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ISO Student News: Issue 2

September 15, 2021


Table of Contents

  1. Important Immigration Reminders For Start of Term (more)
  2. ISO's New Service Desk Hours - Starts Tomorrow (more)
  3. Completing Your Degree Requirements Soon? (more)
  4. F-1 Employment Workshops: OPT Recording; Internships 9/17 & STEM 9/24 (more)
  5. CAUTION: Scams & Frauds Targeting International Populations (more)
  6. Reminder: Keep Your GLACIER Record Up-to-Date (more)
  7. Mindful University Project - Upcoming Events (more)  

Important Immigration Reminders For Start of Term

The ISO is in the process of reviewing immigration records to ensure that all information is up-to-date for the Fall 2021 term. You will receive an email from us if you need to take any immediate actions regarding your immigration record. Here are some important reminders:

*New students and students who have newly arrived in the US to study at the University of Rochester must complete the mandatory immigration check-in. This includes students who recently transferred to UR and students who are continuing at UR in a new program of study. The mandatory immigration check-in with ISO is due by this Friday, September 17th (if you haven’t completed it already). Students who need to urgently complete this requirement received a message from our office on 9/14/21.

*All F-1 and J-1 students must maintain full-time registration each term. If you will need to take a reduced course load, please speak to an ISO student advisor before you drop below full-time enrollment.

* International students must have appropriate employment authorization before beginning work. F-1 and J-1 students can work on-campus up to 20 hours per week during the school year while maintaining their immigration status. J-1 students must complete additional documentation with the ISO for on-campus employment. Any off-campus employment for both F-1 and J-1 students must be specifically authorized and documented. Please contact an ISO student advisor if you have any questions about work authorization.

* All changes of residential address must be reported within 10 days. International students are required to notify the ISO within 10 days of moving. Current students must report address updates via UR Student, according to specific ‘Usage Tag’ requirements for ISO. Students pursuing post-completion employment, please use the appropriate reporting tool online.

* Keep your immigration & other records up-to-date. Make sure that you maintain a valid travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 for the current year. If you have renewed or extended your passport, please submit a copy to ISO; if your passport will be expiring in the next year, make plans to renew it. Also, remember to update your GLACIER record with required address information, travel dates, and UR employment details.


ISO’s New Service Desk Hours – Starts Tomorrow

Beginning tomorrow, September 16th, ISO will be holding in-person service desk hours. The ISO Service Desk will receive in-person visitors to our office in College Town (Suite 1.100), offering both morning and afternoon hours: 10am to 12pm [Mon/Thurs/Fri] and 1pm to 4:30pm [Mon/Tues/Thurs]. Staff will be on-site to assist with document distribution, general inquires, and appointment scheduling. When the Service Desk is closed, our team remains available virtually during standard office hours to coordinate these services.

To review our service schedule, please see the following summary (or check out our print-friendly handout):

  • ISO Office Hours are generally Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm. On Wednesdays, ISO does not take phone calls or appointments, while staff focus on immigration casework and document issuance.
  • Individual advising appointments are scheduled during regular office hours according to staff availability; some slots can be available during the noon hour if needed. All appointments are held virtually over Zoom and booked at least one day in advance.
  • Students are welcomed to join our Drop-In Advising Hours for brief consultations with an advisor (5-10 min). Please access Drop-Ins via this Zoom link on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday afternoons (1-4pm), as well as Friday mornings (9am-12pm).

Our Contact page continues to offer the most updated information on our current operations, including service schedules, directions, and advising options.


Completing Your Degree Requirements Soon?

If your answer is “yes,” or even “maybe,” now is the time to begin thinking about your post-completion plans! Every student has a different set of circumstances to consider when making immigration decisions, so you cannot assume that what works for your friends will also be the best option for you. Please note that many immigration processes require students to take action before the end of their program. 

If you intend to work in the United States after graduation, you will likely need to apply for F-1 Optional Practical Training or J-1 Academic Training. If you are interested in applying for either of these work authorizations, please plan to make an appointment with an ISO advisor and/or look at available information on the ISO’s website as early as possible in your final term.

  • Please Note: On 10/2/2020, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will implement several substantial increases to filing fees and policy revisions. Notably, the fee for Form I-765 Application of Employment Authorization will increase from $410 currently to $550. Applications that are filed with insufficient payment will be rejected, causing serious delays and possible ineligibility. You are eligible to file for OPT as early as 90 days before your I-20 completion date, meaning students graduating Fall 2020 can likely file as early as 9/19/2020. If you hope to avoid the new fee, you will need to prepare your application and mail it to USCIS so that it arrives by 10/2. ISO is monitoring other policies cited in this rule, including potential changes to the USPS delivery service used for returned documents.

If you will be starting a new degree program at another school in the United States after graduation, you may be eligible to transfer your SEVIS immigration record to the new institution, depending on when your new program starts. If you will be attending a new degree program at the University of Rochester, you will need to complete some paperwork to change your education level.

If you will be leaving the United States within your grace period after your completion date, please complete the ISO’s Student Departure Form once you have booked your travel out of the US. Please note that you cannot re-enter the US in F-1 or J-1 status once you have left during your grace period.

Finally, if your I-20 or DS-2019 currently lists an incorrect program end date—if you will be finishing earlier than the date on the document or vice versa—you can correct this end date by completing the ISO’S Program Extension/Shorten Form.


F-1 Employment Workshops: OPT Recording; Internships 9/17 & STEM 9/24

Following our first workshop on Optional Practical Training (see materials below), ISO’s fall workshop series on F-1 off-campus employment authorizations continues over the next couple weeks. These workshops are useful to get a sense of the timing and procedures required for common employment activities. Each session will be delivered virtually, recorded, and posted to our Archived ISO Events page shortly after the event.

Topic: Work After Graduation and F-1 OPT Application Procedures
Recorded: 9/10/2021 | Recording | Handout

Topic: Academic Internships During an F-1 Academic Program
When: Friday, September 17, 2021 – 11:00am to 12:30pm Eastern Time (with Q&A)
Zoom Link:
This workshop provides a detailed overview of considerations that F-1 students should make when pursuing a paid or unpaid job or internship opportunity in the United States during their academic program. This workshop explores what is considered employment and the various types of on- and off-campus work authorization that F-1 students may be eligible for during their academic programs, including F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

Topic: Understanding the F-1 OPT STEM Extension
When: Friday, September 24, 2021 – 11:00am to 12:30pm Eastern Time (with Q&A)
Zoom Link:

This workshop provides an overview of the STEM OPT Extension and is geared toward students and recent graduates of STEM-designated academic programs who may plan to apply for STEM OPT in the future. This workshop covers STEM eligibility and employer requirements, Form I-983, reporting, and relevant timelines.

Please add these workshop dates to your calendar as this will be the last ISO News reminder before the workshop series ends next week.


CAUTION: Scams & Frauds Targeting International Populations

Unfortunately, the University of Rochester continues to receive reports that international students have been the victim or target of various scams. Most recently, students have been targeted for fraudulent job opportunities, seemingly from within UR, and have been harmed by individuals posing as government, banking, or employment officials. UR’s Department of Public Safety has prepared a document for DPS Guidance on Scams & Fraud to assist in understanding and avoiding these schemes. ISO has also posted a Spotlight Content video on scam prevention to our website, as part of our TIPS On-Demand series.


If you are contacted by unknown individuals, please USE CAUTION when addressing their requests for information, money, or anything else. For threats of arrest or problems with your immigration or tax status, keep in mind that legitimate government officials will NEVER demand immediate action over the telephone or deny you the option of consulting ISO, an attorney, or other source of support.


Public Safety will continue to investigate these situations on-campus. Please contact them at +1 585-275-3333 for guidance. For other reporting options, please consider Federal resources on identity theft and related topics.


Reminder: Keep Your GLACIER Record Up-to-Date

The University of Rochester uses GLACIER tax software to ensure tax compliance for all University payments to foreign nationals. Keeping your GLACIER record up-to-date helps the University to make accurate withholdings from your paychecks.

Upon completion of your GLACIER Tax Compliance record and any subsequent updates throughout your program of study, you will need to submit your signed Tax Summary, relevant tax forms, and required document copies to the UR Payroll office. The ISO will continue to help facilitate this process. To successfully file your forms, you will need to 1) properly sign and date each document, and 2) submit those to UR’s GLACIER Administrator in the Payroll Office. Please see our webpage on GLACIER Tax Software for more information on your options to sign and submit those materials securely.


Mindful University Project - Upcoming Events

The Mindful University Project is an interdisciplinary collaboration with a mission to empower the UR campus community to build a culture of mindful presence and compassion to allow students to improve mental well-being, boost academic flourishing, increase resiliency to stress, and reduce levels of anxiety and depression. There are many different offerings this semester including drop-in meditation sittings, bedtime meditation practice, silent meditation Relax & Renew Retreats, and mindfulness meditation led by a certified Koru Mindfulness teacher. Join the over 150 University of Rochester undergraduate and graduate students who have already learned how to meditate through this program.

One upcoming event to highlight is the Candlelight Yoga class on Saturday, September 18th from 8 to 9 PM in the May Room in Wilson Commons. Take a moment to unwind and release tension, while being surrounded by soft candlelight. This class will include yoga poses to move the body and breathing work to help calm the nervous system. This class is open to all levels of experience and ability.

More information, schedules, and registration can be found on the Mindful University Project website.


Prepared by: ISO Student Services