From: VISA Office
Date: January 18, 2023
Subject: ISS News, January 18, 2023: Welcome [Back] Pop-ups, Registration & Your Visa Status, Check In with ISS, Information About Working & Taxes, Mocktail Hour & Networking Training, MLK Convocation, Lunar New Year Events, Good Vibes, and More

ISS news header

January 18, 2023


in this issue:

  1. Registration & Your Visa Status
  2. Waiver of Registration Information
  3. Chat with ISS Staff During Advising Hours
  4. Working as an International Student
  5. Update Your Address in SIS
  6. Tax Information for 2021 Filing Year
  7. Beware of Scams
  8. Features
  9. Other Opportunities
  10. Good Vibes Only
  11. Welcome [Back] to CWRU
  12. Campus Happenings
  13. Happy Lunar New Year!
  14. Check In with ISS
  15. It's Cold, Use Your Space Heaters Safely
  16. Tips for Staying Safe
  17. Support Resources


ISS staff members are here to support you! 

Please visit our website to learn about the advising options that are available and connect with us so that we can assist you.

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Check In with ISS

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:

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 complete the check-in process as soon as possible. ISS uses this information to comply with the US Government's time-sensitive reporting requirements related to your SEVIS record. If 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 semester, 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. 

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Registration & Your Visa Status

We know that the start of a semester is an exciting, busy time for students and ISS wants to help everyone get off to a good start!

Please know 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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Chat with ISS Staff During Advising Hours

Have a question? Need Support? Connect with an ISS staff member during Advising Hours, either in person or virtually.

You can also request an appointment by emailing Please be prepared to briefly describe the nature of your appointment when you contact us so that we can prepare. Same-day appointments are not generally available; an appointment for the next business day is typically the earliest we can schedule.

Advisors are looking forward to chatting with you online and in-person!

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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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Update Your Address in SIS

Federal regulations require that all international students report their current address to SEVIS and any changes within 10 days. It is also important that the university has your current address on file at all times.

The best way to ensure that you are complying with federal regulations and university policy is to check your address for accuracy in SIS and report any changes through SIS. Information in SIS is shared with ISS' system (Terra Dotta) and then ISS can report changes of information to SEVIS.

Ensuring that information is always reported to and updated in SIS ensures that you will always get the information that you need from CWRU and that you are properly maintaining your status as a student visa holder. Failure to report your address properly is a violation of status that can have serious consequences.

Tax Information for 2022 Filing Year

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Important Tax Info: Get Your W-2

If you worked and got paid during the previous calendar year, you should receive a W-2 from your employer within the next several weeks. This W-2 is required to file taxes, which all persons in the US (international students too!) must do by April 18. More information about how to file your taxes will be made available on the ISS website in mid to late February. It is currently unavailable.

Current Students: If you worked at CWRU and got paid during last calendar year, the university will generate your W-2 and send it to the US W-2 address you listed in the Student Information System (SIS). You must make sure that that address is listed in SIS to ensure that your W-2 is sent to the proper address.

Alumni: If you received payment from CWRU during the last calendar year, you must also make sure that your address is properly listed in SIS to receive the W-2.

If you have not received your W-2, you'll need to contact Payroll by email to request an appointment to pick up your W-2 in person.

More information:

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Sprintax Offers Tax Webinars to Prepare for Tax Filing Season 2022

ISS partners with the tax experts at Sprintax who offer tax filing services to international students that are considered non-resident aliens for tax purposes. The Sprintax team will be hosting a series of free open tax webinars to provide helpful information about non-resident tax filing obligations.

You can find the details and registration links below for each:

The informational webinars will cover the same topics on each occasion:

  • An overview of tax for nonresident students and scholars
  • Who must file a 2021 US tax return
  • What income forms students may receive
  • Forms that need to be completed and sent to the IRS
  • Terms like FICA, ITIN, and Form 1098-T
  • What happens if students don’t file or misfile
  • State tax returns
  • Sprintax overview

Sprintax will also be hosting a free open tax webinar for students who are authorized for OPT/CPT to learn more about their tax responsibilities as well:

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Support Resources

The Dean of Students Office and the Case Western Reserve University community are committed to helping students overcome challenges during their academic careers.  A website has been developed to host a variety of resources and services, including information about various food pantries for students who are facing food insecurity. 

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Beware of Scams

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

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It's Getting Cold, Use Your Space Heaters Safely

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are about 1,700 fires per year because of space heaters, resulting in about 80 deaths and 160 injuries annually.  Keep yourself safe by following some safe practices:

  • Keep combustible and flammable items at least three feet away. This includes blankets, toys, dog beds, curtains, bedding, and upholstered furniture ... anything that could catch fire easily.
  • Plug it directly into the wall. Space heaters draw a lot of electricity. Extension cords and power strips can't handle that load so the cord or strip can overheat and catch fire. Plug the space heater directly into a wall outlet and do not have anything else plugged into that same outlet. If the heater's plug, cord, wall outlet or faceplate feels hot, immediately unplug the heater.
  • Keep the heater on a stable, level surface, where it will not be knocked over.
  • Never run the heater’s cord under rugs or carpeting.
  • Do not leave heaters unattended around infants, or individuals with reduced physical, sensory or mental capabilities.
  • Turn it off when you leave the room and/or go to sleep.
  • If purchasing a new heater, look for one that has an automated timer, so it'll shut off after a few hours or when it gets too hot. Make sure the heater is UL, ETL, or CSA certified. You can check or to see if your existing heater has been recalled.
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Campus Happenings

Nic Stone headshot

2023 Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Convocation Event

Join the Case Western Reserve University community and register for the 2023 Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation Keynote Address Friday, January 20, 2023, at 12:45 p.m. EST.  

This year's celebration centers on the theme Steadfast and Unmovable: Sustaining a Devotion to Justice and will feature New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone. 

Reception to follow the keynote address


48th Annual Science Fiction Marathon

Friday, January 20 at 8:00pm
to Sunday, January 22 at 4:00am
Strosacker Auditorium, 2125 Adelbert Rd., Cleveland, OH 44106, United States
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

Join us this January 20-21, to take part in one of CWRU Film Society's most ancient traditions- the 48th annual SCI-FI MARATHON! The event holds the record as the longest-running genre film festival in the United States and features a lineup of movies spanning decades with some fun surprises as well.  You can see the full schedule here.

For more information, about parking, food, arrival, rules, etc., please visit: or check out the Facebook event.

CSSU New Year Festival Flyer
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University Health & Counseling Services Offers Timely Care and a Variety of Other Wellness Programs to Consider

Monday, January 23
Start End   Event         Location
3:00pm 4:00pm BIPOC Support Space Private Location (register to display)
5:00pm 7:30pm I'm Fine, It's Fine, Everything is Fine. Private Location (sign in to display)
Tuesday, January 24
12:00pm 1:00pm T.H.I.N.K. Suicide Prevention Training (Virtual) Online Event
Thursday, January 26
1:00pm 2:00pm BIPOC Support Space Online Event
Monday, January 30
3:00pm 4:00pm BIPOC Support Space Private Location (register to display)
5:00pm 7:30pm I'm Fine, It's Fine, Everything is Fine. Private Location (sign in to display)
RA flyer for international students
Spring activites fair
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Other Opportunities

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PNC's Financial Wellness Offerings in January

Webinar 1: Credit Scores and Reports: Understanding and Improving Your Score

Date: January 18, 2023 at 4 pm ET

Description: Understand how credit scores and reports work to help you keep your finances healthy and achieve your financial goals.

Webinar 2: Budgeting: Creating a Plan

Date: January 31, 2023 at 7 pm ET

Description: Learn to identify your personal obstacles to budgeting, decide short and long-term goals, and manage your day-to-day spending.

Good Vibes Only

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 and we're sending them out to you!

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Enjoy Nian, a Short Movie by Apple, Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max

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 fo