From: International Student Services
Date: January 6, 2021
Subject: ISS News, January 6, 2021: SEVP Guidance for Spring 2021, Waiver of Registration, Travel Signatures, Winter Driving Tips, Scam Alerts, Study Abroad Friday Forums, Campus Happenings, Good Vibes, & More!


January 6, 2021


in this issue:

  1. SEVP Guidance for Spring 2021
  2. GRADS: Waiver of Registration Information
  3. Features
  4. Other Opportunities
  5. Good Vibes Only

Be sure to scroll through the entire issue because there is a lot more! We were having technical issues and could not get the links to update entirely.  Here's hoping that our tech issues are resolved next week!


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.

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.

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SEVP Guidance for Spring 2021

I wrote in December about the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) announcement that the Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s (SEVP) would continue to apply its fall 2020 federal guidance through spring 2021. As a result, international students will be able to engage in distance learning that exceeds existing regulatory limits in light of the pandemic’s ongoing public health risks and safety concerns. 

ISS’ Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates website now includes information about Spring 2021 SEVP Guidance.  Please take your time when reading this information and pay particular attention to how the status of your SEVIS record in Spring 2020, when the COVID-10 guidance was released, determines your options for maintaining status in Spring 2021.

We understand that this information is complicated and can affect students’ academic plans.  We also acknowledge that students may need assistance in evaluating their individual circumstances for maintaining status.  ISS is here to help.  Email your questions to and we will do our best to support you.

We hope you are enjoying a restful winter break and look forward to supporting you in 2021!

Best Regards,

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

Chat with ISS Staff Online During Advising Hours

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.

You can request an appointment to speak with an advisor by zoom or phone 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!

stormtrooper meme about getting a travel signature

Need a Fresh Travel Signature?

If you need a travel signature, don't panic! You can request a travel signature using our electronic form here.

Read more about what to do on our Travel and Reentry pages for F-1 and J-1 students.

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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!

snow driving from

6 Tips for Winter Driving in Northeast Ohio

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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.


Friday Forums Flyer- January 2021

January Study Abroad Friday Forums

CWRU students are encouraged to use their J-Term to start exploring study abroad opportunities for next year through virtual Study Abroad Friday Forums every week at 1 pm!

They start January 8 with a session on deciding where to go, and on January 15, students can discover resources for navigating their identity abroad.

January 22 will feature a conversation with the Case School of Engineering’s Peer Advisors about how they made their study abroad experiences happen and January 29 is all about the career benefits of studying abroad led by an alumni panel!

Students can find the link to join each Friday Forum on the Study Abroad CampusGroups page: And make sure to follow CWRUStudyAbroad on Facebook and Instagram so you don’t miss out on any events or student stories!

CLE Bucket List Flyer
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Winter Programming and Information

Although much of the Case Western Reserve University student community will be finishing the semester remotely, the university will still be providing events, activities, support resources, dining options and some facility access to students who are staying on/nearby campus for all or part of the winter break.

Campus Happenings

shuttle schedule during winter break

Winter Service Changes for University Circle Shuttles

Shuttle riders are encouraged to use the TransLoc app for real-time shuttle information and service alerts. Masks are required while waiting for and while riding University Circle shuttles. No University Circle shuttles operate on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. Visit the uGO shuttle page for more information and contact 216-791-6226 with any questions. 

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CCEL’s Civic Leadership Launchpad - apply by 1/10

Tuesday, December 15 at 1:00pm
to Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 11:55pm
Virtual series
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Build campus and community connections while exploring your civic passions and social change pathways through the Center for Civic Engagement & Learning’s (CCEL) new Spring 2021 semester Civic Leadership Launchpad, open to first and second-year undergraduate CWRU students.

Participants will meet as a cohort for six sessions every other Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. EST from mid-February to mid-April while also participating in short reflection activities between sessions to get to know each other, meet CWRU alumni and other Cleveland area changemakers, and craft a vision for how they would like to be civically engaged on or off-campus. The program will be completed 100% virtually, and students studying on-site or remotely are both welcome to participate.

Read more about the program ( and apply online ( Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with the first priority deadline for review on January 10, 2021. Contact Betsy Banks ( with questions.



Spring Student Activities Fair 2021- Leadership: A Whole New World

Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 11:00am
to Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 11:00pm
Spring Student Activities Fair- Virtual Fair, TVUC 148, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, United States
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Pack your bags to explore the world of leadership at the Spring Student Activities Fair! Start your journey in one of our various clubs and activities that you can get involved with this semester and during the rest of your time at CWRU. Join in virtually from wherever you are!

veale registration flyer
nominate clip art

Nominate Faculty for Awards Recognizing Excellence in Mentoring and Teaching

Nominations are being accepted for the J. Bruce Jackson, MD, Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring and the Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

The Jackson award is given to faculty or staff members who have fostered professional development, facilitated goals and life choices, and made a significant impact on a student’s life. The Wittke award is given to outstanding classroom teachers who are engaging, invested and stimulate enthusiasm for their area of study.

To nominate a faculty or staff member for one of the awards, complete the nomination form.

Nominations are due Feb. 15, 2021.

To learn more about these awards, please visit the Undergraduate Studies website or email

Other Opportunities

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Winter Break College Series Contunes

The remaining three sessions in the Winter Break College Series by Cleveland Leadership Center are focused on career readiness and connections. These sessions are also free but do require registration. 

BONUS! Students who registered for and attended all three sessions will be entered into a drawing to win one of three $100 Amazon gift cards!

Sector Connect: Finance; Marketing; Engineering – Students have the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Finance, Marketing, and Engineering industry sectors to discuss the local job markets, internship opportunities, and career paths. The session is designed for small group connection to kickstart growing your network!

Date: Wednesday, January 6

Time: 4:00 - 5:00pm

Location: Virtual Zoom (link upon registration)

Register Here!

Sector Connect: Nonprofit; Accounting; Healthcare - Students have the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Nonprofit, Accounting, and Healthcare industry sectors to discuss the local job markets, internship opportunities, and career paths. The session is designed for small group connection to kickstart growing your network!

Date: Wednesday, January 20

Time: 4:00 - 5:00pm

Location: Virtual Zoom (link upon registration)

Register Here

2021 Pitch Contest flyer

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!

Image credits: knowyourmeme

People Edit The “Lo-Fi Study Girl” Into Versions From Different Countries Full Of Original Details (30 Pics)