From: International Student Services
Date: September 30, 2020
Subject: ISS News, September 30, 2020: New Proposed Rule to Eliminate Duration of Status, Asian Mid-Autumn Festival, Did You Miss Orientation with ISS, CPT & OPT Workshops, USCIS Fees Increase, Welcome from Mayor Jackson, Good Vibes, & More!


September 30, 2020


in this issue:

  1. Features
  2. Campus Happenings
  3. Other Opportunities
  4. Good Vibes Only
  5. OPT & CPT Workshops
  6. USCIS Fee Increases Effective October 2, 2020
  7. Orientation With ISS
  8. New Proposed Rule to Eliminate Duration of Status


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.

DHS logo

New Proposed Rule to Eliminate Duration of Status


To Our International Students

The Office of International Student Services (ISS) has been receiving many questions about the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new Proposed Rule, published on September 25, to eliminate duration of status for F-1 and J-1 students and their respective dependents. You can find a summary here that breaks down DHS’ 256 page proposal into very clear, digestible key points.

The Office of International Student Services (ISS), others at the university, and our colleagues at institutions across the country are reviewing the proposed rule now. It is very complex and it will take some time to understand fully all of the information that is currently available. I am sure we will also find aspects of the proposal about which we have questions and will need further guidance and clarification from DHS.

Please know that nothing about this proposed rule is yet final. The proposed rule will go through a comment period, open for 30 days. Once the proposed rule is finalized, it usually takes effect 30 days in the future and it is not until that effective date that the changes become law. As our summer experience shows, the proposal the U.S. Government makes is not necessarily going to take effect as is—or at all. That said, we are evaluating the proposal closely

We know that this proposal has the potential to affect students’ and their families’ lives significantly. ISS staff will keep you informed and continue to support you in any way we can as this situation continues to develop.

Please stay in touch with ISS and continue to check your email addresses regularly. Feel free to email us at

Best Regards,

Marielena Maggio, M.A.
Director, International Student Services, PDSO & ARO

world map from orientation presentation

Orientation With ISS

Did you miss orientation materials provided by ISS?

The orientation materials review the most fundamental rules and regulations in order to help you maintain your visa status as well as resources that ISS provides to enhance your time at Case Western Reserve University

If you have not viewed the information already, be sure to do so now by logging into Terra Dotta here.  Information about culture shock is also available to students who would like to learn more.

opt and cpt workshop branding telling students to complete a workshop

OPT & CPT Workshops

ISS is offering Optional Practical Training (OPT) and CPT Workshops to go over in detail the application process, student responsibilities, and other important considerations.

Being well informed before applying for either authorization is extremely important and applying early is critical!

USCIS is publishing that it takes 3-5 months to process submitted OPT applications. Plan to complete a required OPT workshop as early as possible to be best prepared. Remember, you do not need to have a job offer to apply for OPT!

You do need to have a job offer before applying for CPT authorization and you are not eligible to begin your experience until you have proper authorization in place. It can take several days to become authorized.

Virtual OPT workshops led by an advisor have been scheduled and information about required registration, attendance, and the application process can be found on our website under the OPT section. ISS staff is still planning the virtual CPT workshops with an advisor and more information will be shared through ISSNews when it is available.

uscis logo

USCIS Fee Increases

Effective October 2, 2020

USCIS published a final rule on August 3, 2020, which will go into effect on October 2, 2020. Any petition postmarked on or after October 2, 2020 must include the fees as listed in this new rule.

OPT and STEM OPT petitions (Form I-765) will increase in cost from $410 to $550. If you do not submit the appropriate fee at the time you apply, your application will not be processed and you will experience delays in receiving your authorization. Please plan to apply early to avoid the fee increase and so that you receive your authorization sooner rather than later.

Several other petitions are being affected by this rule and more complete information can be found in Table 1 of the Federal Register.


asian mid autumn festival flyer


Asian Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration Giveaway

Thursday, October 1
10:00am - 3:00pm
Outside Tomlinson Hall, Tomlinson Hall, Room 143 , United States
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Case Western Reserve University students are invited to celebrate Asian Mid-Autumn Festival with a free celebration giveaway provided by the Center for International Affairs!

As safety measures related to COVID-19 prevent us from gathering for a large event this year, the Center wants to make sure students are equipped with some festival traditions to celebrate the holiday.

On Thursday, October 1, Center for International Affairs staff will be handing out the Asian Mid-Autumn Festival giveaway items which include free mooncakes and CWRU rabbit stress balls.

The giveaway will take place outside Tomlinson Hall from 10 am to 3 pm or as long as supplies last. Masks and social distancing measures will be required during pickup (for example, standing 6 feet apart from anyone else picking up items).

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.

The Center for International Affairs hopes to inspire that same holiday feeling on campus this year.

To learn more about the Asian Mid-Autumn Festival, visit the Center’s website:

mayor frank jackson

Welcome from Mayor Frank Jackson

scholarship flyer for study abroad

Study Abroad Scholarships Available for 2021 Programs!

The Office of Education Abroad is accepting applications for Spring 2021, Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 study abroad programs - and has scholarships available for those terms!

Students are encouraged to get a jump on their plans to become successful in a global marketplace by planning for an affordable study abroad experience now!

Applications for Spring 2021 study abroad programs are due September 15 and scholarship applications for Spring 2021 are due October 1.

You can find more information here.

October Study Abroad Friday Forums

Explore opportunities to take your education around the world with Study Abroad Friday Forums in October!

The forums begin on October 9 with how and where to study abroad as an engineering student. On October 16, the forum will focus on study abroad options for students needing accommodations. Then, take a trip “down under” on the 23 to explore programs in Australia and New Zealand, and end the month by discovering business programs available in Europe on October 30.

Each Study Abroad Friday Forum begins at 1 pm on Facebook Live - and most of October’s events are co-hosted by the departments and schools that will be featured!

Make sure to follow CWRU Study Abroad on Facebook at so you don’t miss out!

study abroad forums in October
CLE Bucket List Flyer

Campus Happenings

Eyes on Justice: A zoom protest at CWRU fyler

During the week of September 28, the #webelonghere movement at CWRU has organized a zoom protest.  All CWRU students are invited to participate in this protest and you may notice your classmates' zoom profile pictures looking different if they are participating.  

Starting September 28, students will make their zoom profile picture a photo of a Black victim of police brutality with the name of that person clearly displayed. 

Students will turn off their cameras during all classes and display the image.

Students will participate in classes, but only by unmuting themselves, not by turning on their camera.

For more information, please reach out to the #webelonghere movement at CWRU.

Upcoming Virtual Fairs


Culture, Community and Public Service Fair

When | Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 4 to 7 p.m. EDT

About | Employers who attend this event are interested in recruiting CWRU students who are seeking careers in social sciences, law/ government, public service, art, and more. 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. This event is open to all majors, students and alumni!

Register for the Culture, Community and Public Service Fair in Handshake.


2020 CWRU Fall Leadership Conference

Saturday, October 3
11:00am - 12:00pm
Video Conferencing Link
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CWRU's annual Fall Leadership Conference exposes undergraduate and graduate students to the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to lead with purpose, so participants are inspired to positively impact our student organization and leadership community! Join us on Zoom as this year's keynote speaker, Tawan Perry talks about leading with character, empathy, and finding your "signal" on and off-campus in the wake of recent national protests, what the future looks like, and how to best prepare!

Instead of doing breakout workshops the same day, we will be spreading those workshops out throughout the fall semester. Based on feedback from our student organizations, we have identified four topical areas of need that will serve as the foundation for our workshops:
Leadership & Advocacy
Inclusive Leadership
Building a Virtual Community
Navigating Politics as a Student Leader

Registration information for the workshops will be available soon, but you can register for our speaker today!

sparty on a homecoming float

Homecoming Weekend
October 8-11, 2020

Each fall, the Case Western Reserve University community gathers to celebrate the achievements of those within our ranks, exchange ideas, and reconnect at a tradition known as Homecoming. CWRU is committed to providing virtual experiences so that the members of the CWRU alumni community can share their pride for their alma mater and the milestones achieved together.

This year, like many before, get together to celebrate Case Western Reserve University through virtual events!

Other Opportunities

tell us your story written on blackboard with chalk

Admission Collecting CWRU Undergraduate Stories

Hi from CWRU's Office of Undergraduate Admission!

We know that our current students’ experiences are important to high schoolers considering CWRU, and we know you have great insiders’ information to share.

Share your thoughts and you could be featured on our website, in print publications, emails, social media and more to help recruit the next class of CWRU students.

Just two quick steps:

  1. Complete this form.
  2. You’ll get an email with instructions to share a photo and super-quick video

Please share this message with your friends and members of your student organizations. The more the better!

Questions? Email Melissa Persensky, associate director for recruitment and strategic initiatives, at

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!

steve spangler experiment

Steve Spangler's Biggest Experiment Yet

Steve Spangler is a best-selling author, educator and Emmy award-winning science communicator who finds the most creative ways to make science fun.