From: VISA Office
Date: September 7, 2022
Subject: ISS News, September 7, 2022: Check In with ISS, Registration & Your Visa Status, Asian Mid-Autumn Mooncakes, Study Abroad Fair, Onboarding Survey, CPT & OPT Information, Wellness Programs, Welcoming Week, Good Vibes, and More

ISS news header

September 7, 2022


in this issue:

  1. Check In with ISS
  2. SEVP Guidance for the Academic Year
  3. Registration & Your Visa Status
  4. Waiver of Registration Information
  5. Working as an International Student
  6. Chat with ISS Staff During Virtual Advising Hours
  7. Graduating at the End of the Semester? Think About OPT
  8. Features
  9. Campus Happenings
  10. Other Opportunities
  11. Good Vibes Only
  12. CPT Workshops
  13. Drivers, Know When to Stop for a School Bus
  14. Understanding Hazing
  15. Sprintax Offers Introduction to US Taxes Webinar
  16. University Health Counseling Services Offers Timely Care


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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Check In with ISS

Students New to CWRU or Beginning a New Program at CWRU:

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:

If you are on campus this semester to begin your program, please access the Instructions on How to Check In with ISS and complete the process immediately. Check-in is a time-sensitive process.

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 fall, 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. 

Thank you for your attention and cooperation!

cwru sign on binary walk way

SEVP Guidance for Academic Year 2022- 2023

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) would continue to apply its flexible guidance through the 2022-2023 academic year. As a result, international students will be able to engage in distance learning that exceeds existing regulatory limits in light of the pandemic’s ongoing public health risks and safety concerns. 

ISS' website with COVID-19 Updates now includes access to this SEVP guidance for Academic Year 2022-2023 and we will continue utilizing all of the tools and processes that we have in place to make sure that students are properly registered to maintain their status. 

If we learn or any new information, we will continue to make updates to the website and send communications to you.

Please contact ISS staff at with any questions or concerns and we will do our best to support you.

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Registration & Your Visa Status

As the university's deadline for the drop/add period approaches (it's this 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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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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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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CPT Workshops

ISS is offering Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Workshops to go over in detail the application process, student responsibilities, and other important considerations. The workshop schedule is now available on our website.

Being well informed about CPT before you apply is a must. ISS feels very strongly about this, which is why we require all students to complete a workshop prior to applying for each CPT authorization. ISS will not accept CPT applications from students who have not completed a workshop in a timely manner.

For more information about completing a required CPT workshop and other details about CPT, visit our website and scroll down to the CPT section. Please be sure to very carefully read all of the information there.

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Graduating at the End of the Semester?  Think About Optional Practical Training

Being well informed about OPT before you apply is a must. ISS feels very strongly about this, which is why we require all students to complete a workshop. ISS will be offering Optional Practical Training (OPT) Workshops to go over in detail the application process, student responsibilities, and other considerations. 

A complete OPT Workshop schedule will be available shortly- check future editions of ISSNews for schedule announcements.  Be sure to either register to attend your preferred advisor-led session or access the presentation online before you complete your OPT application.

Completing a workshop (in one of the formats- ISS highly recommends the advisor-led sessions!) during the semester that you intend to apply for OPT is required as part of the application process. You do not need to have a job offer or any definitive employment plans to complete a workshop or apply for OPT!

If you have questions, get in touch during advising hours. Remember, only ISS staff can advise you about the procedures for OPT!

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University Health & Counseling Service Offers Timely Care

In addition to support offered through UH&CS, all CWRU students can all access TimelyCare at no-cost! 

What Services are Available? 

  • Talk Now- 24/7 in the moment mental health support. 
  • Scheduled Ccounseling- sccheduled visits with a licensed counselor, including nights and weekends. 
  • Medical Visits- 24/7, on-demand and scheduled visits with a licensed medical provider. 
  • Workshops and classes- On-demand and live workshops and classes including yoga and meditation. 

Download the TimelyCare app through your app store or visit the TimelyCare website to enroll. 

hazing infographic
bus safety diagram

When to Stop for a School Bus

School is back in session (or will be very soon) for children all across the country. That means that you'll notice many school buses on the road as they pick up children early in the morning and bring them home in the afternoon. It is important to know when, as a driver, you must stop for school buses.
Here's a diagram to help remind you of the driving regulations. It shows that:

  • on roads with less than 4 lanes, traffic must stop in both directions

  • on roads with 4 lanes or more, traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop. Opposite traffic may proceed with caution.

Many school buses are equipped with cameras and police issue citations based on video evidence and statements from bus drivers. Please drive safely so that everyone is safe!

Sprintax logo

Sprintax Introduction to US Taxes

The staff members in ISS are not tax experts, so the office partners with Sprintax to help students get all of the tax-related information that they need.

In this online session, Wednesday, September 21, 12:30 p.m. EDT, the Sprintax team will be providing an introduction to US taxes for new and incoming international students, scholars, and professionals.

Topics covered will include an outline of filing obligations for nonresidents, tax information around working in the USA, and other resources to help nonresidents to understand their tax obligations while in the USA.

We hope you'll consider attending so that you feel prepared for the upcoming 2022 tax filing season. At that time, ISS will notify students about Sprintax tools that are available for use.



Asian Mid-Autumn Mooncakes 2022

Friday, September 9
1:00pm - 2:00pm
Private Location (register to display)
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All CWRU students are invited to celebrate the Asian Mid-Autumn Festival on Friday, September 9 from 1-2 pm on the Case Quad!

The Center for International Affairs will be handing out FREE mooncakes and stuffed rabbits as long as supplies last!

The Asian Mid-Autumn Festival is a celebration of a successful harvest throughout much of Eastern Asia and is enjoyed by bringing together families and friends. It goes by many names including Tet Trung Thu, Tsukimi and Chuseok.

Traditions vary, but often include celebrating the harvest of rice and wheat by eating special desserts like mooncakes, sharing stories, and hanging lanterns. The moon is an important part of the holiday, and it's common for celebrations to take place at night to provide an opportunity to enjoy it. The rabbit is a popular symbol of the festival based on Chinese mythology.

You can learn more about the festival with the Kelvin Smith Library's Asian Mid-Autumn Festival Resource Guide:



CWRU Study Abroad Fair 2022

Friday, September 9
10:00am - 2:00pm
Private Location (register to display)
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Join us for the annual CWRU Study Abroad Fair on Friday, September 9 from 10 am - 2 pm outdoors on the Case Quad! The Study Abroad Fair features all of the various options available to CWRU students: faculty-led CWRU courses that go abroad over school break times, full summer and semester programs abroad, internships and research abroad and so much more! International representatives of study abroad programs, CWRU faculty who lead programs, CWRU students who have gone abroad and CWRU's Study Abroad Advisors will all be in one place to help you start your journey abroad! Study Abroad CAN fit into your time at CWRU!

EA winter break 2022 flyer
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Campus Happenings


CWRU Innovation Week 2022

Monday, September 12 at 12:30pm
to Friday, September 16 at 3:00pm
TVUC and Thwing Center, 10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, United States
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Celebrate and engage in Case Western Reserve University’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship during our inaugural Innovation Week, Monday, Sept. 12, to Friday, Sept. 16. All interested faculty, staff, students are encouraged to attend. Free lunch is included at all events!

During Innovation Week, attendees will learn more about:
- Case Western Reserve’s amazing success stories of innovation and their impact on the world;
- Innovation and why it is a crucial element of academics and research;
- Mechanistic activities that comprise invention disclosure and patenting;
- The value and importance of working with external entities, third-party collaborators and industry partners; and
- Support programs and protocols for applying for innovation funding.

Events will include five daily lunch sessions (lunch is free!)—including a kick-off panel discussion featuring advice from venture capitalists Monday, Sept. 12—as well as a celebration from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, to honor our top faculty innovators. All students and postdocs encouraged to enter the Pitch-Your-Poster Contest on Friday, Sept. 16 for a chance to win one of up to ten $1,000 awards!

Register for each Innovation Week event below.

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Become a 2022-2023 Civic Engagement Scholar

The Civic Engagement Scholars program, hosted by the Center for Civic Engagement & Learning (CCEL), promotes meaningful student involvement in the community. Scholars complete 30 civic engagement hours in their choice of direct service, advocacy, philanthropy, political involvement, and more over the academic year. They also participate in educational events to enhance their understanding of Cleveland and social change. Upon successful completion, Scholars earn a Certificate of Distinction recognizing their commitment to community. Open to undergraduate and graduate students; many students participate multiple years.

The Scholars enrollment form is due by 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, September 18. Visit the Civic Engagement Scholars website for more information.

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Click Here to Check Out University Health & Counseling Services Wellness Offerings

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Upcoming University Career Fairs

Engineering, Technology and Science Virtual Career Fair
Monday, Sept. 26, 2022 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT

Employers who attend this event are interested in recruiting CWRU students and alumni who are seeking careers in the fields of engineering, computer science, natural sciences, and more.

Business, Arts and Service Virtual Career Fair
Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 | 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT

Employers who attend this event are interested in recruiting CWRU students who are seeking careers in the fields of business, social sciences, law/government, public service, art, and more.

Virtual Career Fair
Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022 | 2 to 5 p.m. EDT

Through Handshake’s virtual fair platform, you'll meet employers through scheduled one-on-one meetings and group information sessions.

Stay up-to-date on all career fair details on the Post-Graduate Planning and Experiential Education website.

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Free Access Program

See What Cleveland Has to Offer - Free for CWRU Students

Other Opportunities

Welcoming week flyer

Global Cleveland Invites You to Welcoming Week

chalk festival at cma from

Cleveland Museum of Art Hosts Chalk Festival, September 10 and 11

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!


Usher's Tiny Desk Concert and the Memes He Inspired

If you would like to promote your event or opportunity through ISSNews, please make a complete submission (including flyers, images, details, etc.) for consideration by noon on Monday to ISS cannot guarantee that all submissions will appear in the newsletter, as space is limited, but staff will review all timely submissions for consideration.