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  • ISSO Newsletter: April 2011

    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.

    Newsletter Contents:

    1. Immigration News and Reminders
      Travel Reminders: Leaving the U.S. for Summer?
      Planning on working OFF-campus this Summer?
      Graduating Soon?: Discuss your Future Plans with ISSO!
      Check your Documents: Is your I-20 or DS-2019 expiring?
      Reminder: You must update your address with the ISSO!
    2. Tax Information: April 18 Deadline!
      General Tax Information
      U.S. Federal Tax Forms
      Accessing the Software
      New York State Forms
      W-2 and 1042-S
      Warning: Identity Theft Scam disguised as tax refund!!
    3. Upcoming ISSO Programs
      Highlight: Reception for Graduating International Students (May 4)
      Summer Program Schedule
    4. August Orientation Coming Soon: We Need Your Help!
      Undergrads: PREPARE Volunteer Signup Info
      Deadline Extended: Apply Now for PREPARE Coordinator Position
      Int'l Grad Orientation Volunteers
      Int'l Grad Orientation Student Organization Fair
    5. From Gannett: Put the Spring Back Into Your Steps!
    6. Let's Talk: CAPS off-site counseling
    7. Have Immigration Questions?: Come to ISSO Office Hours

    Immigration News

    Travel Reminders: Leaving the U.S. for the Summer?
    Make sure you have the correct Re-Entry Documents!!! If you will be leaving and re-entering the U.S., PLEASE be sure that you have all the documents for re-entry as described on these web pages:

    Planning to work OFF-campus this summer?
    F-1 Students: If you are planning to work OFF-campus this summer you MUST APPLY for work authorization through the ISSO. Read about F-1 work authorization here.

    J-1 students: If you are planning to work OFF-campus this summer you MUST APPLY for work authorization through the ISSO. If your DS-2019 form was issued by Cornell, you may read about J-1 student off-campus work authorization, known as "Academic Training," and download an application from our J-1 Academic Training web pages. If your DS-2019 is not issued by Cornell University, you must contact your sponsor (whoever issued your DS-2019) to discuss whether or not Academic Training is allowed.

    Graduating Soon?: Discuss your Future Plans with ISSO!
    If you are graduating from Cornell this May or August, and you plan to stay in the U.S. to either work or to pursue another degree, please come to the ISSO to discuss your plans. In order to maintain your valid immigration status in the U.S., there are specific procedures you will need to complete in order to do any of the following:

    Check with the ISSO advisor on duty about any of the above or any other plans you may have after you graduate.

    Check your Documents: Is anything expiring?

    Please take a moment to check your documents. If your I-20 or DS-2019 is about to expire and you know you will need more time to complete your academic, please come to the ISSO to complete an F-1 Program Extension or a J-1 Student Program Extension. It is very important that you do so before your current documents expire!! If your I-20 or DS-2019 is due to expire in May and you intend to remain at Cornell next semester, you should do an extension NOW. If you fail to complete an extension, you will be out of legal immigration status.

    If it also very important that you keep your passport current. If it will expire in the near future, make plans to extend or renew it. If you aren’t making a trip home soon, contact your country’s consulate here in the United States for instructions on extending your passport.

    Reminder: You must update your address with the ISSO!
    Anyone in F-1 or J-1 status at Cornell MUST update your address with the ISSO when you move by filling in our on line address form. If you haven't updated your address with the ISSO since moving, do it now!

    Tax Information

    Read the ISSO tax information here.

    Read the tax frequently asked questions here.

    Tax season is here! The deadline to file your tax return is April 18, 2011

    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. All internationals temporarily residing in the U.S. are required to file at least one U.S. Federal Tax Form (the 8843) even if you were not employed. The tax software will help you fill out that form and will determine if you need to fill out other forms as well. To determine if you are Non-Resident for tax purposes, click here.

    Go to our tax page. Click here to get to our tax information page and to read important information about what you need before you fill in the tax forms using the software. You will need your Cornell net id and password to get to the page that has our "access code" for the windstar tax software.

    The software described above does NOT complete New York State tax forms. Click here for everything you need to file your New York State tax forms. (PLEASE NOTE: You must complete your federal tax form BEFORE you may complete your New York State tax form.)

    Questions about W-2s and 1042s's:
    Click here for any questions regarding W-2 and / or 1042s forms.

    Questions about the 1098-T:
    Click here for any questions regarding the 1098-T form. Most international students file U.S. tax forms as Non-Residents and should IGNORE the 1098-T form. The 1098-T form is a tax document that Cornell fills out to reports to the student (and the IRS) any tuition charges and financial aid for a calendar year. Cornell University issues 1098-T forms “Tuition Statement”, to all students at Cornell, including foreign nationals, when the following criteria is met; tuition charges exceed financial aid.

    The 1098-T form assists students in evaluating whether s/he is eligible for one of the following educational credits, the Hope Credit or Life Time Learning Credit. Unfortunately, any international who is filing tax returns as a Non-Resident for Tax purposes, is NOT eligible for any of these educational credits and you should ignore the 1098-T form. For more information read here.

    Tax Refund Spam Emails!

    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 "" 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:

    Upcoming ISSO Programs

    Highlight: Reception for Graduating International Students

    Reception for Graduating International Students
    Monday, May 4, 2011, 5:00-6:30 PM
    Room G10, Biotechnology Building

    Are you graduating in May or August 2011, or did you graduate in December 2010?

    If so, we cordially invite you to the annual Reception for Graduating International Students, to be held in Room G10 of the Biotechnology Building from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 4. Graduating students are welcome to invite a spouse or partner, and a faculty guest, and will enjoy student musical and dance performances and some words from university officials. Light refreshments will be served.

    If you can attend, please RSVP via the ISSO website by Thursday, April 28. We look forward to celebrating with you!

    Summer Program Schedule

    A note about trips: Dates and times are subject to change. Prices and other details will be announced via e-mail on the iPrograms-L and International-L e-lists.


    3-5 Sunday-Tuesday
    Trip to Boston, Massachusetts
    Reserve a space on line Tuesday, June 7, beginning at 9 am

    17 Sunday
    Day Trip to Niagara Falls, New York
    Reserve a space on line Tuesday, June 28, beginning at 9 am


    15-18 Monday-Thursday
    PREPARE pre-orientation program for incoming international students

    20 Saturday
    International Graduate and Professional Student Orientation
    3:30-5:30 pm at the Auditorium in Statler Hall
    Immediately following there will be an International Student Organization Fair and Welcome Reception 5:30-7:00 pm at Beck Center Park Atrium in Statler Hall

    23 Tuesday
    International Student Orientation
    2:00 pm in the Willard Straight Hall Music Room (next to the International Lounge)
    This session is for new international students who did not attend PREPARE or the August 20 international graduate orientation program.

    25 Thursday
    First International Coffee Hour of the year!
    3:30-5:30 PM, Big Red Barn

    Meet new friends over light refreshments and world music.

    August Orientation Coming Soon: We Need Your Help!

    Undergrads: PREPARE Volunteer Signup Info

    Attention undergraduate students...Are you an international student who would like to welcome new international undergraduates to Cornell? Or are you an American student who has had experience living in another culture and knows how it feels to dive into something so different? Then use your experience to help welcome new international students to Cornell!

    The ISSO is looking for motivated and enthusiastic undergraduate volunteers for PREPARE 2011 in August!

    PREPARE is a four-day, intensive pre-orientation program for new international undergraduates, where participants and volunteers have the opportunity to meet one another and help each other acclimate to life at Cornell. Approximately 200 new students, plus 55 volunteers will participate in PREPARE.

    Volunteers are crucially important, and are expected to attend all events throughout the program. They may not be OCs for the university orientation, as conflicts of time and commitment often arise.

    PREPARE will run from August 15-18, with a mandatory training session for volunteers on August 13-14. Volunteers who have on-campus assignments for the fall will be allowed to move into their rooms beginning on Friday, August 12.

    Students who want to volunteer for PREPARE are required to sign up online. There is a May 21 deadline. Please only sign up if you are able to make a firm commitment to volunteering.

    Get involved! Help new international students! Have fun! Sign on to the PREPARE Team!

    Questions? Please contact Adriana Rovers at

    Deadline Extended: Apply Now for PREPARE Coordinator Position

    The ISSO would like to hire two Student Coordinators to help plan and run the PREPARE 2011 international undergraduate orientation which takes place August 15-18th. The Student Coordinators will work throughout the summer. See complete job description below.

    To apply for this position, please submit a hard copy of your resume and cover letter, indicating your interests and qualifications related to the Student Coordinator position to the address below.

    New Deadline: Monday, April 18, 2011

    International Students and Scholars Office
    PREPARE Pre-Orientation Program
    B-50 Caldwell Hall
    Ithaca, NY 14853

    Abridged Job Description
    (please read the full job description here before applying)

    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 and develop volunteer training
    • Plan arrivals, housing, meals, information sessions and fun activities
    • Correspond with participants before they arrive
    • Much more!

    June 6-July 30: 15-25 hrs/wk
    August 1-12: 30-40 hrs/wk
    August 13-14: Volunteer training
    During PREPARE, August 15-18: 40+ hours, working 7 AM until the end of daily scheduled events (including cleanup), alternating shifts with other Student Coordinator.
    Post-PREPARE: approx. 5-10 hours of follow-up work, including writing a final report.

    Please contact Adriana Rovers at if you have any questions.

    International Grad Orientation Volunteers

    International Graduate and Professional Student Orientation will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2011 from 3-7:00 PM in Statler Hall. Graduate student volunteers are needed to help set up for the event, welcome new students, and generally be on hand to answer questions and share your experiences as a continuing student. If you are interested in helping out with this event or with the Graduate School’s ongoing orientation activities, please send your name and e-mail address to Elizabeth Shedd at There will be a volunteer information meeting in mid-August. More details will be provided during the summer.

    International Grad Orientation Student Organization Fair

    Held in conjunction with the International Graduate and Professional Student Orientation, this event will showcase the variety of International Student Organizations available on campus. The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 20 from 5:30-7:00 PM in the Park Atrium of Statler Hall’s Beck Center. Welcome new graduate students and recruit new members! If your organization is interested in participating, send summer contact information (name and e-mail) to Elizabeth Shedd at

    Put the Spring Back Into Your Steps: 5 inspiring activities (from Gannett)

    Finally! April has arrived to renew all living things … including us! If you are new to Ithaca, you’re in for a treat. Some say spring is Cornell’s best season. For a brief time you can witness the natural beauty and exuberance of early spring flowers, crisp air, and light winds can hold a kite in the sky for hours. Even a brief walk outside can clear your mind, focus your thoughts, and help you to keep life in perspective. Below are five special spring (on-campus) activities that can refresh, renew, and relax you.

    1. Check out the Mundy Wildflower Garden. It’s one of Cornell Plantations’ many natural areas. From now until May the Garden will be at its peak with native woodland wildflowers such as skunk cabbage, trout lily, marsh marigold, and trillium emerge. Each time you visit, you can see new flowers emerging…some only showing their beauty for a few days.
    2. Walk or jog around Beebe Lake and Woods. This special spot near North Campus is an active floodplain of Fall Creek. It has been known historically for its high diversity of native and naturalized plants, abundant wildflowers and rare species. After it was designated as a garden, some native plant species were reintroduced to the site.
    3. Hike, bike, or roller blade around the Newman Arboretum. The arboretum is comprised of a 150-acre pastoral setting. Specialty gardens can be viewed as you explore the hills, valleys, and “bowls” carved out by the retreat of the last glaciers over 10,000 years ago. The arboretum’s overlook and benches provide great panoramic views. Directions: Walk east on Tower Road to the Cornell Dairy Bar, turn left onto Judd Falls Rd, turn right onto Plantation Road and left onto Caldwell Road. This will take you to the west entrance of the Arboretum.
    4. Fly a kite from Libe Slope. There’s more to the Slope than Slope Day! Take time to enjoy the blooming meadow fresh air, passing clouds, and opportunities to meet new people.
    5. Learn to rock climb with help from Cornell Outdoor Education’s experienced instructors. They can show you basic techniques necessary to successfully and safely climb the Lindseth Climbing Wall. They can also suggest opportunities to join others with similar interests.

    “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” ~John Muir

    Submitted by:
    Janis Talbot ( 255-4782
    Health Educator, International Student Health Advocate

    Let's Talk: CAPS off-site counseling at ISSO (winter hours)

    Each Thursday, from 2:30-4:30 PM, counselor Bevyn Rowland 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 her 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:

    Have Immigration Questions?
    Come to ISSO Office Hours

    ISSO Advising Hours:
    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 9-12:00; 1:00-4:30
    Wednesday 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, or call us at 255-5243.