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Current ISO Student News

Issue 12: March 16, 2017


Table of Contents

  1. Upcoming Workshops: Work After Graduation (3/17) & Academic Internships (3/31) (more)
  2. H-1B Temporary Worker Petitions in 2017 (more)
  3. Summary Available on New Executive Order (more)
  4. Tax Filing Deadline is April 18! (more)
  5. RGCSpotlight: International Game Night – Friday, March 24 (more)
  6. Campus FocusAfrikanza (March 25) & Korea Night (March 31) (more)


Upcoming Workshops: Work After Graduation (3/17) & Academic Internships (3/31)

Work After Graduation & OPT Application Procedures
Friday, March 17 - 2:00 to 3:30 pm
Dewey 1-101, 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 F-1 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!

Students in J-1 status are recommended to make an appointment with an ISO advisor to discuss employment permissions after graduation.

Academic Internships & CPT Application Procedures 
Friday, March 31 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Dewey 1-101, River Campus

If you are a current international student who is interested in pursuing an internship, then this employment workshop is for you! This workshop will cover various work authorizations available under current F-1 and J-1 regulations, along with alternative options for those with limited eligibility, which will allow students to pursue an internship opportunity during their program of study. This workshop will also offer detailed guidance on applying for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). 


H-1B Temporary Worker Petitions in 2017

Similar to recent years, there is an expectation that the quota for new H-1B Temporary Worker petitions will be exhausted very quickly in 2017. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept H-1B petitions through the first week of April and hold a lottery if there are more applications than the quota will allow, as is expected. Therefore, if you are currently working on OPT that will expire before April 2018 and would like to continue working through next year, it is important that your employer begin preparations now to file the H-1B petition promptly between April 3 and 7. If you are graduating this May or June, it is likely that the H-1B will already be exhausted by that time; under current regulations, you will need to work with your employer to file the H-1B petition during the same time next year while pursuing authorized F-1 OPT.

Please note: If your application is selected, the H-1B petition may make you eligible for the OPT Cap-Gap Extension, which extends your existing F-1 employment authorization to September 30 to avoid any gap in work permission prior to the H-1B taking effect on October 1. Please see the ISO webpage about the Cap-Gap Extension for more information. 

Effective April 3rd, USCIS will suspend premium processing requests for all H-1B petitions, which normally guarantees prompt processing and a decision notification usually by May. Due to the suspension of this service, it may take several months to learn whether and when your change of status to H-1B is approved. If you are eligible for the 24-Month STEM Extension and are considering this option as a back-up plan, it may not be possible to wait until you learn the outcome of your H-1B petition before filing that application. As a reminder, USCIS must receive your complete STEM application before your initial 12-month OPT expires! Please contact ISO (+1 585-275-2866 or to schedule an appointment to discuss the STEM Extension in further detail. Phone appointments are welcome if you are not in Rochester!


Summary Available on New Executive Order

On March 6, 2017, President Trump issued a new Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”. This order (#13780) revokes and replaces the previous order by the same title from January 27, which was subject to legal challenges and a Temporary Restraining Order in February. The new order is scheduled to take effect Thursday, March 16. However, recent legal challenges have resulted in another Temporary Restraining Order, which creates some uncertainty about this timing. Along with other resources and presentation materials, the ISO has provided a brief summary outlining important provisions of this Executive Order and earlier ones related to immigration policy. Please visit our page on Recent Immigration Actions.


Tax Filing Deadline is April 18!

We are just one month away from the end of our current tax season!  As a reminder, international students and scholars who are present in the US during any portion of 2016 must comply with Federal and State tax filing requirements.  The required forms will depend on your residency status for tax purposes, your US earnings in 2016, and eligibility for any treaty benefits.  Most tax forms are due by April 18.  More information and resources are available online to help you File Your Taxes.


RGC Spotlight: International Game Night – Friday, March 24

International Game Night
Friday – March 24, 2017
6:00PM to 9:00PM
Five Star Bank Community Room
395 Westfall Road, Rochester, NY, 14620
For the first time ever, RGC is hosting an International Game Night! The event will feature at least six different board games or card games from around the world. International Students and volunteers will help teach and lead the games from their native countries. Register here. Members/volunteers will bring homemade Chili, a traditional American soup that is often made during the cold winter months. If you'd like to bring a game, please specify the type of game on the registration form and RGC will follow up with details. This event is free! Members, students, and friends welcome. The event will be family friendly, but most games will not be age appropriate for children under 8 years old.

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.  For more information about RGC, visit their website at


Campus Focus: Afrikanza (March 25) & Korea Night (March 31)

Saturday – March 25, 2017 at 6:00 PM
Douglass Ballroom, River Campus
Afrikanza is a cultural exhibition which aims to celebrate the diversity of Africa through a night of dance, music, skits, and food. Afrikanza serves as a grand finale to UR’s Pan-Africa week. It shows several cultures within the African continent through a night of African cuisine, vibrant performances, and a presentation by a keynote speaker. This event will expose the University of Rochester and the greater Rochester community to Africa’s diversity. The event will be hosted by the Pan African Students Association. Tickets may be purchased online:

Korea Night
Friday – March 31, 2017 at 7:00PM
Strong Auditorium, River Campus
Come out to KASA’s largest annual showcase featuring a series of Korean culture-based performances including K-Pop dances/songs, traditional fan dance, and Han Bok fashion show. This year KASA will present Korea Night Live (KNL), an emulation of Saturday Night Live, where all of the performances will be tied together with sketch comedy. Performing groups include KPG Hon, RICE Crew, Indulgence, Agape TaeKwonDo group, and other student groups.  Tickets are available at the Common Market in Wilson Commons on River Campus.


Editor: Lena Ovcharov, International Student Advisor