From: International Student Services
Date: August 5, 2020
Subject: ISS News, August 5, 2020: SEVP's Fall 2020 Guidance, Quarantine Protocol, Check In, Virtual Advising, Scam Alerts, Good Vibes, & More!


August 5, 2020


in this issue:

  1. SEVP's Fall Guidance- What You Need to Know!
  2. Chat With ISS Staff During Advising Hours
  3. BMV Reopens
  4. Applying for the SSN While Social Security Office are Closed
  5. Good Vibes Only
  6. Beware of Scams
  7. Quarantine Protocol
  8. Check In with ISS
  9. Campus Events


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.

sevp logo

SEVP's Fall Guidance- What You Need to Know! 

All students should have received an email from ISS on July 28 with information about SEVP's guidance and how it relates to the Fall 2020 semester.  The email contained detailed information about how students are eligible to maintain status and what students can expect if maintaining status is not currently an option. This communication can be found in its entirety on our website along with other communications we have sent throughout the summer.

We know that you may have questions. We welcome you to send them to us at and we will do our best to provide you with answers. We will continue to monitor the guidance and communicate with you as needed throughout the semester!

Quarantine Protocol

We look forward to welcoming our international students to Case Western Reserve University this August, but first we want to make sure that everyone is aware of the need for international travelers to quarantine.  CWRU is adhering to current CDC guidelines related to quarantine for the safety of the campus community. 

If you have not already completed a quarantine survey, please visit our website and read the information there carefully. Click on the student description that matches your situation and submit the survey that goes along with it to report your quarantine plans.  Staff members are reviewing submissions regularly and someone will reach out to you with more specific information about quarantine shortly.

check in on a computer screen

Check In with ISS

Our records indicate that you will be beginning a program at CWRU this semester. As part of the process to maintain your visa status, you need to check in online.

If you will be on campus this semester to begin your program, 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 check in by the start date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019If 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 fall, and are either attending courses remotely from abroad or deferring your admission to a future semester, report your plans using this form. DO NOT check in using the instructions above.  

Once you submit the form, your information will be logged and an ISS advisor will work with you later in the Fall to ensure that steps are taken so that you can begin your studies on campus in the future. You do not need to take any other action besides submitting the form and replying to any follow-up emails we send to you later.

ISS will begin reaching out to students after we have completed mandatory reporting requirements for all students who arrive for Fall 2020.  This process will take several weeks to complete after classes begin on August 24.
virtual advising chat box

Chat with ISS Staff Online During Advising Hours
We Are Here All Summer

Virtual Advising is available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 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.

bmv offices reopen
get in line online for BMV
ssa logo

Schedule an Appointment to Apply for SSN

While Social Security offices are closed due to COVID-19, you will need to schedule an appointment to submit your application for the SSN.  ISS staff has spoken with staff at the Shaker Heights office and here is the protocol to follow:

  1. Call 1-877-635-3546, then press "2" as an option for the first menu, then press "0" to speak with a staff member.
  2. Tell the staff member that you would like to meet with a manager to apply for the SSN.  Managers are generally available on Monday and Tuesday mornings.
  3. The staff member will ask for your full, legal name to enter your appointment in the system. Speak very slowly and clearly.  It will be helpful to spell your name using examples ( C for Charlie, A for Apple, T for Turtle, etc.).
  4. A 30 minute appointment will be scheduled for you. You MUST be prompt.  ISS recommends that you arrive 5-10 minutes early.
  5. On the day of your appointment, you must have all of your documentation in order and completed:
  6. When you arrive for your appointment, go to the front door of the office, wearing a mask, and be ready to hand your completed paperwork to the manager.
  7. The manager will take your documents inside to process and return to let you know when everything is complete.
  8. You should expect to receive your SSN at the address that you list on your SS-5 when it is ready.

We hope this information is helpful to you.  If you need to visit a different Social Security Administration, you can find a location near you by visiting their website.  Call that office and ask what their SSN application process is.

scam spelled out on keyboard

Beware of Scams

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

Campus Events

clip are of person's profile with gears and all sorts of idea bubbles

Experiential Learning for Fall

If you are interested in exploring what it is like to work in a field relevant to your degree, you might qualify for the co-op or practicum program. Both programs require course enrollment in SIS and will likely require CPT. Make sure to contact the following staff before August 10 to ensure you have enough time to complete all prerequisites before August 24.

Co-op program is for all engineering and computer science students.  Contact Genine Apidone, co-op director,

Students interested in Practicum should contact Brian Matthews, Assistant Director,

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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3D street Chalk art

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