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Current ISO Student News

Issue 10: February 15, 2017

 

Table of Contents

  1. Information Session on Immigration Enforcement Priorities (2/23) & Other Resources (more)
  2. Tax Reporting Obligations and Deadlines (more)
  3. Work After Graduation Employment Workshop - Friday, March 3 (more)
  4. Scholarship Funds Available to Students from Middle East (more)
  5. Campus FocusAfrica Video and Film Series - Spring 2017 (more)

  

Information Session on Immigration Enforcement Priorities (2/23) & Other Resources

The ISO and other University offices are actively trying to inform and support members of our international populations during this time of change and executive action related to US immigration policy. There has been a lot of attention on the impact of ordered travel restrictions and limits to the refugee program. While recent court rulings have meant that certain provisions of the order are not being implemented right now, these actions have created uncertainty and anxiety for many in our community. We recently held a session called “Know Your Rights: When Foreign Nationals encounter Government Officials” to help explain some of the rights and requirements you have during your time here. Please see ISO’s Event Archives page for presentation materials from this and previous sessions.

With the necessary attention on targeted travelers and on-going legal challenges, other Executive Orders issued recently have not received the same level of public attention. However, the ISO has continued to monitor those developments and is committed to educating our campus community about other issues related to immigration policy. Specifically, two orders issued on January 25 call for renewed and expanded focus on immigration enforcement priorities, which may include deportation of individuals who overstay or violate their status and/or are involved in activities that could be viewed as criminal. In our experience, foreign nationals have sometimes found themselves in situations that unintentionally escalated to require court proceedings or other legal resolution. Now, these new Executive Orders could carry more serious immigration consequences for similar situations. The ISO is holding another information session to cover some of these issues. Even though this topic is not easy to discuss, nor something we can plan for in advance, it is very important for our international students and scholars to be aware of certain risks and the impact of new enforcement policies.  Details for the upcoming session are below, and on our Events page.

Recent Immigration Actions: Executive Policies on Immigration Enforcement
Thursday, February 23 at 3:30 pm
Interfaith Chapel Sanctuary, River Campus
In addition to the recent Executive Order that implemented travel restrictions for certain foreign nationals, there were two other Executive Orders signed on January 25 that may impact our international populations here at UR. The provisions of these orders have not yet received the same public attention as other administrative actions, but there are important implications that our community should be aware of! We will review new enforcement priorities for individuals who fail to maintain their status, face criminal charges or accusations, or are undocumented. This session, hosted by UR’s International Services Office and immigration counsel from the Legal Aid Society, will also offer realistic situations international students and scholars may face, strategies to avoid them, and how to handle potential enforcement issues. We hope you will participate in this important conversation! The Immigration Action Question & Comment form may be used to submit concerns about this topic in advance.

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Tax Reporting Obligations and Deadlines

Please reference the ISO Tax Information online to help you to navigate your tax reporting obligations for any activities and earnings during 2016. Most tax forms are due by April 18, but please do not delay! Topics covered online include: filing requirements for Resident Aliens or Non-Resident Aliens for tax purposes, documents needed to prepare your tax return, access to GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP), support from our GTP Consultant, and state taxes, with guidance specific to New York and links to forms. Even if you did not have any US earnings during 2016, you may still have tax forms to file! 

ISO is currently booking appointments into March with our GLACIER Tax Prep Assistant. If you are interested, please do not delay in requesting one online using our GTP Assistant Appointment Request form.

For Your Information – A few reminders for tax season:

  • If you were NOT physically in the US during the 2016 calendar year, you do NOT have to file tax forms at this time. If you were present, even for one day, you will need to determine your tax reporting obligations. This will be based on your tax residency status and US earnings during the year.
  • Your tax reporting requirements depend on whether you are categorized as a "Resident Alien" or a "Non-Resident Alien" for tax purposes. The University's GLACIER software will make this determination for you and print this information on your Tax Summary. Your tax category can also change over time, so be sure to verify your filing status each year! Federal tax forms (requirements below) must be filed separately from US state tax forms.
  • All Forms 1040, 1040-NR, or EZ versions must be postmarked by April 18. If you need additional time to prepare and file your tax forms, you can file Form 4868 to request an automatic extension for 6 months. To be eligible, this form must be filed by the April 18 deadline. This extension does NOT apply to any tax payments that may be due. Therefore, any tax payment due to IRS will be subject to interest charges. Requests to extend state tax filings must be handled separately. Form 8843 (when NOT required to file with tax return) must be postmarked by June 15. 
  • As you prepare to comply with your tax obligations, please be cautious of any possible tax scams. We highly recommend that you use University Resources and Support to assist you with your tax filing obligations when possible.

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Work After Graduation Employment Workshop - Friday, March 3

Work After Graduation & OPT Application Procedures
Friday, March 3 - 1:00 to 2:30 pm
207 Schlegel Hall, River Campus

Immigration work permission for graduating students requires planning and preparation! Join ISO for a detailed discussion of work options available to graduating F-1 students, including information on F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) and transitions to the H-1B Temporary Worker visa category. We will also address common travel concerns and questions. This program is open to international students from all UR academic divisions, both graduate and undergraduate. If you will be graduating this May or June (or even earlier), this is the time to start planning!

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Scholarship Funds Available to Students from Middle East

The Rochester Area Community Foundation is now accepting applications for awards from the Barbara D. Sutherland Scholarship. This scholarship is intended to assist students from the Middle East in attending a college or university within the greater Rochester area. Applicants must be from a Middle Eastern country, have US citizenship or appropriate visa status, be attending a qualifying school in the area, and have financial need. Awards will be granted at a minimum of $1,000 and the number of awards may vary. The application is available online and is due by April 15. Please see the Community Foundation website for detailed eligibility requirements and application.


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Campus Focus: Africa Video and Film Series - Spring 2017

The Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies is hosting an Africa Video and Film Series this semester, starting this month (today!). Events are free and open to the public. Pizza and refreshments will be served. Call +1 585-275-9161 for more information or email fdi@rochester.edu

Bayou Maharajah
Film directed by Lily Keber
Wednesday, February 15
5:00 to 7:00pm
Gowen Room, River Campus

Disgrace (2008)
Film directed by Steve Jacobs
Friday, February 24
5:00 to 7:00pm
Gowen Room, River Campus 

Legend (1985)
Film directed by Ridley Scott
Wednesday, March 29
5:00 to 7:00pm
Gowen Room, River Campus

Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon
Film directed by Matabane
Wednesday, April 19
5:00 to 7:00pm
Gowen Room, River Campus

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Editor: Lena Ovcharov, International Student Advisor