ISSO Newsletter: February 2014
The ISSO sends out a monthly web-based newsletter. It contains the latest information about immigration and ISSO services, as well as important reminders about work authorization, visa applications, and more. Please read it! View the ISSO newsletter archive here.
- Immigration News and Reminders
- Tax Information
- Upcoming ISSO Programs
- Student Jobs at ISSO: PREPARE Student Coordinator
- Community News, Announcements & Information
- Congratulations to our 2012-2013 Book Award Recipients!
- Letís Talk: CAPS off-site counseling at ISSO (winter hours)
- Have Immigration Questions?: Come to ISSO Office Hours
Come find out everything you will need to know about staying in the U.S. after graduation. The Miller Mayer law firm and ISSO staff will explain the procedures for working immediately after graduating, working long-term in the U.S. and eventually becoming a permanent resident (green card holder) if you so desire. This information is particularly crucial at the present time, given the H-1B cap and new backlogs with employment-based green cards.
Graduating in May? Apply for F-1 OPT at the end of February! If you are graduating this Spring semester, and you want to work on F-1 OPT after graduating, you can APPLY for your F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) work authorization starting late February. The OPT application does go to the immigration service centers and these applications can take 3 months or more for most people to receive their OPT work cards. Please read about OPT, and download an application from our OPT web pages, or come to one of our workshops on F-1 work authorization.
Tax season is almost here but NOT YET! Wait until our tax software is ready mid- to late-February before filing your tax returns! The deadline to file your tax return is not until April 15, 2014
If this will be your first time filing tax forms in the U.S., or if you are confused about the U.S. tax system, please click here and start by reading through our TAX FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) here.
U.S FEDERAL TAX forms:
The ISSO has purchased web based software for all internationals in the Cornell Community to assist with filing U.S. Federal NON-RESIDENT Tax Forms. This software will not be available until mid- to late-February. We will send a message out to you as soon as it is available!
NEW YORK STATE TAX forms:
The software described above does NOT complete New York State tax forms. We will provide materials and workshops to help you fill out the New York State tax forms but you should NOT try to do this until AFTER you fill out your federal forms. (PLEASE NOTE: You must complete your federal tax form BEFORE you may complete your New York State tax form.)
We want to warn you of an identity theft hoax that is targeting internationals. This one comes to you as an email notification from someone with an email address with "irs.org" in it. In the email, they say that you are eligible for a tax refund and that therefore you need to sent them information such as your SSN and the PIN # of my ATM Card. DO NOT RESPOND AND DO NOT SEND ANY INFORMATION. This is absolutely a scam.
If you ever receive any request from an office claiming to be related to a U.S. government office, please do check with us first or with an attorney. In general, the various branches of the U.S. government do not contact you by email unless you are already in correspondence with a particular individual.
You may find the following links helpful which are on identity theft and fraud:
- Department of Justice Fraud Section
- Federal Trade Commission identity theft page
- SSA's "Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number" publication
- Better Business Bureau
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
- Identity Theft Resource Center (has known scams & consumer alerts)
Spotlight: Interviewing Advice for International Students and Postdocs: A Panel Discussion
Thursday, February 13, 2014
5:15 - 6:15 PM
Uris Hall Auditorium, G01
No RSVP required.
Attend this panel discussion with undergraduate and graduate international students who will share advice, tips, and resources that helped them during their US interview experiences.
Anne Poduska, Graduate & International Student Career Advisor, Cornell Career Services (email@example.com)
Craig Jones, Program Assistant, Cornell Career Services (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Valentine's Day Celebration at Coffee Hour
3:30 PM-5:30 PM, Big Red Barn.
ISSO Pre-game Pizza Party. Men's Basketball Game, Cornell Big Red versus Darthmouth College 5:45 PM, Kaplan Room in Bartels Field House.
All international students and academic staff, and their families are welcome.
Skiing or Snowboarding at Greek Peak
Register for this trip, and purchase a ticket online beginning at 9:00 am on Tuesday, February 4th. Once details have been finalized, trip information will be available at: issotickets.com
Interviewing Advice for International Students and Postdocs: A Panel Discussion
5:15-6:15 pm, Plant Science Bldg, Room 233 Auditorium
Attend this panel discussion with undergraduate and graduate international students who will share advice, tips, and resources that helped them during their U.S. interview experiences.
March 29-April 1st Saturday-Tuesday
Spring Break Trip to Washington D.C
Register for this trip, and purchase a ticket online beginning at 9:00 am on Tuesday, February 25. Once details have been finalized, trip information will be available at: issotickets.com
Day Trip to Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY
Register for this trip, and purchase a ticket online beginning at 9:00 am on Tuesday, March 25. Once details have been finalized, trip information will be available at: issotickets.com
*Every Thursday while classes are in session, join us for International Coffee Hour from 3:30-5:30 PM in the Big Red Barn. Meet new friends over light refreshments and world music. All are welcome!
Are you interested in taking one of our trips? Here is what you need to know! Trip announcements will be sent to iPrograms-L and international-L e-lists. Spaces are generally limited and participants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. In most cases, minimal trip fees will apply. Registration and payment for trips are being processed online through University Ticket Sales. Prior to registering for a trip, if you have not already done so for a previous trip, you will need to create an account at issotickets.com
Dear Undergraduate and Graduate Students,
The ISSO would like to hire three Student Coordinators to help plan and run the PREPARE 2014 international undergraduate pre-orientation which takes place August 18-21st. The Student Coordinators will work throughout the summer in this paid position. See complete job description below.
To apply for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter, indicating your interests and qualifications related to the Student Coordinator position to Adriana Rovers (email@example.com).
Deadline: Friday, March 7, 2014
PREPARE Student Coordinator Position Description:
General Goals: The central responsibility of the Student Coordinator will be to ensure that the
program runs smoothly and effectively, ultimately fulfilling its stated purpose of easing the
participants' adjustment to Cornell. The Student Coordinators will work under the supervision of
ISSO’s Program Coordinator(s).
* Status as a student with significant overseas or cross-cultural experience.
* Strong communication skills, both verbal and writing, and good command of the English language.
* Familiarity with Windows computer programs, preferably Microsoft Office, Filemaker, Adobe Creative Suite.
* Openness, motivation, and a desire to help others.
* Experience as a PREPARE participant and/or volunteer preferred.
* Coordinate volunteers, arrange for adequate volunteer coverage before, during, and after all PREPARE events.
* Organize and arrange catering for training program for PREPARE volunteers.
* Develop training guidelines for volunteers.
* Correspond with volunteers over the summer.
* Pick-ups and Check-ins: Coordinate and arrange all participants’ transportation from airport/bus station; make an arrival schedule; direct van drivers to appropriate locations.
* Facilitate sessions including, practical living and cultural adjustment , health care, safety, and academics; and coordinate with campus departments such as Gannett, Cornell Police and First Year Writing program.
* International Dinner and Talent Show: Organize event, make arrangements with dinning facility, and send invitations to special guests.
* Shopping at the mall: Arrange for charter bus and schedule volunteers.
* Closing Picnic Events: Duties TBA.
* Update design for tee shirts and place order.
* Finalize PREPARE schedule
* Create and or revise handouts and publications including PREPARE booklet
* Food and supplies shopping
Correspondence with Participants
* Contact participants as soon as applications are received.
* Provide arrival information, etc.
* Answer phone inquiries regarding PREPARE.
* Respond to any special requests- for example, directions to Cornell, problem with housing assignments, etc.
Connecting to Cornell Departments
* Housing: Contact Campus Life staff for early move-in and check on Housing Assignments.
* Appel and Trillium Meals: Contact and meet with dining halls to arrange for meals;
* Connect with colleges and other Cornell departments to provide information about PREPARE program.
As assigned by the ISSO’s Program Coordinator(s)
Compile a detailed report about the program, organize files, etc.
* June 2-August 1: 10-20 hrs/wk
* August 4-August 15: 30-40 hrs/wk
* August 16 & 17: Volunteer Training: 10-16 hrs
* During PREPARE, August 18-21: 40+ hours, working 7 AM until the end of daily scheduled events (including cleanup), alternating shifts with other Student Coordinators.
* Post-PREPARE: approx. 5-10 hours of follow-up work, including writing a final report.
Please contact Adriana Rovers at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Free Flu Vaccines Available at Gannett
Flu season has arrived and is causing a lot of illness across the country, including right here in central New York. Due to the type of flu viruses currently circulating, young adults are among those at an increased risk for severe illness and complications. Health officials recommend that students living, studying, and working in close quarters get vaccinated to reduce the risk of getting the flu and losing a week or more of valuable time.
All students are eligible to receive FREE flu vaccine annually at Cornell. If you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, call Gannett to schedule an appointment: 607 255-5155. The good news is this year’s flu vaccine is well matched to the flu viruses currently circulating. So, the sooner you get vaccinated, the longer you’ll be protected. For additional information about flu or flu vaccine visit www.gannett.cornell.edu. Have questions? Call Gannett at 607 255-5155.
Please note: Gannett does not offer flu vaccine to children. For child vaccination, we recommend contacting your child's pediatrician or the Tompkins County Health Department.
English for International Students and Scholars (EISS) will be offered at Cornell University from June 23-August 1, 2014.
This full-time program provides intensive English instruction and cultural orientation for those interested in working and studying in an academic environment in the U.S. or in using English professionally. It credit or offers instruction at all levels.
The program features small class sizes to enhance students' ability to learn English and to enable instructors to provide personal attention and encouragement. Core classes are scheduled from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. weekdays, with additional afternoon and evening events, speakers and field trips.
We welcome incoming international graduate students as well as undergraduates and professionals from abroad and visiting scholars.
Summer EISS participants are eligible to receive a Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant [F-1] Student Status). Interested students should apply early to allow time for visa processing.
For more information and to register for the program, please visit the website or contact the Professional Studies office at email@example.com or 607.255.7259.
The Language House is still looking for candidates for the Native Speaker positions of Spanish, French, German, and Japanese.
Are you a native speaker of any of these languages? If so, you may be able to get a FREE room and a partially subsidized meal plan by serving as a ‘Native Speaker’ in the Language House for the 2013-14 academic year.
The goal of the Language House is to provide a setting in which students can become comfortably fluent in one or more of the target languages by immersing themselves in an informal, friendly environment conducive to language and cultural learning.
Each Native Speaker of the Language House serves as a language mentor in matters related to the target language and as an activity coordinator in matters related to relevant cultures. The Native Speakers encourage the use of the target language while together in the building, at dinners or at any other group activity. They attend four meals a week with the residents from their language section, providing conversational supervision for members and are responsible for initiating weekly activities that encourage the resident members of the Language House to broaden their own linguistic, cultural, and academic knowledge. They may also accompany the students on trips to nearby cities or overseas.
Applicants must be full-time, enrolled graduate or upper level undergraduate Cornell students.
For more information about the Language House and a more detailed description of the Native Speaker position, please visit: http://alicecookhouse.cornell.edu/language-house-people.cfm.
If you are interested, please email or call the Director, Astrid Jirka, for more information or fill out the application form online.
The ISSO Book Award was established in 2001 to recognize the vast contributions that the international student population adds to Cornell. It is awarded each year to international students who have made significant contributions, through extracurricular and academic pursuits, to the international community at Cornell, and have promoted international education and communication on campus, in the Ithaca community, and beyond.
We are delighted to announce this year's recipients of the ISSO Book Award...Congratulations to our undergraduate student winner Tarn Susumpow, from Thailand; and our graduate student winner Yulianto Salahuddin Mohsin, from Indonesia!
Each Monday, from 2:30-4:30 PM, counselor Steven Andrews, Ph.D., from Gannett Health Services will be available at the ISSO for free and confidential counselling and consultation. No appointment is necessary! Graduate students, undergraduate students, and family members are welcome to come talk to him about:
- personal growth and challenges
- depression, anxiety and stress
- relationship issues
- family issues
- cultural, racial and ethnic issues
- sexual health concerns
- negotiating academic environment
- any other issues of concern
- referral and information
For more information about Counselling and Psychological Services and a schedule of available times for off-site, walk-in consultations visit: http://www.gannett.cornell.edu/LetsTalk.
ISSO Advising Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 9-12:00; 1:00-4:30
Advisors are available on a walk-in basis except from 12-1 P.M. daily, or by appointment. You may stop by to see us during office hours, check out our website, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 255-5243.