From: International Student Services
Date: January 19, 2022
Subject: ISS News, January 19, 2022: Registration and your Visa Status, Check In with ISS, Welcome [Back] Pop-ups, Tax Information, Career Events, ISAC Office Hours, Lunar New Year, Good Vibes, and More


January 19, 2022


in this issue:

  1. Registration & Your Visa Status
  2. Chat with ISS Staff During Virtual Advising Hours
  3. Waiver of Registration Information
  4. Features
  5. Campus Happenings
  6. Good Vibes Only
  7. Check In with ISS
  8. Working as an International Student
  9. Update Your Address in SIS
  10. Tax Information for 2021 Filing Year
  11. University's Plans for Spring Semester
  12. Beware of Scams
  13. Other Opportunities


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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Registration & Your Visa Status

With the end of the Drop/Add period being Friday, ISS just wants to remind you that, as international students, you are required to be properly registered for a full-time course load while you're studying in the United States as an F-1 or a J-1 student. This is mandatory by US Federal Regulations.

There are very few exceptions to full-time registration requirements and only ISS can determine whether you qualify for one of them.  Always register for full-time and never drop below a full-time courseload without first speaking with an advisor in ISS.   Improper registration could have serious consequences, including termination, for your visa status.

If you have already completed coursework abroad through online learning during previous semesters, you must still be registered full-time unless ISS determines that you qualify for an exception. 

We will be verifying each student's registration over the next several weeks. If we detect a problem with your registration or have questions, we will be contacting you by email. It's extremely important that you follow up with us promptly and work to quickly resolve the matter so that your visa status is not negatively impacted.

If you have questions, never hesitate to contact our office at or get in touch during advising hours!

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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!

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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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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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Working as an International Student

Found a job on campus? Thinking about gaining experience off-campus? Wondering what to do now? ISS is here to help!

ISS wants to remind all international students that you must be properly authorized to work by our office before you begin any kind of work.  NEVER WORK until you’ve finalized all processes with ISS.

It is very important that you follow all steps as described and do so in a timely manner. Failure to complete the required paperwork can result in you not being paid for work you've done, loss of work permission privileges, or even the termination of your visa status!

You will find a lot of helpful information about working on our website.

 And please remember, only ISS can advise you about employment and the impact it can have on your immigration status.

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Update Your Address in SIS

Federal regulations require that all international students report their current address to SEVIS and any changes within 10 days. It is also important that the university has your current address on file at all times.

The best way to ensure that you are complying with federal regulations and university policy is to check your address for accuracy in SIS and report any changes through SIS. Information in SIS is shared with ISS' system (Terra Dotta) and then ISS can report changes of information to SEVIS.

Ensuring that information is always reported to and updated in SIS ensures that you will always get the information that you need from CWRU and that you are properly maintaining your status as a student visa holder. Failure to report your address properly is a violation of status that can have serious consequences.

Tax Information for 2021 Filing Year

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Important Tax Info: Get Your W-2

If you worked and got paid during the previous calendar year, you should receive a W-2 from your employer within the next several weeks. This W-2 is required to file taxes, which all persons in the US (international students too!) must do by April 18. More information about how to file your taxes will be made available on the ISS website in mid to late February. It is currently unavailable.

Current Students: If you worked at CWRU and got paid during last calendar year, the university will generate your W-2 and send it to the US W-2 address you listed in the Student Information System (SIS). You must make sure that that address is listed in SIS to ensure that your W-2 is sent to the proper address.

Alumni: If you received payment from CWRU during the last calendar year, you must also make sure that your address is properly listed in SIS to receive the W-2.

If you have not received your W-2, you'll need to contact Payroll by email to request an appointment to pick up your W-2 in person.

More information:

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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.
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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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Calling out to all international graduate students and international graduate student organizations!

GSC, in collaboration with the International Student Advisory Council (ISAC), is looking to begin a roundtable discussion for international graduate student organizations and one or two events this semester focused for international students. If you have any interest in either of these, please fill out this short form!

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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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Career Lab is Open Offering Virtual Hours

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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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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.
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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!

fear of office hours

Do you suffer from FMOOWMP?