From: International Student Services
Date: December 18, 2019
Subject: ISS News, Dec. 18, 2019


December 18, 2019


in this issue:

  1. December- Changes in ISS Availability
  2. End of Semester Reminders
  3. Important Tax Info
  4. Featured Events
  5. Campus Events
  6. Happy Holidays
  7. Forget to Get a Travel Signature Before Leaving Campus?
  8. Accessing University Health & Counseling Services During Break
  9. Winter Break Safety Tips


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.

happy holidays with snow man clip art

Dear Students,

Finals are wrapping up and the temperatures have dropped (a bit anyway!), which means the semester is coming to an end and the holiday season is upon us!

The ISS staff would like to wish all students and their loved ones, whether near or far, a happy holiday season and a happy New Year. If you're traveling, be safe, and if you're staying locally, enjoy all of the Cleveland festivities!

Please feel free to stop by our office if we can help with anything. Be sure to read on about our December schedule as well as end of the semester reminders!

This will be our last ISSNews for 2019! We'll get back to our regular weekly Wednesday editions shortly before the start of Spring semester.

We look forward to working with you all in 2020 and seeing you at the Spring semester Welcome Party on January 16 (check out the flyer under Featured Events)!

Best Wishes,

Mar, Rachel, Adolfo, Alec, Elizabeth, Angie, and Tamara

holiday hours clip art

December- Changes in ISS Availability

ISS will have different hours of operations over the next few weeks. This schedule will be updated as needed to help you plan your visit to ISS.

Friday, December 20: ISS advisors will only be available until 3 p.m. If you need a travel signature on your I-20, plan to come to the office by 2pm.

Monday, December 23 - Wednesday, January 1: UNIVERSITY IS CLOSED

On all other days, ISS will operate and offer advising hours as usual.

ISS does close when the university closes for scheduled breaks and inclement weather. If you're ever in doubt about ISS staff's availability, we strongly recommend that you call in advance of visiting the office; we don't want you to be out in the cold, snowy weather if we're not available to help you! If you have an immigration-related emergency when we are not in the office, contact CWRU Security at 216.368.3300 and dispatch will know how to reach an ISS staff member.

keep calm the semester is about to end meme

End of Semester Reminders

Before you leave campus for break, ask yourself these important questions and visit the links if you need to take action:

Do I need to extend your I-20 or DS-2019?

Do I need to transfer your SEVIS Record?

Am I fully prepared to travel during the break so that I can return to campus smoothly?

Do you have more questions that you need help answering?  Get in touch with ISS staff during advising hours before you leave campus.  Keep in mind that ISS closes whenever the university is officially closed. If you ever have doubts about our availability, we strongly recommend that you call the office before planning your visit.

stormtrooper meme about getting a travel signature

Forgot to Get a Travel Signature Before Leaving Campus?

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


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!

Image of W-2

Important Tax Info: Make Sure You Get Your W-2!

Every year, ALL individuals in F and J status must file taxes- including spouses, young children- even if they haven't earned any income!

The W-2 is a critical document for properly filing taxes. Every year between January and February, the university generates W-2 documents for individuals who have earned income from CWRU.

When your W-2 is generated, it's sent to your Permanent Address as listed in SIS. Please take a moment to verify that your correct Permanent Address is listed in SIS (make any updates as needed by December 15) to ensure that you'll receive your W-2.

If your Permanent Address is current, but you would prefer to have your W-2 sent to another address, it is necessary for you to include that address under the W-2 Override option in SIS no later than December 15. Using the W-2 Override function will maintain the integrity of your Permanent Address information and ensure that you receive your W-2 at the different, preferred address.

Please contact Payroll if you have questions about receiving your W-2.

Health Service building image

University Health & Counseling Services to be closed Dec. 23–Jan. 1; 24/7 counselor and nurse on call available

Students who need assistance during this time can call the 24/7 counselor on call at 216.368.5872 or the 24/7 nurse on call at 216.368.2450. 
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Featured Events

Welcome party flyer

Campus Events


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
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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.