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Current ISO Student News

Issue 4: October 17, 2016


Table of Contents

  1. WORKSHOP: Work After Graduation & OPT Application Procedures - Thursday, October 20 (more)
  2. Warning: Social Media Scam Targets International Students (more)
  3. 2018 Diversity Lottery Application Procedures (more)
  4. Grant Opportunities for Women from Other Countries (more)
  5. DISCO International's Career Forums for Bilingual Speakers of English and an Asian Language (more)
  6. RGC Spotlight: Join a Family for Thanksgiving Dinner - Thursday, November 24 (more)
  7. Campus Focus: Global Fair - Friday, October 28 (more)



WORKSHOP: Work After Graduation & OPT Application Procedures - Thursday, October 20

The ISO has scheduled an employment workshop, to be held this week! If you are thinking about work options for after graduation, we encourage you to attend this session to learn more about your eligibility and the application procedures for the necessary work permission.  Do not delay!!

Work After Graduation & OPT Application Procedures
Thursday, October 20
11:00 am to 12:00 pm
107 Schlegel Hall, River Campus 
If you are an international student who will soon complete your program and you are interested in working in the U.S. after graduation, this workshop is for you!  This workshop will cover work authorizations available to graduating F-1 students, including Optional Practical Training and the transition to H1-B, extensions to OPT, unemployment, and travel.  This workshop will also offer detailed guidance on applying for OPT.  The presentation will be held for one hour, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm, with time for Q&A after the presentation.


Warning: Social Media Scam Targets International Students

UR Public Safety indicates that three University students have reported situations of attempted blackmail through a targeted social media scam in recent weeks.  The individual has been targeting males, coercing a new online friendship with them through social media, and using Skype to record images that have led to the attempted blackmailing.  Apparently, the students who have reported this activity have all been international students so far, and there may be others who have not filed a report.  Please use caution when pursuing connections over social media where you do not already know the other party.  The Department of Public Safety continues to investigate these situations and advises students to stay aware of new and unusual social media interactions, and to report if they have information related to this scam.


2018 Diversity Lottery Application Procedures

The U.S. Department of State has announced registration details for the 2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2018) lottery.  This program enables randomly selected individuals to apply for one of 50,000 U.S. Permanent Resident visas, specifically reserved for persons from areas with lower immigration rates.  Applications will be accepted through 12:00 noon Sunday, November 7, 2016.  All applications must be submitted online at by this deadline.

Individuals who meet simple but strict eligibility requirements are able to enter the lottery for an opportunity to apply for a U.S. “green card.”  Due to high numbers of immigrants in recent years, persons from the following countries will NOT be eligible for the 2018 lottery: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.  (Note: Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible).  Ecuador is eligible for DV-2018, a change from previous years.

For more information, please access the Department of State’s DV 2018 application instructions.  Follow these instructions carefully, if you plan to apply, since incomplete or duplicate applications may make you ineligible.  There is NO FEE to enter the DV Lottery!  Be aware of fraudulent websites that require payment to file the application, which is not necessary through the U.S. government’s official website.  A fraud warning and helpful fraud FAQs are available on the Department of State’s website.  The application process is fairly simple and does not usually require the assistance of an immigration attorney.  If you are selected under the lottery, however, you may want to consider hiring an attorney for help with completing the Permanent Residency application process.

Some F-1 and J-1 students are hesitant to apply for the Diversity Lottery, fearing that it will impact their non-immigrant status and ability to renew their student visa for travel.  However, entry in the Diversity Lottery is not an application for U.S. Permanent Residency.  For selected DV-2018 applicants, the lottery will only grant eligibility to apply for Permanent Residency, which must be filed for separately during the 2018 fiscal year.  Therefore, the lottery would not contradict your current non-immigrant status and you could still indicate that you had not filed an Immigrant Visa Petition on future temporary visa applications (Form DS-156 or DS-160).


Grant Opportunities for Women from Other Countries

Margaret McNamara Education Grants (MMEG), established in 1981, "provide grants to women from developing countries to help further their education and strengthen their leadership skills to improve the lives of women and children in developing countries."  The MMEG US/Canada grant program offers scholarships to women from other countries who are completing degrees in the United States or Canada and who are committed to improving the wellbeing of women and children in developing countries.  Students must be at least 25 years old at time of application and a national from an eligible country.  In the past, individual MMEG Scholarships of up to $15,000 have been awarded in the US/Canada program.  For complete information about the MMEG US/Canada grant program, scholarship eligibility, online application instructions and deadlines, please see the organization’s website: .  The application process is open now and available until January 15, 2017.  You may submit questions about this grant by email to


DISCO International's Career Forums for Bilingual Speakers of English and an Asian Language 

DISCO International will hold its sixth annual Asian Bilingual Career Forum at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston, MA from November 18 to 20.  This event is designed to help bilingual speakers of English and one other Asian language, excluding Japanese, identify employment opportunities with interested firms.  This is a great opportunity to meet with world-class companies seeking bilingual individuals.  Unlike conventional job fairs, companies participating in the Asian Bilingual Career Forum will be interviewing on the spot.  Registration is free and some travel grants are available to help defray costs.  Please visit their website if you are interested:  If you meet the qualifications and would like to attend, you must request an invitation online by Thursday, November 3. 

DISCO International will also hold its annual Boston Career Forum, the World's largest Japanese-English bilingual job fair, from November 18 to 20.  Over 200 companies participate in this job fair, which makes it a wonderful opportunity to seek an internship or full-time job regardless of your major or background.  Please visit their website if you are interested and for qualifying details:  $100 travel scholarships are also available for this forum for students traveling from New York. 


RGC Spotlight: Join a Family for Thanksgiving Dinner - Thursday, November 24

Thursday, November 24 will mark the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday!  This classic American tradition is generally celebrated in family gatherings, with plenty of good food and good times.  Members and friends of Rochester Global Connections will invite Rochester area international students to join them for a holiday feast.  If you will be in town over the break and would like to visit with a local family for Thanksgiving Dinner, please sign up by submitting the online form for Thanksgiving Dinner.  If you have a friendship volunteer, check with them before responding - they may be expecting you for dinner. 

Rochester Global Connections (RGC) is a community-based volunteer organization that provides services to international students and Department of State visitors in the Rochester area. The International Services Office (ISO) hosts RGC at the University of Rochester and co-sponsors many events and activities.


Campus Focus: Global Fair – Friday, October 28

The Center for Education Abroad is pleased to invite you to the annual Global Fair on Friday, October 28 between 1:00 to 4:00pm. The fair will be held in the brand new Meliora Grand Ballroom in Douglass Commons.  At the fair, you will be able to talk with partner universities from around the world, education abroad advisers, students that have returned from abroad, and representatives from UR offices and departments.  There will also be special performances by Celtic and RICE Crew in addition to games and prizes at the fair.  We hope to see you there! 


Editor: Lena Ovcharov, International Student Advisor