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ISO Student News: 2/1/2022


Table of Contents

  1. Webinar 2/11: "Work After Graduation & F-1 OPT Q&A Session" more)
  2. Tax Resources: Sprintax is here! First Webinar on 2/23! (more)
  3. Full-Time Enrollment and SEVIS Reporting Spring 2022 (more)
  4. Travel Reminders for Spring 2022 (more)
  5. Black History Month – February 2022(more)
  6. Upcoming Events (more)
  7. Canadian Entry Day 2/8 (more)


Webinar 2/11: "Work After Graduation & F-1 OPT Q&A Session"

If you missed our first installment of ISO’s spring employment workshop series, please review the “Work After Graduation and F-1 OPT Application Procedures”recording and presentation slides from Friday, January 28. This information will help you to plan your transition to F-1 OPT work permission and to prepare the required application materials. We strongly recommend that all interested students due to complete their degree requirements this semester will view these materials in advance of scheduling an OPT appointment with an ISO Advisor.

Additionally, ISO will offer another opportunity for Q&A regarding OPT eligibility, timelines, and the formal application process! Join us virtually for this open forum for questions and moderated discussion with ISO Student Services. Please note that this session is intended for students who attended the OPT Workshop or who have already watched the recording. Participants should review the archived event materials in advance, as that more detailed content will not be repeated during the discussion.

Topic: Work After Graduation and F-1 OPT Q&A Session
When: Friday, February 11, 2022, 11:00am Eastern 
Zoom Link:

Stay tuned for reminders on additional ISO Events this semester!



Tax Resources: Sprintax is here! First Webinar on 2/23!

The Tax Season is upon us, but don’t worry, the ISO has you covered.  We understand that filing your taxes can be difficult—we think it’s difficult too.  To assist you with this process, the ISO is working with a company called Sprintax.  Sprintax employs a user-friendly software tool designed to help you file your taxes with the state and federal government.  

Even if you did not have a job or earn any money through employment, but were in the United States in F or J status between January 1st and December 31 2021 you will need to file a document with the government—specifically a Form 8843.  If you don’t know what that is, do not panic, Sprintax can help you with that!

If you did earn income in 2021, the Sprintax software will take you step by step through the filing process.  The best part is that ISO will pay for the cost of your federal filing.  This is a savings of almost $40.00.  You are responsible for the cost of your state filing. 

Sprintax offers 24 hour a day-7 day a week (24/7) technical support, so no matter where you are, you can contact a specialist who will assist you with answering all of your questions.

Follow the links and the prompts to get started filing your taxes.  The filing deadline for the 2021 year is April 18th, 2022.

Login to Sprintax to begin the 2021 filing process:
You will need a special code to take advantage of the free federal filing.  Please attend one of the Webinars to receive the code, or send an email to: Use the links below to register for an upcoming University of Rochester Nonresident Tax webinar:

Session 1: Feb 23, 2022 1:00 PM EST at:
Session 2: Mar 15, 2022 5:00 PM EDT at: 
Session 3: Apr 12, 2022 3:00 PM EDT at: 



 Full-Time Enrollment and SEVIS Reporting Spring 2022

With classes underway for the Spring 2022 semester and the resumption of in-person study, ISO is currently evaluating SEVIS records to ensure appropriate enrollment reporting for the term. The temporary ICE guidance during COVID-19 remains in place, allowing international students who maintain full-time enrollment with a valid SEVIS record to exceed the normal limitations on distance education while required by school operations. Please review ISO’s summary of Full-Time Study for F-1 & J-1 Students during COVID-19.

As of this week, most UR schools and program have now resumed in-person course delivery for the term. Similar to our announcement in the Fall 2021 term, we understand that students are largely expected participate in their classes and research activities from campus, despite the flexibility of current immigration permissions. ISO does not anticipate needing to utilize the temporary guidance widely this semester. As needed, schools may identify unique circumstances and coordinate with ISO to adapt study plans on a case-by-case basis. For students whose travel to Rochester has been delayed so far for Spring 2022, please contact your academic dean’s office to request approval of your intended travel plan. As stated in the COVID-19 Resource Center FAQ for Spring 2022, international students should then notify ISO with their name, URID, school, and date of arrival to ISO will then evaluate any updates required in SEVIS and can assist you to navigate other immigration planning that may be needed. 



Travel Reminders for Spring 2022

As a reminder from recent institutional messaging: “Given the uncertainties surrounding the omicron variant, new travel restrictions, and closures of US embassies and consular posts in certain countries, the University’s International Services Office (ISO) strongly advises against international students leaving the US right now.”

However, if you are planning on traveling this spring, it is important that you carry the necessary documents for your destination and/or your return to the US. This includes your unexpired passport, current Form I-20 or DS-2019, valid F or J visa stamp, your most recent I-94 Admission Record, and supporting documents such as proof of financial support, enrollment, work authorization, pending immigration benefits, etc. As a reminder, your I-20 or DS-2019 travel signature must be current when you enter the US and expires one year from the date it was last signed (6 months during periods of OPT/STEM). If you need an updated validation signature for travel, you may request a replacement document via URcompass. Please note, SEVP has indicated that Form I-20s may continue to be distributed electronically.

Prior to your arrival to the US, please be sure that you review and understand the New York State COVID guidelines, as well as what is required of you when you arrive to campus. The University remains responsive to guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New York State requirements, and recommendations of county and local health professionals. If you travel outside of Rochester, you must be prepared to follow all UR and state requirements upon your return. COVID guidelines and travel restrictions are subject to change quickly and frequently. You can find this information, and more, at the UR COVID-19 Resource Center website and ISO’s Summary of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions page.

Since travel restrictions are subject to change, we also recommend that you access updated information directly from relevant government agencies, including, but not limited to the CDC travel guidance on air travel to the US for noncitizens & nonimmigrants,  Department of State, and New York State’s travel advisory.



Black History Month - February 2022

Black History Month is observed during the month of February (February 1 – 28, 2022) across the United States. A list of upcoming events commemorating this month can be found on the Office of Equity and Inclusion’s event calendar and on the Office of Minority Student Affairs’ events calendar.  The events will include a virtual celebration at the Memorial Art Gallery.



Upcoming UR Events

Attenda Community Forum on Student Mental Health

A series of community forums are being offered to gather ideas and feedback about student mental health & wellness at the University of Rochester. The wisdom gathered will be used to create change in our campus culture and practices related to mental health. Forums will he held for undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff during the weeks of February 7th and 14th. Complete the registration form online or submit your thoughts through the feedback form if you cannot attend. All sessions will be held via Zoom. Brought to you by the President's Coalition on Student Mental Health & Wellness.

UCC International Student Drop-In Support Group in February

The University Counseling Center (UCC) continues to offer a virtual drop-in support group for international students during the month of February. These drop-in sessions are open to all active UCC students on Tuesdays at 1:00 PM via Zoom. This group will be a safe space for international students to share their experiences and connect with others.


PAWS for Stress Relief

We are all back on campus and so excited to bring you all our beloved therapy dogs! Each month, we will be having a PAWS for Stress Relief at the River Campus and Eastman for students to spend some time with. The Health Promotion Office will also provide educational information, learn about upcoming events, and stress-relief giveaways such as lavender sachets or stress balls. Here are our upcoming dates:

  • February 7th from 6-7:15 PM in the Feldman Ballroom in Douglass Commons
  • February 24th from 6-7:15 PM in the Eastman Student Living Center

Want to make your calendars for all of our upcoming PAWS events? Check out our calendar of events on our website here!

Celebrate URs Winterfest Weekend: February 4-6th

Enjoy Rochester's winter splendor during WinterFest Weekend.  Featured events include adopt-a-plant, ice skating, cupcake decorating, curling lessons, giveaways, games, a Winter Wonderland (including an ice carving demonstration and fire pits), and evening with comedian Pete Davidson.  Check out the full schedule for details about this snowy Rochester Tradition celebration!



Canadian Entry Day: Consider Living and Working in Canada

CONSIDER LIVING AND WORKING IN CANADA! Please join us on Tuesday, February 8th from 3:00—4:00 EST to learn about pathways to Canadian citizenship and employment. David Correira, Designated Migration Officer from the Canadian Consulate will provide all interested international students with information about citizenship and employment in Canada. Follow the link to join us for this virtual presentation:


Prepared by: ISO Student Services & ISO Support & Engagement