Reduced Course Loads in Spring 2013: As of the spring semester, a new registration process will be in place to ensure F-1 and J-1 visa holders are not falling out of status by mistakenly taking too few credits without ISSS permission (as required by Immigration). If you try to register for fewer than the credits you are required to take, you will be stopped by an error message. To proceed with registration, you'll need to submit an RCL and ISSS will notify the Registrar that you can register for the approved number of credits. We will be working very hard to process RCLs within three business days (was 10 business days in the past). To help us do that, be sure to fill out your form online and completely; plus, make sure you have no holds.
I-20/DS-2019 Expiring?: Two notices have been e-mailed to students whose documents will expire in December. If you haven't checked your ODU student e-mail, be sure to do so regularly. Monday, 3 December is the extension request deadline. Anything submitted after that may not be processed before your document expires.
Graduating in December?: First...CONGRATULATIONS! Second, be sure to go over the checklist for graduating students to make sure you submit all of the proper updates.
Miss Doing Your Tax Forms on the 15th & 16th?: If you plan to continue work at ODU or ODURF in 2013, please be sure to come to ISSS during regular I-9 hours no later than Monday, 17 December.
Travel Reminders: If you will be traveling outside the U.S. for the coming break, be sure to read the Travel Reminders at the bottom right of our main web page. If you are traveling in the U.S., we recommend you have your most current visa document with you and a photo ID (license or passport or Virginia state ID).
Need a Travel Signature?: If the signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 is more than six months old, please bring your document (and your dependents', too, if needed) to ISSS no later than Monday, 17 December. Any I-20s received after this date cannot be guaranteed a signature before the university closes for Winter Break.
Family/Friends Coming to See You Graduate?: If you have loved ones coming from overseas for a visit, be sure to check out our page with information on things you'll need to keep in mind. NOTE: ISSS does not write the letter of invitation; we only write a letter to verify your enrollment (or your OPT application if you've graduated).
Visa Status Check-Up: If you didn't have a chance to come to Tax & Travel Signature Days, you can still get a visa status check-up from an ISSS advisor. Stop by ISSS between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. or 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. any day. It takes about five minutes and you'll have peace of mind that your status is in good standing. Please bring your passport when you come for a visa status check-up.
Check In for Students Beginning New Programs in January: If you are a current or returning (e.g. after OPT) student and you are beginning a new program, you can participate in the limited December check-in. This check-in is also available for any students who are already in the U.S. and are transferring to ODU. Visit the link above for document requirements and times. To speed up the process for you, you can fill out the Emergency Contact & Check-In Sheet before you come.
Graduate Students & Academic Suspension: Please note that ISSS has instituted a new policy regarding academic suspension appeals for graduate students. ISSS is notified of suspensions but not of approval appeals. Upon notification of your suspension, we will e-mail you and, from that day, you have two weeks to submit your appeal in accordance with procedures determined by the Office of Graduate Studies. (Please be sure to e-mail us to inform us of the date of submission.) If we do not hear back from you and/or receive subsequent follow-ups/documentation of an approval or denial, we will be forced to terminate your SEVIS record (including any dependents).
Practical Training Workshops for F-1s: Will you be applying for an off-campus internship (CPT) next semester? What about doing post-graduation employment (OPT)? If so, you'll need to sign up for one or both of the required workshops--especially if your're graduating in December and want to do OPT. NOTE: You are only eligible to attend the workshop if you have been a full-time student in F-1 status for six months.