Immigration News

 

ISSO Immigration Workshops

09/03/2014

OPT Workshop for F-1 Students.  Learn about the OPT application process, reporting requirements and employment and travel considerations. Workshops take place from 2:30pm to 3:45pm in SSB3.107 on September 4, 11, 18 and 25.

Changing to F-1 Status Workshop. Learn about the application process to change your immigration status to F-1. Workshops take place from 2:00pm to 3:30pm in SSB3.107 on Tuesday September 9 and 23.


F-1 Optional Practical Training

09/03/2014

If you graduated in the Summer 2014 semester and are interested in applying for OPT, the last date to submit your OPT I-20 application to the ISSO is Friday, September 26, 2014. USCIS must receive your OPT application on or before Wednesday, October 8, 2014. For more information attend an OPT workshop or visit the ISSO Optional Practical Training webpage.


Check Your Current Address

09/03/2014

USCIS requires F-1 students to maintain a current address. Remember to check your address in Galaxy and update if necessary.


What is the Form I-94?

09/03/2014

Upon your admission to the United States at a port of entry, you will be issued a Form I‑94. It is important to have a copy of your Form I-94 to prove your legal immigration status in the United States. For information on how to retrieve your I-94, visit the Study in the States page here


Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

09/03/2014

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. USCIS offers relief measures to nationals of three countries who are currently in the United States. For more information please visit the USCIS News page here.


Safety Warning

09/03/2014

Recently, we have heard from students of possible thefts and robberies at nearby, off-campus apartment complexes. Students who are directly affected, or those who witness these incidents, are highly encouraged to call their local police station and file a police report. Protect yourself by always remaining aware of your surroundings and taking advantage of educational opportunities, like the UT Dallas Police Department's self-defense class, Rape Aggression Defense. Classes are held once a month and are for women only. 

We have also learned that UT Dallas Police Crime Prevention Specialist David Spigelmyer has briefly met with a group of concerned students regarding these reports.  Mr. Spigelmyer will be contacting the Dallas Police Department Crime Prevention officers and will help coordinate safety programs to help address this issue.

Remember, walk in pairs or groups when possible.  Stay in well lighted areas. Lock doors, report suspicious activity or people to your local police, and report criminal activity.


ISSO Immigration Workshops

08/06/2014

OPT Workshop for F-1 Students Learn about the OPT application process, reporting requirements, and employment and travel considerations. Workshops take place from 2:30pm to 3:45pm in SSB3.107 on August 5, 14, 21, and 28.

Changing to F-1 Status Workshop.Learn about the application process to change your immigration status to F-1. Workshops take place from 2:00pm to 3:30pm in SSB3.107 on Tuesday, August 12 and 26.


Report Your OPT Employment

08/06/2014

F-1 students currently on OPT are required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to report any changes to employment or residential address within 10 days of the change. You may meet this requirement by submitting the OPT Reporting Form to the ISSO whenever necessary. Visit the OPT Reporting webpage for further information.


Tornado Season

08/06/2014

While tornadoes are rare, the ISSO would like you to be prepared. Review the Brochure for Severe Weather on the UT Dallas Emergency Preparedness Information webpage for detailed information.  In the event that ISSO staff are unavailable due to an emergency, and you need immigration assistance or evacuation, contact the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) at SEVP@ice.dhs.gov, or call 703-603-3400.


Campus Holiday

07/02/2014

In observance of Independence Day, Friday, July 4, UT Dallas university offices will be closed.  Campus bus service, as well as DART off-campus service, will adjust to the Sunday schedule. 


Enrollment Requirements During Your Final Semester

08/06/2014

If Fall 2014 will be your final semester at UT Dallas, you are eligible for a reduced course load if you have applied for graduation. Remember that you cannot take all your courses online in your final semester. More information regarding enrollment requirements can be found here.


DHS Launches Enhanced Website for International Students

08/06/2014

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched an enhanced Study in the States website, with new features, to present important information about the international student process in a clear and interactive manner. More information can be found here.


Read About US Government Agencies

08/06/2014

F students interact with several US government agencies throughout the international student process. Each agency has an important mission to carry out, so students should understand what their roles are, and who to contact for a particular issue. Click here to read about the different roles US government agencies play throughout the international student process.


ISSO Workshops

07/02/2014

OPT Workshop for F-1 Students. Learn about the OPT application process, reporting requirements, and employment and travel considerations. These workshops are held every Thursday in July at 2:30pm in SSB3.107.

Changing to F-1 Status Workshop. Learn about the application process to change your immigration status to F-1 on Tuesday, July 8 at 2:00pm in SSB3.107.


Engaging in Unpaid Employment on OPT

07/02/2014

A student on Post-Completion OPT or a 17-Month Extension of OPT may work as a volunteer or unpaid intern, if the job is at least 20 hours a week and related to their degree program. However, students on OPT may not 'volunteer' at UT Dallas, unless it is a defined internship program out of the Career Center.


Students Approved for a Change of Status to H-1B

07/02/2014

If you have been approved for a change of status from F-1 to H-1B, and you have not yet submitted a copy of your 1-797A Approval Notice to the ISSO, do so now. This will allow the ISSO to update your status in Orion and SEVIS. Be aware that your F-1 status and any remaining period of OPT will end on September 30, 2014.


Campus Holiday

07/02/2014

In observance of Independence Day, Friday, July 4, UT Dallas university offices will be closed.  Campus bus service, as well as DART off-campus service, will adjust to the Sunday schedule. 


UTD Financial Affidavit Update

07/02/2014

The amount of funding on the UTD Financial Affidavit, which is needed to issue I-20 forms for changes of level, adding dependents, etc., will be updated July 14th. Check the ISSO homepage later this month for updates. The Student Health Insurance requirement will also be updated for Fall 2014.


FMJFee.com is Going Mobile

07/02/2014

All prospective F and M students who want to study in the United States must first pay the I-901 SEVIS fee on FMJfee.com before entering the country. To make the process easier, you can now access FMJfee.com on your mobile device.


U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents Statistics for 2013

07/02/2014

A lawful permanent resident (LPR) or "green card" recipient is a person who has been granted lawful permanent residence in the United States. The Office of Immigration Statistics' Annual Flow Report presents information on the number and characteristics of persons who became LPRs in the United States during 2013.


ISSO Immigration Workshops in June

06/04/2014

OPT Workshop for F-1 Students.

Learn about the OPT application process, reporting requirements and employment and travel considerations. OPT workshops take place from 2:30pm to 3:45pm in SSB3.107 every Thursday in June.

Changing to F-1 Status Workshop.

Learn about the application process to change your immigration status to F-1. The Changing to F-1 Status workshop takes place from 2:00pm to 3:30pm in SSB3.107 on Tuesday, June 10.


Last Date to Submit your OPT Application

06/04/2014

If you graduated in the Spring 2014 semester and are interested in applying for OPT, the last date to submit your OPT I-20 application to the ISSO is Tuesday, July 1, 2014. USCIS must receive your OPT application on or before Friday, July 11, 2014. For more information attend an OPT workshop or visit the ISSO Optional Practical Training webpage.


Do you have a new job or are you looking for one?

06/04/2014

Federal law requires your employer to have you complete the Form I-9 on your first day of work for pay. USCIS videos explain how to complete each section so you are prepared.


Proposed H-4 Work Authorization

06/04/2014

A proposed U.S. Department of Homeland Security rule may make employment authorization available to H-4 spouses of H-1B, who either have an H-1B extension or are pending U.S. permanent residency. This proposal has not yet been made into law, so be cautious of scams.


Resource for Visa Applicants

06/04/2014

If you will be renewing your F-1 visa this summer, stay informed of U.S. Embassy updates. On the USEmbassy website you will find news regarding new or reduced services for visa applicants specific to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate you may be visiting.


ISSO Immigration Workshops and Special Services Available in May

5/21/2014

OPT Workshop for F-1 Students.

Learn about the OPT application process, employment and travel considerations, and reporting requirements.
  • 2:30pm to 3:45pm in SSB3.107 on the following Thursdays: May 22, 29


International Students Can Study Abroad too!

5/21/2014

Some UT Dallas-approved study abroad programs allow F-1 students to study abroad and maintain full-time enrollment. For information on maintaining  F-1 status while in a Study Abroad program, contact an International Student Advisor at ISSOCurrent@utdallas.edu. For information about Study Abroad opportunities and requirements, contact Karen E. Stepherson at kes067000@utdallas.edu For general information about Study Abroad visit the Office of International Education website.


Graduation and Beyond

5/21/2014

If you are an F-1 student, have completed your academic requirements and will remain in the U.S. after graduation, make appropriate preparations such as applying for OPT, starting another academic program or transferring out to another school. If your I-20 is about to expire or you applied for graduation and require another semester to complete academic requirements, notify the ISSO at ISSOCurrent@utdallas.edu


J-1/J-2 Insurance Requirement

5/21/2014

The U.S. Department of State requires J-1 students and their dependents to carry medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance throughout their participation in the J-1 program and while in the U.S. If you are a J-1 student, visit the ISSO website to learn more about the J-1 insurance requirement. If you do not already have insurance coverage for the summer semester, visit the Student Health Center for information on purchasing coverage.


Correcting U.S. Tax Forms

5/21/2014

International students who have submitted incorrect tax forms for either 2013 or past years, may be able to submit amended forms. Contact the UT Dallas Tax Compliance Office by email at taxcompliance@utdallas.edu with questions.

Summer Health Insurance Coverage

04/09/2014

If you will not enroll in classes at UT Dallas in the summer but will remain in the U.S., we recommend that you maintain continuous insurance coverage.  Visit the Student Health Center Purchasing Insurance webpage for summer insurance information.  If you are a J-1 visa holder, ensure that you have summer coverage to meet the J-1 mandatory  health insurance requirement.


Student Health Insurance Upcoming Changes

04/09/2014

The UT System is in the process of changing the health insurance requirements for international students.  While the official policy statement is not yet available, the changes will include a requirement that insurance coverage for international students beginning  Fall 2014, be fully compliant with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  For more information visit the Student Health Center Waiver webpage.


F-1 Optional Practical Training

04/09/2014

If you will graduate in the Spring 2014 semester, you may be eligible for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).  For more information attend an OPT workshop or visit the ISSO Optional Practical Training webpage.


F-1 Change of Level

04/09/2014

If you will finish a degree program or end OPT in Spring 2014 and will begin or continue another degree program in Summer or Fall 2014, apply for a Change of Level I-20.  If you will travel abroad, you will need this I-20 to re-enter the United States.  For application information, visit the ISSO Change of Level webpage.


H-1B Cap Gap Relief

04/09/2014

If a U.S. business submitted an H-1B petition on your behalf, you may be eligible to obtain a Cap Gap Status Verification Letter and/or an H-1B Cap Gap Extension I-20  from the ISSO.  Find more information at the ISSO H-1B Cap Gap Relief webpage.


Prepare for Summer Travel

04/09/2014

Many international students choose the summer semester to travel.  For specific details on what immigration documents to carry, visit the ISSO webpages for Traveling Inside the U.S.  and Traveling Outside the U.S.


Immigration Workshops

Last 8843 Tax Form Workshop

04/09/2014

The last workshop to get assistance in preparing your 8843 tax form (only for students who did not receive any U.S. source income) is on Friday, April 11 at 1:00 pm in SSB 3.107.  If you received any U.S. source income, visit the ISSO Tax webpage for more information.

Travel outside U.S.

Are you traveling outside the U.S. over summer break? The ISSO is offering Travel Workshops during the following times:
  • 1:00pm to 2:30pm on Tuesday, April 22, Student Services Bldg. 3rd Floor, Room 3.107(B)
  • 2:00pm to 3:30pm on Tuesday, April 29, Student Services Bldg. 3rd Floor, Room 3.107(B)

Bring a picture ID and your most recent I-20/DS-2019.  We will give you valuable information on renewing your F/J visa and re-entering the U.S. We will also provide travel signatures and status letters for those who need them.

Changing to F-1 Status

Are you a prospective or current UTD international student who would like to change your non-immigrant status to F-1? The ISSO is offering Change of Status Workshops during the following times:
  • 2:30pm  to 4:00pm on Tuesday, April 22, Student Services Bldg. 3rd Floor, Room 3.107(B)
  • 3:30pm to 5:00pm on Tuesday, May 13, Student Services Bldg. 3rd Floor, Room 3.107(B)
  • 2:00pm to 3:30pm on Tuesday, May 20, Student Services Bldg. 3rd Floor, Room 3.107(B)
  • 2:00pm to 3:30pm on Tuesday, June 10, Student Services Bldg. 3rd Floor, Room 3.107(B)
  • 2:00pm to 3:30pm on Tuesday, July 8, Student Services Bldg. 3rd Floor, Room 3.107(B)

Come learn everything you need to know about changing to F-1 in the United States or by traveling outside the United States. We will cover the application process, pros and cons and well as considerations when changing to F-1 from specific visa types.


Optional Practical Training (OPT)

5/15/2014

F-1 students who will complete their degree  requirements in the Summer 2014 semester may  now apply for Post Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).  The application process takes 2-3 months, so don't delay.  For OPT workshop information, forms, and application instructions, visit the ISSO OPT website at: http://www.utdallas.edu/isso/opt/.


Advising Schedule Change

3/12/2014

ISSO advisors will attend an all-day, off-campus event on Friday, March 14. Immigration advising will not be available and requests will be delayed by one day.  Plan accordingly, and we apologize for any inconvenience.


H-1B Filing Season

3/12/2014

The H-1B filing season will start soon.  If you need copies of your UT Dallas I-20 forms, fill out the Immigration Document Copy Request and submit it to the ISSO in person during office hours or by e-mail at ISSOCurrent@utdallas.edu.


Student Attorney Services

3/12/2014

UT Dallas Student Government offers free attorney consultations with a general attorney and an immigration attorney for currently enrolled students.  Contact Student Government by phone or email to schedule an appointment with either attorney.   For additional details visit the Student Government Attorney Services webpage.


Tax Deadline is Approaching

3/12/2014

The deadline to submit tax forms to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is quickly approaching, and all international students are required to file a tax form.  If you lived in the United States between January 1 and December 31, 2013 and did not receive U.S. source income during this time, you can attend a tax workshop on Tuesday, March 25 at 2:00 pm in SSB 3.107 to get assistance in preparing your 8843 tax form.  If you did receive U.S. source income, visit the ISSO Tax webpage for more information.


Tornado Season

3/12/2014

While tornadoes are rare, the ISSO would like you to be prepared.  Review the Brochure for Severe Weather on the UT Dallas Emergency Preparedness Information webpage for detailed information.  In the event that ISSO staff are unavailable due to an emergency, and you need immigration assistance or evacuation, contact the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) at SEVP@ice.dhs.gov, or call 703-603-3400.


Visa Interview Waived at U.S. Consulates

2/11/2014

The Department of State recently announced that for certain non-immigrant visas, all U.S. consulates have the authority to waive the interview requirement either on a case-by-case basis or for an entire classification of visas.   

Find the full story at: http://tsalaw.com/2014/01/23/non-immigrant-temporary-visa-interviews-waived-u-s-consulates/


Tax Information

2/11/2014

It's tax time!  All people who resided in the United States between January 1 and December 31, 2013 must file a U.S. tax form. Visit the ISSO Tax webpage at http://www.utdallas.edu/isso/taxes/ to know what to do.


UT Dallas Police: How to Report a Crime

2/11/2014
  • How to report crimes in progress or an incident requiring immediate police response:
    Dial 911 or call UT Dallas Police Communications at 972-883-2222.

  • How to provide information to the police about criminal activity and remain anonymous:
    Fill out the Silent Witness form at  http://www.utdallas.edu/police/silentwitness.html

  • How to file a sexual assault complaint:

UT Dallas encourages any person who is the victim of a sexual offense to immediately report the incident to a campus security authority such as the University Police, or any other campus authority. 

Find more information at: http://www.utdallas.edu/police/safe_sec_policy.html#silent


Optional Practical Training (OPT)

2/11/2014

F-1 students who will complete their degree  requirements in the Spring 2014 semester may  now apply for Post Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).  The application process takes 2-3 months, so don't delay.  For OPT workshop information, forms, and application instructions, visit the ISSO OPT website at: http://www.utdallas.edu/isso/opt/.


Opportunity for J-1 students: Diplomacy in Action Conference

2/11/2014

The U.S. Department of State will hold a free online conference on February 12, 2014. Conference participants will learn about diplomacy from the U.S. Department of State (10:00 a.m. ET), the National Park Service (1:00 p.m. ET), and the Smithsonian Institution (4:00 p.m. ET), and will have the opportunity to engage in a live, online question-and-answer session with conference presenters. Secretary of State John Kerry will deliver opening and closing remarks via video at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET, respectively.

Find the full story at: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/01/220521.htm


How Volunteering Can Help You Find a Job

2/11/2014

Volunteering has many benefits, both personal and professional

  • It allows you to give back to the community. 
  • It broadens your network.  You can meet great people who could be a reference later on. 
  • It helps you learn new transferable skills and refine the ones you already have. 
  • It gives you the opportunity to explore potential career paths and learn about existing needs in the community. 
  • Hiring managers appreciate  volunteer experience.

Volunteering for F-1 and J-1 students

Volunteering is different from unpaid employment or unpaid internships. Volunteering includes services provided for civic, charitable or humanitarian purposes with no promise of advancement and with no expectation of compensation either now or in the future.  Contact an international student advisor who can help you understand the regulations so that you do not violate Department of Homeland Security regulations and lose your immigration status due to unauthorized employment.

Find volunteering opportunities at the UT Dallas Student Volunteerism Office : http://www.utdallas.edu/volunteer/

UT Dallas international students volunteering in the community: UT Dallas Volunteers Help Area Kids with Homework


The Keith - Huckaba Endowed Student Support Scholarship

2/11/2014

The Keith - Huckaba Endowed Student Scholarship is available to UT Dallas students who show significant financial need, have a record of academic excellence, identify as LGBTA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, ally), and/or demonstrate sensitivity, service or advocacy for the LGBTA community. The scholarship recipient will receive a one-time award of $1,000 in Fall 2014. Find the Scholarship Application linked above.  It is due by February 21, 2014.


Taxes information

1/23/2014

It's Tax Time!  All people who resided in the United States between January 1 and December 31, 2013 must file a U.S. tax form.

Visit the ISSO Taxes webpage at http://www.utdallas.edu/isso/taxes/ to know what to do:

  • If you did not receive any U.S. Source Income. Learn what form to file and the workshops available at UT Dallas to help you fill out this form.
  • If you received any U.S. Source Income (wages, scholarships, housing stipends, cash awards, etc.).  Learn how to access the UT Dallas provided FNIS web application to assist you in preparing your IRS tax forms.
  • If you received forms such as a W-2, 1042-S, 1099, 1098-T.  Learn what institution would have sent them and whether you can use them to prepare your taxes.

Immigration workshops

1/23/2014

Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Workshop

JSOM's Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will host Civitas Capital Group to answer students' questions on OPT, H-1B, EB-5 and other visa types.  The workshop is held on Thursday, February 6 in the JSOM Davidson Auditorium (JSOM 1.118).  Two session times are available (10:30am and 12:30pm), with a free lunch served at 12:00pm. Online registration is required for this free event. 

Immigration Attorney Seminar

Join the ISSO on Tuesday, February 18 at 3:00pm in the SU Galaxy Rooms to learn more about the secrets and strategies for full-time employment for foreign nationals interested in remaining in the United States. The ISSO immigration advising team will give you an overview of the extension of F-1 status under cap-gap regulations for students. Immigration Attorney David Swaim will then explain the transition from OPT to H-1B and Permanent Residency.


Graduation and Beyond

1/23/2014

Is this the last semester in your academic program?  Verify with your academic advisor regarding completion of academic requirements.

If you have completed your academic requirements

If you find you will require another semester to complete requirements

  • Notify the International Student Services Office (ISSO) at ISSOCurrent@utdallas.edu.
  • Check the program end date on your I-20 to determine if you will require an extension on your I-20.  If so, you must apply for it prior to the current expiration date.

The Good Neighbor Scholarship Program

1/23/2014

The Good Neighbor Scholarship Program is accepting applications through February 21, 2014.   The GNS encourages academically talented students from the countries of the Western (American) hemisphere to pursue higher education in the State of Texas.   For further information, including eligibility and application form, visit the Center for U.S.-Latin America Initiatives’ web page at http://www.utdallas.edu/cuslai/files/GNSP-Application-Form_2014-15.pdf or contact Ms. Naida Ewing at naida@utdallas.edu.


DISD Alternative Certification Program seeks DACA recipients

1/23/2014

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients who are interested in becoming teachers. The Dallas Independent School District Alternative Certification Program will hold focus information sessions/presentations. You are invited:

Thursday, February 20, 2014
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Harold Lang Middle School, 1678 Chenault St, Dallas, TX 75228

Apply at:  http://www.dallasisd.org/Page/710

For additional information contact Fernando Salazar at fsalazar@dallasisd.org.

What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals directive is open to individuals who came to the United States before the age of 16 and who also meet a variety of other guidelines.  It defers any removal action for two years and allow recipients of deferred action the opportunity to gain employment authorization for that time as well, through the grant of an Employment Authorization Document.

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