment must be reported to the CISSS.
Standard Post-Completion Occupational Practical Training (Post-Completion OPT)
This is employment approval after completing your program of study. You must receive prior authorization from USCIS and an employment card. An application for Post-Completion OPT can be filed up to 90 days before your program end date and up to 60 days after your program end date. All periods of unemployment must be reported to the CISSS.
Employment must be directly related to your program of study. We recommend that you keep documentation that your Post-Completion OPT employment is directly related to your degree. Documentation should also be given to the CISSS. The documentation should include: position held, proof of duration of that position, job title held, supervisor or manager contact information, and description of job.
You have a limit of 90-days of unemployment. You may volunteer at least 20 hours per week (must submit proof from employer to the CISSS that the employment is a volunteer position and does not violate any labor laws) to avoid periods of unemployment.
Any change in employment must be reported to the CISSS.
Application and instructions for applying for Post-Completion OPT – http://www.uscis.gov/i-765
Exception for MA Students registered for the final paper/project or thesis
If you have completed all program requirements for your degree except for the final paper/project or thesis, you may apply for Post-Completion OPT. You will not be eligible for a program extension if your thesis is not completed during the 12 months of Post-Completion OPT.
Cap-Gap extension for change of non-immigrant visa status from F-1 to H-1B
Students who have been approved for Post-Completion OPT will qualify for a cap-gap extension. Your duration of status (D/S), and Post-Completion OPT will be extended in SEVIS automatically when you have done the following: file an H-1B visa application in a timely manner (discuss timeline with employer); request an employment start date of October 1 of the following fiscal year; request a change of status; and not be in violation of any terms or conditions of your F-1 status . Please see the CISSS for an updated copy of your Form I-20 with the cap-gap extension noted. It is strongly recommended that you refrain from traveling outside of the United States during your gap-cap extension. If you have to travel during this time, please see the CISSS.
Other Types of Employment
Authorized employment due to economic hardship
Special student relief program employment
Certain employment sponsored by international organizations
Curricular Practical Training must be an integral part of an established curriculum and directly related to the student’s major area of study. Curricular practical training is: 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. As a student in the Islamic Chaplaincy Program, Field Education and CPE are integral parts of the program’s curriculum. You may begin Field Education or CPE only after your Form I-20 has been endorsed by the CISSS.
The following documentation must be provided to the CISSS for a request for Curricular Practical Training:
- Letter from advisor stating that CPE or Field Education is an integral part of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program curriculum and that it is directly related to your major area of study including the start date and end date of the activity.
- An offer of employment letter describing the employment. The letter should include the supervisor’s name and contact information, begin and end date of the employment, and whether it is part-time or full-time.
Note: Students who engage in 12 months or more of full-time curricular practical training are ineligible for Occupational Practical Training. Also any change in employment must be reported to the CISSS.