International Student Services

About the ISSO

The International Student Services Office (ISSO) provides immigration information and support to UT Dallas students through workshops, individual student advising and outreach.


The ISSO office location (SSB 3.400) is closed in accordance with the university’s COVID-19 policy. We remain operational and will continue to respond to email, process requests, mail documents and advise students online through scheduled appointments. Go to the ISSO COVID-19 FAQ page for more information. Check the UT Dallas webpage for university updates related to COVID-19.

Immigration News

ISSO Advising Services

ISSO offers express, walk-in and appointment advising Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. The current advising schedule is available on the ISSO Advising webpage. Advising services will not be available March 9 - 11. These days are reserved for processing. Advising and processing services will not be available on March 13. This day is reserved for professional development.

Schedule an advising appointment online up to one week in advance. If there are no available appointments, check back the following day for more availability. Remember, if you no longer need your advising appointment please cancel your appointment using the link in your confirmation email.

The ISSO will be open normal business hours during Spring Break, March 16 - 22.

Contact Your Advisor Through iComet

Starting March 9, The ISSO is moving email advising services online. Instead of emailing your question, submit your question through the iComet form called "Ask an Advisor." Our goal is to offer faster services, streamlined through the iComet student portal.

This service is available for students and alumni who have an active NetID. Faculty, staff, and alumni who are no longer on a UT Dallas I-20 may continue to send emails to [email protected]

Federal Updates

Census 2020
Every 10 years, the United States conducts a census to count every person residing inside the U.S, including international students and other foreign citizens residing inside the U.S. In mid-March, households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census. Watch for this important piece of mail and respond. Please note, the Census Bureau will never ask for your SSN, your bank account information, or any sort of money or donations. See the U.S. Census website for more information on how to avoid scams.

Unlawful Presence Rule Permanently Blocked
On February 6, 2020, U.S. courts declared the 2018 USCIS unlawful presence policy invalid and issued a permanent nationwide injunction. The February 6 decision means that the previous unlawful presence policy will continue in place of the new policy. Under that prior policy, individuals admitted for duration of status do not begin accruing unlawful presence until an immigration judge finds a status violation in the course of an immigration proceeding, or an immigration officer finds a violation of status in the course of an application for an immigration benefit. Department of Homeland Security may appeal the decision..

Public Charge Rule affect Change of Status
Effective February 24, 2020, Department of Homeland Security will implement more narrow guidelines in evaluating applicants for visas, entry to the U.S., and change of status petitions. Under the new rule, applicants must demonstrate they are not "likely to become a public charge," as defined under the rule. For information on how the public charge rule may affect you, visit the relevant ISSO webpages on applying for an F-1 visa (including renewals), travelling outside the U.S., and applying for change of status to F-1. If you have any concerns about your immigration status, contact an ISSO advisor.

STEM OPT Site Visits
Always indicate your worksite location when reporting while on STEM OPT. This is the location you physically work at, which should match Section 5 of your Form I-983 Training Plan. Remember that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may conduct routine site visits of employers that train STEM OPT students. For more information about the purpose of employer site visits, how to prepare, and what to expect, read the Site Visit Overview on the Study in the States blog.

New Version of I-765
USCIS has released a new version of the I-765. If you are applying for Post-Completion OPT or STEM OPT, please use the version of the form published on the USCIS webpage - Per the USCIS webpage, beginning 04/20/2020 they will only accept the 12/26/2019 edition of the I-765, which is the newest version of the form. However, if you have not yet filed for OPT and are planning to do so, the ISSO strongly recommends to use the newest version of the form to avoid any potential impacts on your application.

STEM Validation Reports Reminder

All students on STEM OPT must submit a validation report every 6 months. The validation report due dates are exactly 6, 12, 18, and 24 months from your STEM OPT start date. The validation report due dates are not based on your employment start date and are not affected by changing jobs. For each validation report, you must submit the STEM OPT Reporting Form with Section B and C completely filled out, even if your information has not changed. For the 12- and 24-month validation reports, you must also submit your I-983 with the appropriate evaluation completed on Page 5.

Police vs ICE actions on campus

It is not unusual to see UT Dallas police officers and/or local police officers from nearby cities conducting police work on campus. In addition to uniformed police officers, most cities have officers assigned as detectives and dressed in plain clothes. Police officers both in and out of uniform may approach and detain individuals involved in criminal activity. Police departments are not affiliated with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE generally avoids enforcement activity at university campuses, under its policy on sensitive locations. Learn what to do if stopped by police, immigration agents, or FBI.

Go to Immigration Newsletter for more information >>>