From: International Student Services
Date: January 5, 2022
Subject: ISS News, January 5, 2022: Happy New Year, Travel Information, Return to Campus and Testing Protocol, Check In With ISS, Tax Info, Good Vibes, and More


January 5, 2022


in this issue:

  1. Happy New Year!
  2. Presidential Proclamations for Travelers Entering the US
  3. Need a Fresh Travel Signature?
  4. Chat with ISS Staff During Virtual Advising Hours
  5. Grads: Waiver of Registration Information
  6. Food Insecurity Resources
  7. Virtual Mental Health Option for CWRU Students
  8. Beware of Scams
  9. Features
  10. Campus Happenings
  11. Other Opportunities
  12. Good Vibes Only
  13. Tax Information for 2021 Filing Year
  14. Check In with ISS
  15. University's Plans for Spring Semester


ISS Staff is available to students, without an appointment, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday during advising hours:

11am to 1pm- through virtual advising available online

1pm to 3pm- through in-person advising in the office

There are no advising hours on Wednesday.


If you need to speak with an advisor outside of our advising hours, please send an email to to schedule an appointment. Please provide your full, legal name and a brief description of the nature of your appointment when you contact us.

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Presidential Proclamations for Travelers Entering the US

President Joe Biden's proclamation that applies consistent standards expected of travelers entering the U.S. is now in effect. This proclamation indicates that travelers in this category—which includes F-1 and J-1 student visa holders—must be fully vaccinated to enter this country, with some limited exceptions. The information that we currently have available is here.

Another proclamation suspends entry for certain travelers coming from high-risk areas and information can be found on the CDC's website

Please be sure that you are monitoring all travel-related policies for entering the United States as the effects of the pandemic continue to evolve. 

International Student Services continues to closely monitor developments and will update you as additional information becomes available. For questions related to university vaccination requirements, please email the university at If you have any questions related to your visa status, please do not hesitate to reach out to ISS by email or by phone at 216.368.2517. 

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University's Plans for Spring Semester

Case Western Reserve will adapt to omicron’s impact in the first weeks of the new year.  Please read the most recent university communications to learn more about plans to start the semester and Entry Testing.

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Need a Fresh Travel Signature?

If you need a travel signature to return to the United States, don't panic! You can request a travel signature using our electronic form here.

Read more about what to do on our Travel and Reentry pages for F-1 and J-1 students.

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Check In with ISS

If you are new to CWRU or beginning a new program at CWRU this semester, you need to check in online as part of the process to maintain your visa status. 

To Check In:

Please access the Instructions on How to Check In with ISS and complete the process. Please note that you:

  • check in online AFTER you arrive in the US with your valid I-20 or DS-2019

  • can check in up to 30 days before the program start date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019

  • must complete the check-in process as soon as possible. ISS uses this information to comply with the US Government's time-sensitive reporting requirements related to your SEVIS record. If there is a delay, please notify us immediately

We cannot process any on-campus employment or Social Security Number paperwork until you have been checked in.

If you will not be coming to the United States this semester, DO NOT check in using the instructions above. It is critical that you complete the survey instead.  If you have not done so yet, please do so immediately. 

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Chat with ISS Staff During Virtual Advising Hours

ISS offers virtual advising on-demand to answer quick questions from 11 am - 1 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Watch this video to find out how to access virtual advising and talk to an advisor through our online chat!

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Grads: Waiver of Registration Information

If you are a graduate student planning to submit a Waiver of Registration, it is essential that you understand the impact of this decision on your visa status. The Waiver of Registration is an administrative process of the university, but does not fulfill federal regulations that stipulate a requirement to be properly registered at all times. Proper registration is required to maintain your visa status and if you are not properly registered, you need to take other steps to maintain your visa status.

Keep in mind:

  • By virtue of submitting a Waiver of Registration, ISS is obligated to shorten the length of your I-20 to reflect the Drop/Add deadline. Your legal status in the US actually becomes shorter because it is now based on this Drop/Add deadline rather than your future intended graduation date.
  • In order to maintain your visa status after submitting a Waiver of Registration, you must, in a timely manner, either apply for OPT or make arrangements to begin a new academic program.

OPT applications must be submitted within the 60 day grace period following the new Drop/Add deadline. Don't forget, it takes an average of 90-120 days for an OPT application to be processed. If you wait too long to apply, you're not likely going to be authorized for your full 12 months of OPT.

If you intend to begin another academic program, to maintain your current F-1 status (and SEVIS record), your new academic program must start within 5 months of the Drop/Add deadline. Any program beginning later than 5 months will result in you falling out of status.

If you do not intend to maintain your status either through OPT or continued education, you are required to leave the United States within 60 days of the Drop/Add deadline. Remaining in the US beyond the 60 day grace period can have extremely negative consequences such as fines and being barred from the US in the future.

Please get in touch with ISS if you have additional questions or concerns. We are here to help!

Tax Information for 2021 Filing Year

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Important Tax Info: Make Sure You Get Your W-2

Every year, ALL individuals in F and J status must file taxes- including spouses, young children- even if they haven't earned any income!

The W-2 is a critical document for properly filing taxes. Every year between January and February, the university generates W-2 documents for individuals who have earned income from CWRU.

When your W-2 is generated, it's sent to your Permanent Address as listed in SIS. Please take a moment to verify that your correct Permanent Address is listed in SIS (make any updates as needed by December 15) to ensure that you'll receive your W-2.

If your Permanent Address is current, but you would prefer to have your W-2 sent to another address, it is necessary for you to include that address under the W-2 Override option in SIS no later than December 15. Using the W-2 Override function will maintain the integrity of your Permanent Address information and ensure that you receive your W-2 at the different, preferred address.

Please contact Payroll if you have questions about receiving your W-2.

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Sprintax Offers Tax Webinars to Prepare for Tax Filing Season 2021

ISS partners with the tax experts at Sprintax who offer tax filing services to international students that are considered non-resident aliens for tax purposes. The Sprintax team will be hosting a series of free open tax webinars to provide helpful information around non-resident tax filing obligations.

You can find the details and registration links below for each:  The informational webinars will cover the same topics on each occasion:
  • An overview of tax for nonresident students and scholars
  • Who must file a 2021 US tax return
  • What income forms students may receive
  • Forms that need to be completed and sent to the IRS
  • Terms like FICA, ITIN, and Form 1098-T
  • What happens if students don’t file or misfile
  • State tax returns
  • Sprintax overview
Sprintax also released a new blog, How to Prepare for the 2021 US Tax season, which you are welcome to view.

Sprintax will also be hosting two free open tax webinars for students who are authorized for OPT/CPT to learn more about their tax responsibilities as well.
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Food Insecurity Resources

There are various food pantries for students who are facing food insecurity.  Take a look at the list of the different food pantries and other resources available on campus and in the community.

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Virtual Mental Health Option for CWRU Students

Don't forget that you have access to CWRU Care from wherever you are, even during winter break!  CWRU Care is a 24/7 mental telehealth care service that undergraduate, graduate and professional students can access whenever they need it.

For more information about the program or to make an appointment, please visit

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Beware of Scams

ISS wants to make sure that international students are aware of scams and know how to protect themselves.  Visit our website for more information.


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Campus Happenings

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Apply to Become an Orientation Leader

Share your excitement and knowledge about Case Western Reserve University with new students and their families as a 2022 orientation leader.

Learn how to become an orientation leader and register for an information session.

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Attend the Career and Internship Connections Career Fair

Case Western Reserve University is a member of the Career and Internship Connections (CIC), a 16-school consortium that hosts an annual job and internship fair for opportunities in the New York area.

The 2022 CIC Career Fair will take place virtually in Handshake on Wednesday, Jan. 12 2022, from 2 to 5 p.m. At the fair, you can interact with companies from a wide range of industries, learn about internship and full-time opportunities and make connections for future interviews.

Student registration opens Monday, Dec. 13 in Handshake.


2022 Spring Student Activities Fair

Thursday, January 20, 2022
10:00am - 7:00pm
Tinkham Veale University Center Ballroom , TVUC 148, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, United States
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Blast Off with the Spring Student Activities Fair! Explore the different organizations and clubs that the Case Western Reserve Universe has to offer. There will be food and the chance to win prizes that are out of this world!

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Spring Career Fair Events Hosted by
Post-Graduate Planning and Experiential Education

Career Conversations (In Person)
Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022 — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Career Conversations is an on-campus networking event at Case Western  Reserve University. Held the week prior to the career fair, this event is an in-person opportunity for employers to meet CWRU students and alumni face-to-face.

Employers will be recruiting students of all majors for all kinds of opportunities, including internships, co-ops, practicum experiences, full-time jobs, and more. Employers typically send CWRU alumni as representatives, so this is a great networking opportunity, even if you're not in the market for a position.

Learn more and register in Handshake.

Get Experienced! Career Fair (Virtual)
Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022 — Noon to 4 p.m.
Get a jump start on your semester by registering to attend the CWRU Spring 2022 Get Experienced! Virtual Career Fair. This event is open to all majors.

Employers who attend this event are interested in recruiting CWRU students and alumni who are seeking careers in all industries and interest areas. Participants who attend this event will learn important information on internships, co-ops, practicum, and full-time employment. This event will also serve as a great opportunity to network with CWRU alumni and industry professionals.

Learn more and register in Handshake.

Three Minute Thesis Competition Information

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Research Communications Workshops- Three Minute Thesis

Research Communications Workshop for Three Minute Thesis (IN-PERSON)

Wednesday, January 19, 2022
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
  • Are you interested in participating in CWRU's Three Minute Thesis (3MT)? 

  • Want to know more about research communication? 

  • Want to refine your presentation skills? 

  • Join our in-person workshop! 

Details & Workshop Registration:

Can't join in-person or are busy on January 19, join us virtually on January 20.

Research Communications Workshop for Three Minute Thesis (VIRTUAL)
Thursday, January 20, 2022
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

  • Are you interested in participating in CWRU's Three Minute Thesis (3MT)? 

  • Want to know more about research communication? 

  • Want to refine your presentation skills? 

  • Join our in-person workshop!

Details & Workshop Registration:

Confirmed registration for CWRU's 3MT competition is not required to participate in the workshops.

Please note, both workshops (in-person January 19 and virtual January 20) will contain the same materials.

Questions? Contact the 3MT Steering Committee:


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Other Opportunities

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Good Vibes Only

During this very challenging time, ISS staff wants you to know that we are thinking about you- hoping you are safe, healthy, staying positive- and sending out good vibes!

In this section, we are including some things that we hope will make you laugh and smile, help you relax, be entertaining, give you something to do, etc.

This is a good vibes only section!

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Ringo Starr, Jimmy Fallon & the Roots Sing "Yellow Submarine" with Classroom Instruments