From: International Student Services
Date: June 30, 2021
Subject: ISS News, June 30, 2021: Important Reminders, CWRU COVID-19 Website, University Closed July 5, CWRU Take Two, Good Vibes, & More


June 30, 2021


in this issue:

  1. We Hear Your Questions
  2. ISS Closed- Monday, July 5
  3. CWRU Take Two- ISS Closing Early on Fridays in June & July
  4. Need a Fresh Travel Signature?
  5. OPT & CPT Workshops
  6. How to Request a Cap-Gap I-20
  7. Update to Interim Policy
  8. Features
  9. Campus Happenings
  10. Other Opportunities
  11. Good Vibes Only


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

11am to 3pm- through virtual advising available online

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.

covid 19 website image

We Hear Your Questions

ISS has been receiving many emails over the past few weeks and the most popular topics on your minds right now are:

  • vaccine policy
  • quarantining
  • testing

We hear you!  We want to know more about these things too and to be able to give you better answers than “we are still waiting for information” or “we do not yet know.”  Truthfully, there is a lot that we just cannot answer definitively right now because of the fluidity of the situation and the challenge of planning for the future.  

The best resources we can share right now are:

Please continue to keep in touch with ISS throughout the spring and summer.  We will continue to do our best to answer your questions and support you.  As we learn more, as policies become finalized, and as plans become more concrete, ISS will continue to share information with you.  We will send messages directly to your email accounts, we will include information in ISSNews, and we will update our website.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding!

fireworks over cleveland

ISS Closed- Monday, July 5

The university will be closed on Monday, July 5 in observance of Independence Day

Regular business hours will resume on Tuesday, July 6.

In the event of an emergency, please follow the protocol listed on our website.

schedule change written on post-it notes with blue push pin

CWRU Take Two- ISS Closing Early on Fridays in June & July

CWRU Take Two is back on Fridays in June and July so staff will be unavailable as of 3 p.m.. and appointment times will be adjusted to end earlier in the day as well. Please plan any Friday visits accordingly.

Regular Friday business hours will resume in August.

stormtrooper meme about getting a travel signature

Need a Fresh Travel Signature?

If you need a travel signature, don't panic! ISS can help. Read about what to do on our Travel and Reentry pages for F-1 and J-1 students.

You can also request a travel signature using our electronic form here.

OPT and CPT online workshops available

OPT & CPT Workshops

If you're still planning to apply for OPT or CPT, don't forget to complete the required workshop, which goes over in detail the application process, student responsibilities, and other important considerations.  Workshops are available online to complete at your convenience.  Advisor-led workshops will resume in the Fall.

For more information about OPT and CPT, visit our website. Please be sure to very carefully read all of the information there and to contact ISS if you have any additional questions with which staff can assist.

H1B Visa image

How to Request a Cap-Gap I-20

If you've properly filed for a change of status to H-1B or been selected to receive an H-1B, you may be eligible for the cap-gap extension. To qualify for the H-1B cap-gap extension you must have:

  • timely filed your petition
  • requested an employment start date of October 1 of the current year
  • requested a change of status
  • not violated the terms or conditions of your current F-1 status

The cap-gap extension automatically extends a student's duration of status (time period during which an F-1 student is legally present) in the United States. If a student is on a period of valid post-completion OPT at the time the H-1B petition is filed, employment authorization is also extended. For students who complete their period of valid post-completion OPT and are on their 60 day grace period at the time the H-1B petition is timely filed, their duration of status will also be extended, but does not extend any kind of work authorization during that time.

ISS can help you obtain a cap-gap I-20 if you meet all of the above criteria. Below is some information about our policies for creating your cap-gap I-20.

Please be aware that ISS is not provided any advanced notification of an H-1B petition being selected. SEVIS only contains H-1B information once the USCIS system called CLAIMS properly updates it. CLAIMS also updates the SEVP Portal; students have access to the exact information that staff does.

ISS' ability to generate a cap-gap I-20 is completely dependent on the SEVIS record being properly updated by USCIS' CLAIMS. Cap-gap functionality in SEVIS is directly linked to information being properly transferred from CLAIMS and a student's SEVIS record indicating that the petition is either pending or approved. When the transfer of information and functionality are working properly, a cap-gap I-20 can be provided within about 5 business days. To initiate the request for your cap-gap I-20:

  • Log in to Terra Dotta via
  • click on this link.
  • Complete the electronic form and upload all of the necessary materials. ISS must have these items on file in order to process your request.
  • Wait to hear from ISS. Please be very mindful of both your timing of this request and the timing that ISS requires (5-7 business days) to process the required paperwork for you. This is an extremely busy time in our office and we appreciate your patience!

In cases where a student has received either receipt information or an approval notice for the H-1B petition but CLAIMS has not properly updated the SEVIS record, an I-20 cannot be generated by ISS since the option to create the I-20 is actually not available in the computer system. A manual update to fix the data must be requested by ISS. These data fixes can take several weeks, even months, before they're resolved and before ISS will initiate one, the student must discuss the process with an advisor.

Once ISS is able to prepare a student's cap-gap I-20, an advisor will send an email when it's ready. If ISS is unable to prepare the cap-gap I-20 for any reason, an advisor will contact the student via email to discuss next steps.

update written across colorful arrows

Update to Interim Policy

ISS' interpretation and understanding of regulations related to unauthorized employment and other violations of status related to training has changed.  Very shortly, ISS will be removing the Interim Policy from our website and adding updated information that is completely in line with federal regulations.  All of this is being done in an effort to ensure that students remain well-informed and fully compliant with federal regulations.

Violations of this type are uncommon and ISS does not anticipated anything but a smooth transition for students moving forward.  If you have questions, please email so that we can help you.


CLE Bucket List Flyer

Campus Happenings

3MT flyer

Other Opportunities

global rising

Learn About a Nine-Month Leadership and Professional
Program for International Newcomers In Northeast Ohio

Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge logo

Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge 2021 Ends July 15

Welcome to the 2021 Trail Challenge, a guest led program where you discover new trails throughout Cleveland Metroparks on your own, move to better health, discover the wonders of nature, and earn awards along the way! 

rethinking youth justice flyer

Rethinking Youth Justice

This 1 credit hour course is open to students across majors and does not have any prerequisites.

This class will discuss some of the most pressing issues that face the juvenile justice system, especially during the pandemic, such as racial/ethnic disproportionality in the juvenile justice system, substance abuse, mental disorders, and the school to prison pipeline. Through participating in various class activities (e.g., case studies, group discussions, videos, and mini-lectures), students will develop an insight into the role of social work in juvenile delinquency prevention and treatment. This course will also bring an international perspective with an overview of social work practice in different countries.

teaching image

UNIV 401: Advanced Professional Development for University Teaching

Registration for Advanced Professional Development for University Teaching (UNIV401) is open now for all graduate students and post-docs.
Anyone interested in a future as a faculty member or educator at the university level should consider this free course.

Taught by experienced teachers, this course offers participants the chance to learn more about the theory and practice of teaching and learning. The course will feature small group discussions about the theories of teaching and learning, opportunities to observe experienced university faculty, and practice through micro-teaching sessions.

Participants will receive a certificate of completion.

This course will take place on Tuesdays during the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

Two sections are available.

Participants will be expected to read assignments, complete weekly journal assignments, develop a course outline and syllabus, plan and teach a mini-lesson, and participate fully in all discussions and online sessions.

This course is open to students, post-docs, and research scholars.

Enrollment is via the Student Information System.

If you have any additional questions, please email

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!

2020: the Musical image from the tonight show

This needs no further description...