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Daily Living

The following information pertains specifically to international students. Please refer to Student Life section for general information:

Maintaining F-1 Status

  • Possess valid passport. (at least 6 months before expiration date)
  • Enroll in full-time studies 3 quarters a year. (12 units per quarter)
  • Make normal academic progress.
  • Inform seminary DSO of registration, address, financial changes within 5 days of change.
  • Apply for approval regarding internship, work, transfer, program extension with PDSO before starting any of these activities.
  • Observe U.S. Labor laws. (need to have work permit in order to work in the U.S.)
  • Observe U.S. Federal and California State laws.
  • Leave U.S. within 60 days of graduation and completion of OPT.
  • Please pay attention to the following before travel out of U.S.
    • Request for current I-20 from DSO. 
    • Valid passport. (6 months before expiration date) 
    • Has valid F-1 Visa. 
    • Obtain signature for I-20 from DSO 2 weeks prior to travel in order to secure safe re-entry. 
    • Travel to Canada and Mexico for less than 30 days require only valid passport and I-20.

Internship Information

International students who are planning to begin curriculum related practical training (CPT): Please read the relevant pages internship pages on the website, then consult with and obtain approval from Director of Field Education. You can start internship only after receiving official approval, documentation, and notification to SEVP. Optional practical training (OPT) is not required for graduation. Those who are considering OPT can explore that prior to graduation and needs to apply to SEVP for approval with the assistance of school’s PDSO. The total duration of OPT is 12 months.

If your internship provides financial subsidy, student will need to apply for Social Security Card, fill out tax return and pay taxes for the work period. Please see Social Security Office website for details.

Curricular Practical Training(CPT)

Please consult with Director of Field Education first, then school PDSO at least 3 months prior to intended practicum start date. Please prepare the following documents when you see the PDSO::

  • Completed CPT (internship) application form
  • Valid I-20
  • Valid passport and F-1 Visa
  • Letter from church or para-church organization you will be interning at. Letter should specify organization/church name, internship position title, internship date (start and end date), weekly internship hours, internship location, ministry content, name of supervisor. Sample letter can be obtained from PDSO.
  • Registration form for the quarter of internship

Application procedures need to be completed prior to the ensuing quarter of internship. Student is not permitted to intern or work in locations other than the one approved, otherwise student will be considered as out of compliance of F-1 visa requirements and can be deported.

Request church or organization to complete I-9 prior to commencement of internship for personnel record.

Optional Practical Training(OPT)

Optional practical training (OPT) is not required for graduation. Those who are considering OPT can explore that prior to graduation and needs to apply to SEVP for approval with the assistance of school’s PDSO. The total duration of OPT is 12 months.

Post Degree Internship

Student can participate in optional program related internship or temporary work after graduation. Student can apply as early as 90 days prior to graduation.

Optional Internship Prior to Graduation

If student wants to participate optional internship related to his/her program, he needs to fulfill the following requirements in order to qualify to apply:

  • Have enrolled and completed one year of full-time study.
  • A church or para-church organization is willing to provide an internship opportunity as well as appropriate supervision.
  • Internship cannot exceed 20 hours during study period.
  • Full-time internship is permitted in the summer. (no classes)

Application Procedures

  • Complete I-538 Form and I-765 Form
  • Request recommendation letter from Academics Department, specify academic progress and anticipated graduation date.
  • Two passport size pictures.
  • A check of $340 addressed to Department of Homeland Security.
  • Copies of I-20, I-94, passport ID page, previous EAD.
  • Submit above documents in an envelope to seminary PDSO, requesting for school’s recommendation and notification through SEVIS.
  • Upon receipt of recommendation from PDSO, send all documents to the following address:
    USCIS Service Center P.O. Box 10765 Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1076

 

Employment & Taxes

Campus work

International students may apply to work on campus (not more than 20 hours per week), provided the nature of work is related to students’ service and meet the following requirements, subject to the approval of CESNA international student advisor.

Please take note:

  • Valid F1 full time student status
  • Working hours per week do not exceed 20
  • Employment to start only 30days after class commencement
  • Student must apply social security number and fill out income tax form and pay relevant income tax (if applicable). Please refer to the section on taxes.

Off-campus employment

In the event of severe financial situation, students may apply with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for approval to work off campus. Without prior approval, off-campus employment is illegal and may subject to deportation.

Must meet following requirements:

  • Already completed at least 1 year of study
  • Maintain full time student status
  • Write to CESNA international student advisor explaining financial situation (unforeseen financial problems, no campus work opportunity, or proof of sudden depreciation of home currency against USD)
  • Work hours per week do not exceed 20.
  • Submit document to USCIS for approval
  • May start work only after receiving Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS.
  • Student must apply social security number and fill out income tax form and pay relevant income tax (if applicable). Please refer to the section on taxes.

 

Taxes

Social Security Card

  • To download application form www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.html
  • Please bring along completed application form together with I-94 and I-20 to:
    SOCIAL SECURITY SUITE 201 501 S VINCENT AVE WEST COVINA, CA 91790

Tax Declaration

  • Collect Income Tax Declaration Form at West Covina Public Library every year during early March.
  • Fill out the declaration form and write a check before April 15 to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) stated on the form.
 

Contact Us

1520 W. Cameron Ave., Suite 275

West Covina, CA 91790

Hot line: +1 626-917-9482

 

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This is the link to the donation page. (Populi)

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