From: VISA Office
Date: January 4
Subject: ISS News, January 4, 2023: Happy New Year, Important Travel Information Related to COVID 19 Testing, ISS Availability in January, Check In With ISS, Tax Info, OL and RA Applications Open, Good Vibes, and More

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January 4, 2023


in this issue:

  1. Happy New Year!
  2. Effective January 5, Negative COVID-19 Test Required for Travelers Arriving in the US from Certain Countries
  3. January- Changes in ISS' Availabilty
  4. Need a Fresh Travel Signature?
  5. Check In with ISS
  6. Chat with ISS Staff During Advising Hours
  7. Grads: Waiver of Registration Information
  8. Tax Information for 2022 Filing Year
  9. Support Resources
  10. Virtual Health Care Option for CWRU Students
  11. Beware of Scams
  12. Features
  13. Campus Happenings
  14. Other Opportunities
  15. Good Vibes Only


ISS Staff is available to students, without an appointment, on Monday, 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 Tuesday and Wednesday.


If you would like to speak with an advisor outside of our advising hours, please send an email to to request an appointment.  Provide your full, legal name and a brief description of what you would like to discuss in your message and ISS staff will help connect you with an advisor to schedule an appointment. 

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Negative COVID-19 Test Required for Travelers Arriving in the U.S. from Certain Countries, Effective January 5

Beginning January 5, at 12:01AM ET, there are new requirements for air passengers 2 years of age and older traveling to the United States from China, Hong Kong, or Macau, and those traveling from Seoul, Toronto, and Vancouver who have been in China, Hong Kong, or Macau in the past 10 days.

These passengers, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 2 days before their flight departs. Those who had COVID-19 in the 90 days before their travel to the United States can instead show documentation of recovery from COVID-19.

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January- Changes in ISS' Availability

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

Wednesday, January 4: The Center will be closed so that staff can engage in strategic planning meetings.  Advising hours will resume on Thursday, January 5.

Thursday, January 12: There will be no advising hours so that staff can participate in various orientation sessions being offered to new students throughout campus.  Advising hours will resume on Friday, January 13.

Monday, January 16: The university will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 16.

Note: ISS does close when the university closes for scheduled breaks and inclement weather. If you're ever in doubt about ISS staff 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 ISS staff members are not in the office, contact CWRU Security at 216.368.3300 and dispatch will know how to reach an ISS staff member.

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Need a Fresh Travel Signature?

If you need a travel signature to return to the United States, 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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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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Chat with ISS Staff During Advising Hours

ISS offers virtual and in-person advising on-demand, meaning no appointment is needed.  Visit our website for more information about staff availability.

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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!

Tax Information for 2022 Filing Year

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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.

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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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University Health & Counseling Service Offers Timely Care

In addition to support offered at UH&CS, all CWRU students can all access TimelyCare at no cost! 

What Services are Available? 

  • Talk Now- 24/7 in the moment mental health support. 
  • Scheduled counseling- scheduled visits with a licensed counselor, including nights and weekends. 
  • Medical Visits- 24/7, on-demand and scheduled visits with a licensed medical provider. 
  • Workshops and classes- On-demand and live workshops and classes including yoga and meditation. 

Download the TimelyCare app through your app store or visit the TimelyCare website to enroll.

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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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Campus Happenings

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

Join the Case Western Reserve University community 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

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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

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!

Happy New Year!
Celebrations from around the world

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