News

Update to CPT Application Requirements

 

ISSS has made a change to the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Application process that we want you to be aware of, in case you are currently preparing your CPT application. CPT is an authorization that ISSS can provide to F-1 visa students to do internships on or off campus that are part of your UConn curriculum.

For any application submitted March 8 or after, we will require a new form called the ISSS 368 CPT Employer Addendum. This will only be required for paid CPT positions. If your position is not paid, you do not need to submit this new form.

The employer addendum form will help to ensure that your employer knows your internship forms part of your academic program, and that your employment is bound to the terms and limitations of CPT. The CPT applicant is responsible to provide this form to your employer for completion, and you will submit this to ISSS along with your offer letter and proof of course enrollment (if the CPT is tied to credit bearing work).

You can find the updated CPT application instructions here. Please reach out to your ISSS advisor with any questions regarding this form.

 

For more information, contact: ISSS at international@uconn.edu

International students and scholars: Questions about career development? Living off campus?

Dear international students and scholars,

 

Next Friday, March 5th, ISSS will be joined at our monthly Stay Informed! meeting by our wonderful campus partners, Center for Career Development and Off Campus and Commuter Student Services. To make sure their content is best targeted to your interests and questions, we would appreciate any feedback you can provide about topics of off-campus living or career development and career services at UConn.

 

Link to form:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd3CZof_oA1aXd7Js-KGNuiNwtNV-iAHiazZUkLGk9OcclA-g/viewform?usp=sf_link

 

In the form linked above, you can tell us any questions you have about job, internship and career development for international students and scholars, or about living off-campus.

 

You can also tell ISSS what has surprised you most about living off campus, and what has surprised you most about working or interning in the United States.

 

The information in this form is anonymously collected and will be used to learn about what type of information may be most useful to international students and visiting scholars in the U.S. Each question is optional. If you wish to participate, please submit the form by March 2nd. We thank you for your help!

Learn To file Tax Form 8843 – Recording Online

 

Did you miss our 8843 Party last week? There is one tax form that all nonresident alien taxpayers must file EVEN if they have no income and are not currently working in the U.S. Learn how to fill out and file the 8843 form with guidance from UConn Accounting faculty and head of the UConn site of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and ISSS staff.

If you were not able to attend you can view the recording online here:

https://isss.uconn.edu/tax-preparation-resources/

Scroll down to “How do I file my tax forms? Which forms do I file?”  and look for the 8843 Party and Learn to File the 8843 Tax Form video.

For more information, contact: ISSS at international@uconn.edu

Workshop required for OPT, STEM OPT and CPT applicants

Dear F-1 students,

Are you hoping to get work experience in the United States? Or, will you enroll in an off-campus clinical or practicum-based course as part of your academic program? These experiences require you to have special authorization before you may engage in off-campus employment or experiential learning. Remember, off-campus employment without having appropriate and prior authorization from ISSS or USCIS is not allowed and is a violation of your visa status.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is provided for training or internships that are required for your major academic program, or for a course that you are taking directly related to your major. It can only be done while you are an active student in your program.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is for work experience that is directly related to your major, but not part of your academic program curriculum. OPT can be done before you graduate, or after you graduate.

STEM OPT Extension is an extension of post-completion OPT authorization for students who graduated from qualifying STEM degree programs, and who work for qualifying employers.

All F-1 students who will apply for OPT, STEM OPT Extension or CPT must have attended an ISSS workshop on the topic, before you submit your application for CPT or OPT or STEM OPT Extension to ISSS.  

Important Workshop Information:

  • ISSS offers three different practical training workshops. Be sure to attend the workshop related to your situation:
    • Post-Completion OPT Workshop: for F-1 students who will soon graduate and apply for an OPT permit to work in the U.S. for up to 12 months after graduation, or while you are in the final stages of your thesis/dissertation. This workshop is intended for students in both STEM and non-STEM fields.
    • CPT and Pre-Completion OPT Workshop: for F-1 students who want to work or intern off-campus during your studies, or who have clinical placements or practicum courses off-campus as part of your other off-campus experiential learning at off-campus locations. CPT is required for both paid and unpaid experiences.
    • STEM OPT Extension workshop: for F-1 students who are already in their post-completion OPT period, and who are preparing to submit an application for STEM OPT Extension. This workshop is not intended for current F-1 students who have not yet started post-completion OPT.
  • The workshop schedule for Spring 2021 semester is posted at events.uconn.edu and can be found here.
  • No pre-registration is required; just join the Webex workshop through the posted link on the scheduled day/time (EST). We recommend that you schedule a calendar reminder for yourself to attend the chosen workshop.
  • When you join the workshop, make sure that you sign in/login to Webex with your passport name or net ID, so that we can identify who you are. If your passport name or Net ID is not visible, we cannot give you credit for attending.
  • You must attend the entire workshop to gain credit for attending that workshop.
  • When you apply for OPT,  CPT or STEM OPT Extension, we will check to see if you have attended an ISSS workshop on the topic. If you have not, then we will ask you to attend a workshop before we will process your application.
  • Practical training authorization is not available to students enrolled in UCAELI (ESL study). You must be enrolled in a degree program to be eligible.

If you want to learn more about CPT and OPT and STEM OPT Extension visit the ISSS webpage on employment for international students.

If you are on a J-1 visa enrolled in a student (not research) program, and you have interest to do practical training, please request an appointment with your ISSS Advisor to learn more about the Academic Training benefit for J-1 students.

For more information, contact: ISSS at international@uconn.edu

Questions About Living Off Campus?

 

At March’s ISSS Stay Informed meeting, we will be joined by UConn’s Off Campus and Commuter Student Services staff to talk with international students and scholars about living off campus.

What questions do you have about living off campus? Tell us through THIS FORM, so that we can provide you with the most relevant information possible.

Thanks and we hope to see you at the next Stay Informed meeting on Friday, March 5, at noon.

For more information, contact: ISSS at international@uconn.edu

How to Prepare for Tax Filing Season

 

Dear Students and Scholars,

The tax filing season will begin soon so we have some updated information to help you prepare.  If you earned income in the U.S. in 2020 you are responsible to file a tax return by April 15, 2021 and should pay attention to the information below.  If you did not earn income in the U.S., but are a nonresident for tax purposes there is still one tax form you must file, the form 8843 – see below for information on how you can learn to file the form 8843.

 

  • There are two programs that can help international students file their tax returns in the U.S.  1) The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program is run by trained UConn student volunteers and they will help you fill out your tax return documents.  2) Sprintax is a software that specializes in nonresident alien tax returns.  UConn can provide you with a code to use to file your federal tax return for free and there is an additional fee to file your CT state return. To learn more visit: https://isss.uconn.edu/tax-preparation-resources/
  • Free Virtual Tax Appointments through VITA for Nonresident Aliens will begin the first week in March. ISSS will message all students once appointments we learn appointments are available.
  • UConn Income Statements (W-2 form) will be available online at https://ess.uconn.edu/ navigate to Payroll > View W-2/W-C Information
  • If you are no longer employed at UConn and cannot log in to https://ess.uconn.edu/ please contact Payroll at payroll@uconn.edu
  • If you had on campus employment and can claim the benefits of a tax treaty you will receive a 1042-S from the State of Connecticut by mail shortly.  You should wait to file your income taxes until after you receive this form.
  • If you will be receiving a 2020 Form 1042-S for a scholarship or fellowship, UConn’s Tax and Compliance Office has notified you of this through an email sent to you on 1/29/21.  Your Form 1042-S for a scholarship or fellowship will be mailed to the mailing address that is listed in Student Admin.  If that is not the correct address, please contact taxcompliance@uconn.edu as soon as possible with your correct mailing address.

 

Join our 8843 Party and Learn to File the 8843 Tax Form for Non-resident Alien Students.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9 @ 9:00 A.M.

 

There is one tax form that all nonresident alien taxpayers must file EVEN if they have no income and are not currently working in the U.S. Learn how to fill out and file the 8843 form with guidance from UConn Accounting faculty and head of the UConn site of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and ISSS staff.
Meeting Link: https://uconnvtc.webex.com/uconnvtc/j.php?MTID=m6dedeebcbdd6949334f43a8230d93969
Meeting Number: 120 520 6943
Password: Taxes!

Workshop Required for CPT and OPT Applicants

 

Dear F-1 students,

Are you hoping to get work experience in the United States? Or, will you enroll in an off-campus clinical or practicum-based course as part of your academic program? These experiences require you to have special authorization before you may engage in off-campus employment or experiential learning. Remember, off-campus employment without having appropriate and prior authorization from ISSS or USCIS is not allowed and is a violation of your visa status.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is provided for training or internships that are required for your major academic program, or for a course that you are taking directly related to your major. It can only be done while you are an active student in your program.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is for work experience that is directly related to your major, but not part of your academic program curriculum. OPT can be done before you graduate, or after you graduate.

All F-1 students who will apply for OPT or CPT must have attended an ISSS workshop on the topic, before you submit your application for CPT or OPT to ISSS.  

Important Workshop Information:

  • ISSS offers three different practical training workshops. Be sure to attend the workshop related to your situation:
    • Post-Completion OPT Workshop: for F-1 students who will soon graduate and apply for an OPT permit to work in the U.S. for up to 12 months after graduation, or while you are in the final stages of your thesis/dissertation. This workshop is intended for students in both STEM and non-STEM fields.
    • CPT and Pre-Completion OPT Workshop: for F-1 students who want to work or intern off-campus during your studies, or who have clinical placements or practicum courses off-campus as part of your other off-campus experiential learning at off-campus locations. CPT is required for both paid and unpaid experiences.
    • STEM OPT Extension workshop: for F-1 students who are already in their post-completion OPT period, and who are preparing to submit an application for STEM OPT Extension. This workshop is not intended for current F-1 students who have not yet started post-completion OPT.
  • The workshop schedule for Spring 2021 semester is posted at events.uconn.edu and can be found here.
  • No pre-registration is required; just join the Webex workshop through the posted link on the scheduled day/time (EST). We recommend that you schedule a calendar reminder for yourself to attend the chosen workshop.
  • When you join the workshop, make sure that you sign in/login to Webex with your passport name or net ID, so that we can identify who you are. If your passport name or Net ID is not visible, we cannot give you credit for attending.
  • You must attend the entire workshop to gain credit for attending that workshop.
  • When you apply for OPT or CPT, we will check to see if you have attended an ISSS workshop on the topic. If you have not, then we will ask you to attend a workshop before we will process your application.
  • Practical training authorization is not available to students enrolled in UCAELI (ESL study). You must be enrolled in a degree program to be eligible.

If you want to learn more about CPT and OPT, visit the ISSS webpage on employment for international students.

If you are on a J-1 visa enrolled in a student (not research) program, and you have interest to do practical training, please request an appointment with your ISSS Advisor to learn more about the Academic Training benefit for J-1 students.

For more information, contact: ISSS at international@uconn.edu

Social Security Group Appointment Waitlist

Storrs Campus Students:

Are you working on campus this semester and do you need to apply for a social security number?  Unfortunately the first two ISSS group appointments are full, but add your name to the Social Security Group Appointment Waitlist and we will be in contact as soon as we can schedule another group appointment.  For more information on applying for an SSN visit: https://isss.uconn.edu/social-security-itin-2/ 

Regional Campus Students:

Follow instructions for scheduling an appointment at your local SSA office online here: https://isss.uconn.edu/social-security-itin-2/ 

 

For more information, contact: ISSS at international@uconn.edu

Important Travel Updates

 

Entry Restrictions for foreign national travelers

The Biden administration will reinstate the orders to restrict entry of travelers who were in Brazil, UK, Ireland and Schengen Area countries of Europe within 14 days before arriving to U.S., and add South Africa to the list of countries from which travel will be restricted.

Official orders to this effect have not yet been published, and it is still unclear whether students and exchange visitors who will travel from any of these regions will qualify for national interest exceptions for academic related travel. ISSS will update you as we learn more.

 Update: The proclamation was published and can be read here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/25/proclamation-on-the-suspension-of-entry-as-immigrants-and-non-immigrants-of-certain-additional-persons-who-pose-a-risk-of-transmitting-coronavirus-disease/ 

Also, Department of State have confirmed informally that the National Interest Exception that allowed F-1 students to travel from Europe, UK and Ireland automatically, and visiting scholars with J-1 visa by written approval, will remain in effect. The Department of State website lists up to date information, here.

Testing and Arrival Requirements

Starting tomorrow, January 26, COVID-19 testing will be required to board all international flights to the U.S. More information about this requirement, including an FAQ, can be found on the CDC website here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html

The CDC has also updated their federal (U.S.) guidelines for returning to the U.S. from international travel: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html

Remember, there are still state arrival requirements and also University arrival requirements (for students who will enage in on-campus activity) that may differ from the U.S. federal arrival requirements.

 

 

For more information, contact: ISSS at international@uconn.edu

Start of Semester Reminders

 

Spring semester has begun, and ISSS would like to remind all enrolled international students that you must study on a fulltime basis every semester. Fulltime means you are taking a minimum of:
 
·         Bachelor’s – 12 credits/semester
·         Master’s/PhD, with graduate assistantship – 6 credits/semester
·         Master’s/PhD, no graduate assistantship – 9 credits/per semester, or a 3-credit GRAD course considered full time
·         JD students – 12 credits/semester
·         UCAELI – Participate full time in your intensive English program, 22 hours/week.
 
Reduced Course Load for Last Semester
If you will graduate in May, and you need fewer than fulltime credits to complete your program, you may request permission from ISSS to take a Reduced Course Load for Last Semester. Please submit this request by February 1. Link to application information and form: https://isss.uconn.edu/part-time-study/#reducedcourseloadforlastsemester
 
Can my classes be entirely online?
If you were an active student on an F-1/J-1 visa as of March 9, 2020, with the same SEVIS number listed on your current I-20/DS-2019, then you may study entirely online. 

If you arrived in the U.S. after March 9, 2020, or were here March 9, departed, and returned with a different SEVIS ID number, then your in-person engagement is required, and you should have at least one class listed as in-person, hybrid, or by arrangement.

You can review your SEVIS ID number on your Form I-20 or DS-2019 (the long number that starts with the letter N). Remember all classes will be online for the first two weeks of the semester – even students who are required to have at least one in-person class can participate remotely the first two weeks.
 
Check Your I-20/DS-2019 Program End Date
In addition to taking the fulltime amount of credits, remember you must also complete all program requirements by the program end date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019 form, and plan your courses accordingly. If your I-20/DS-2019 program end date falls within the Spring 2021 semester and you will not be able to complete this semester, you must request an extension of your program end date. ISSS cannot extend your program end date after it has passed, and you will be out of status if you do not complete, and also do not extend your I-20 or DS-2019 program end date.

Report any address changes

Remember to tell ISSS your new U.S. address, if it changed since you last reported your address, by following these instructions. Remember you must report any address changes within 10 days after you move. International students are also required to report any changes to your home country address within 10 days.

 

For more information, contact: ISSS at international@uconn.edu