Author: Galinat, Arthur

ISSS Summer Book Club Meets Fridays in July

July 10, 3 pm – 4 pm: ISSS Summer Book Club

Join ISSS Advisor Sarah Manning for the first ISSS Summer Book Club. Have you ever gotten lost in a book? Now is the best time to do it! Join ISSS for a community book club. We will be reading We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This is a summer mystery book that will be fun to discuss and share. Sign Up here to participate. 

Do you need to file taxes? Watch Sprintax Workshop free online.

Do you still need to file taxes?  Watch a free Sprintax Workshop for general information about U.S. tax filing process including the forms necessary, the steps to follow and the process to file your taxes.  Sprintax is hosting a series of free workshops on nonresident alien tax filing from now until July 1st, 2020.  Read more about taxes visit:

International students and scholars can prepare their federal tax return and 8843 form online using Sprintax. This service is provided free for current UConn students and scholars, as well as recent graduates who are on post-completion OPT, or Academic Training. Sprintax can also prepare your state tax return for an extra fee. Sprintax prepares tax forms for individuals who are nonresident aliens for tax purposes. The software will have you complete a short questionnaire to determine whether you qualify to use the service. You will need to request an access code from ISSS that you will enter at “Checkout” to obtain your federal tax preparation at no cost. Email and provide your full name and Peoplesoft number if you would like to request an access code and a link to the Sprintax portal.

International students may prepare their own tax returns or seek other options to file their tax returns. The IRS webpage lists options for filing tax returns.

Sprintax Student Webinar Schedule and Registration Details

Webinar 1: Thursday, April 30th @ 12pm EST

Please register for Sprintax Open Webinar on Apr 30, 2020 12:00 PM EDT at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Brought to you by GoToWebinar®  Webinars Made Easy®


Webinar 2:  Wednesday, May 13 @ 12pm EST

Please register for Sprintax Open Webinar 2 on May 13, 2020 12:00 PM EDT at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Brought to you by GoToWebinar® Webinars Made Easy®


Webinar 3:  Wednesday, May 27th @ 1pm EST

Please register for Sprintax Open Webinar 3 on May 27, 2020 1:00 PM EDT at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Brought to you by GoToWebinar® Webinars Made Easy®


Webinar 4:  Thursday, June 11th @ 11am EST

Please register for Sprintax Open Webinar 4 on Jun 11, 2020 11:00 AM EDT at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Brought to you by GoToWebinar® Webinars Made Easy®


Webinar 5:  Wednesday, July 1st @ 12pm EST

Please register for Sprintax Open Webinar 5 on Jul 1, 2020 12:00 PM EDT at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Did you receive mail from Census 2020?

U.S. Census 2020 Started March 12, 2020

The U.S. Census 2020 will take place starting March 12, 2020 and it is critical that everyone participate.  The 2020 Census is a count of all people living in the U.S. All persons living in the U.S. on April 1, 2020 need to participate in the U.S. Census even if you are not a U.S. citizen.

Census results help determine how many lawmakers each state can send to congress and how much federal funding each community receives, so it is important that all people are counted.

census image

What to do:

If you live in a UConn Residence Hall: You may not need to do anything and the university will report all students living on campus to the census.

If you live off-campus in an apartment/house: You will receive mail from the U.S. Census between March 12 – March 20 with instructions on how to respond to the census online.  Check your mailbox!  If you have roommates, one person should fill out the census for the whole apartment (list total number of people in apartment).

The census will mail information March 12 – March 20 and they will send reminder letters weekly until you respond.  If you do not respond to the census by April 27 a census employee may visit your apartment.  Some apartment complexes may invite census workers to set up in a common room to make it easier for residents to fill out the census in person instead of online.  This is called Mobile Questionnaire Assistance.


The census will be conducted in English or 12 non-English languages and has guides in 59 non-English languages. The census consists of only nine questions and citizenship or immigration status is not collected.


Census information is private and will not be shared even with other government agencies.  The Census will never ask for your Social Security Number, bank account information or money. The census has information and a phone number you can call if you suspect that someone is impersonating the census in a fraud or scam.

Visit for more information.

SEVP Portal for OPT Students

On Friday, March 23rd the U.S. Department of Homeland Security implemented a new online tool for students on OPT to keep your information up to date in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

Remember, all F-1 visa students on OPT are required by law to report any changes in their address, employer or employment status within 10 days to ISSS.  ISSS, in turn, updates these changes in SEVIS.

The new SEVP Portal allows students to view certain information from their SEVIS record, and update some information directly to the SEVIS record. However, even though the Portal enables you to update some information directly, you are not required to use it. You are still required to update your information changes using the ISSS OPT Information Form, and we will update the information for you in SEVIS.


Who can use the SEVP Portal?

Students who are on active post-completion OPT or STEM OPT extension may access the portal. This means your EAD has been approved and your OPT start date has been reached.

How will I access the SEVP Portal?

Once your OPT has been approved and your state date has been reached, you will

receive an email from  If you have applied for OPT, but it has not yet been approved, you are not able to access the portal yet. Your portal account invitation will come when your OPT is approved, and the requested start date has been reached. The language in the email makes it sound like you are required to use the SEVP Portal to report your information, but this is not the case. As long as you report your OPT Information updates to ISSS you will still meet your federal visa reporting requirement.

Am I still required to report my information on the ISSS OPT Information Form?

Yes. All students on OPT are still required to report any changes in name, address, contact information and employer/employment information to ISSS directly through the OPT Information Form on the ISSS webpage. Link to ISSS OPT Information Form. You must do this even if you have also reported your information directly through the Portal.

Who can use the portal?

F-1 students with active, approved post-completion OPT and STEM OPT Extension may use the portal to view and update certain biographical and employment information from your SEVIS record. Your SEVIS record is your electronic immigration record which contains information about you, your program of study, and your OPT employment information. It is required to be kept accurate and up to date. The government has access to the information in your SEVIS record, and your University DSO (ISSS staff) can make changes to your SEVIS record. Now you, too, can update certain information directly in your SEVIS record using the SEVP Portal.

What can I see in the portal? What can I update in the portal?

You can view in the SEVP Portal your name and date of birth, address, telephone number, terms of your OPT authorization, and your employer information. Students on standard post-completion OPT may update your physical address, telephone number, and you can add/remove employer and employment information.  Students on STEM OPT may not add employers, but you can edit current employers. This is because you need to submit an I-983 form to ISSS any time you leave/add employers while on STEM OPT Extension.

Am I required to use the portal?

No, using the portal is completely voluntary. In fact, at ISSS we recommend that you only use the portal to view your SEVIS information, since we already update your other required information based on your OPT Information Form.

How long after I report updates through the ISSS OPT Information Form can I see those updates in the portal?

Please allow at least 2 weeks after you submit your ISSS OPT Information to see those updates to your SEVIS record through the portal.

Where can I learn more about the SEVP Portal?

Learn more on the DHS Study in the States website.

Who do I contact if I have problems using the portal?

This depends on the nature of the problem. If you did not receive an email inviting you to create your account, or if you are locked out of your account, you may contact for assistance. If you are having technical difficulties using the portal, you may contact the SEVIS Response Center at 703-603-3400.