From: International Student Services
Date: January 15, 2020
Subject: ISS News, Jan. 15, 2020: Welcome [Back] Party, Important Registration Reminders, Lunar New Year, Success Series Events, & More!


January 15, 2020


in this issue:

  1. Chat With ISS Staff Online or In-Person During Advising Hours!
  2. Welcome [Back] to CWRU!
  3. GRADS: Waiver of Registration Information
  4. Featured Events
  5. Campus Events
  6. Other Opportunities
  7. Registration & Your Visa Status
  8. Important: Working as an International Student
  9. Tax Information for 2019- Get Your W-2!


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

Students arranged on field to spell out CWRU

Welcome [Back] to CWRU!

For all new international students, we know that this is a very exciting time for you- classes are starting, you're getting to know Cleveland, you're learning about the United States and American culture, and you're making new friends- but remember to check in with ISS as soon as possible through your TerraDotta account at Checking-in online is the first step you must complete to properly maintain your F-1/J-1 student visa status.

For all continuing international students, don't forget to keep us up-to-date. If you've renewed a passport, gotten a new visa, or made any other substantive changes since last semester, please access your Terra Dotta account at and upload the relevant information/documents. And don't forget to update your address in SIS if you've moved!

Whether you're a new or continuing student, we're happy to have you here. We look forward to working with you while you study here at CWRU!

Please keep in mind that the university will be closed on Monday, January 20. Business hours will resume on Tuesday, January 21.

register spelled out with scrabble tiles

Registration & Your Visa Status

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 here at CWRU as an F-1 or a J-1 student. This is mandatory by US Federal Regulations. There are very few exceptions to this rule and only ISS can determine whether or not you qualify for an exception. Never register for less than full-time or drop below a full-time courseload without first speaking with an advisor in ISS. This could have serious consequences, including termination, for your visa status.

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!
image of a post it note pile with don't forget written on it

GRADS: Waiver of Registration Information

If you are a graduate student submitting a Waiver of Registration for this semester, 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!

lab worker smiling

IMPORTANT: 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.
virtual advising chat box

Chat With ISS Staff Online or In-Person During Advising Hours!

Virtual Advising is available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., EST.

If you have a question or concern that you need to address during that time frame, reach out to an advisor through the chat box. The chat box (it looks just like the picture) will be available on our website.

Please keep in mind that the advisor may be assisting multiple students, so we do appreciate your patience!

In-person advising is available 1 to 3 p.m., EST. Come by the office then (no appointment needed) to meet with an ISS advisor.

Please keep in mind that your situation may still require a visit to the office or even an appointment if an advisor determines that that is how best to serve you.

You can request an appointment by emailing Please be prepared to briefly describe the nature of your appointment when you contact us so that we can prepare. Same-day appointments are not generally available; an appointment for the next business day is typically the earliest we can schedule.

Outside of Advising Hours, students can drop off and pick up paperwork related to work permission, I-20 issuance, and other basic requests at the front desk, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Anything that requires interaction with an advisor needs to happen during Advising Hours, through whichever method is most appropriate.

Advisors are looking forward to chatting with you online and in-person!

w-2 image

Tax Information for 2019- 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:

Featured Events

Welcome party flyer


CWRU Lunar New Year 2020

Friday, January 24
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Tinkham Veale University Center, Tomlinson Hall, Room 143 , United States
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

The Lunar New Year is the most important social and economic holiday for billions of people around the world. Join CWRU to celebrate with a fireworks display, popular Asian snacks, and giveaways for students. All members of the CWRU community, alumni and the public are invited to attend this free event!

The festivities take place inside Tinkham Veale University Center starting at 7:00 pm and then move outside for fireworks at 8:00 pm!



Career Fair Prep - International Student Success Series

Wednesday, January 29
12:45pm - 2:00pm
Nord 356, 10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, United States
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

Join CIA and PGP-EE staff to prepare for the Career Fair! In this session you will learn the basics of networking and elevator pitches. Staff will help students with their pitches and practice their networking skills. Space is limited! RSVP on Campus Groups to reserve your place!


Campus Events

Cookies and Cocoa with Office of Graduate Student Life Flyer
network of people clipart

Career Connections
Shadow a CWRU Alum Over Spring Break

Workshops are scheduled for January 23 and January 24.
Click for more details about this great opportunity!


Spring Student Activities Fair- The Greatest Show at CWRU

Friday, January 24, 2020
12:00pm - 2:00pm
Tinkham Veale University Center, TVUC 148, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, United States
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

Step right up! Come one, come all to the Spring Student Activities Fair! Life's a circus here at CWRU, find your best act here! Learn about clubs and activities that you can get involved in this coming semester and the rest of your time in college.

Follow this link to get a table for your campus group!

If you have any questions, please contact Nick Kobernik at



2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation

Friday, January 17, 2020
12:45pm - 2:00pm
Tinkham Veale University Center, 11038 Bellflower Road , Cleveland, OH 444106, United States
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

Each year, Case Western Reserve University honors Martin Luther King Jr.—the holiday, the man and the legacy—with a celebration that includes a range of activities including workshops, films, panel discussions and acclaimed speakers.

Khalil Gibran Muhammad, widely known as one of the most influential authorities on racial justice in America, will headline the 2020 MLK Convocation on Friday, January 17 at 12:45 p.m. in the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Ballroom at the Tinkham Veale University Center on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.

The keynote talk will be followed by a light reception. Event is free and open to all. Online registration requested.

MLK Program

Other Opportunities

Engl415 course flyer