News

Important Information for Students Graduating in Spring 23

This announcement was originally sent out on April 19. 

Dear Students,
Greetings from ISSS! This message is going out to all students, but only applies to those students graduating in Spring 23.

Congratulations!  If you are graduating in Spring 23, ISSS will need to shorten your I-20 or DS-2019 end date to the end of the semester.  Your new end date will be 05/06/2023. PLEASE NOTE: your last day of on-campus work permission will be 05/06/2023.  You must stop working on-campus after this date.  Your grace period begins the day after on 05/07/2023.  If your most recent form I-20/DS-2019 has a future program end date, it will no longer be valid. If there is any chance that you will not finish by 05/06/2023 you must contact your ISSS advisor before this date.

F-1 Students:

Be advised that you have a 60-day grace period to remain in the United States before your F-1 status ends.  Your 60-day grace period starts from the date you completed your program as indicated above.

J-1 Students:
Be advised that you have a 30-day grace period to remain in the United States before your J-1 status ends.  Your 30-day grace period starts from the date you completed your program as indicated above.

Graduate Assistants Completing in Spring 23:

You can read more about the policy for GA’s last day of work here. This was shared with all students at the beginning of the semester.  Please work with your supervisor to ensure

that you finish the duties associated with your assistantship before May 06, 2023. You will still receive your full GA stipend for spring 2023, but the time from May 6 through May 22, 2023 will be treated as time off.

 

To process your F-1 SEVIS record, ISSS needs you to take one of the following actions before the end of your grace period:

  1. Prepare to depart the U.S.- submit Program Update-Compete/Shorten Form
  2. Request another form I-20 or DS-2019 to begin a new degree program at UConn – submit Continuing Student I-20/DS-2019 Request;
  3. Transfer to another school to start a new program-submit SEVIS Transfer Out Request
  4. Report a change in your non-immigrant status from F-1 to another visa status – submit Program Update-Change Visa Status Notification
  5. Apply for work permission to stay in the U.S. and work in your major field.

F-1 Students: Apply for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) to work in the U.S. in your major field.  You must apply for OPT before you depart the U.S.

J-1 Students: Apply for Academic Training (AT) to work in the U.S. in your major field.  You must apply for Academic Training before your DS-2019 expires.

Please contact your international advisor if you require further assistance. You can reach us at (860) 486-3855 or by email at international@uconn.edu

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.  We hope that all of our spring graduates found their time at UConn academically satisfying and personally fulfilling. Good luck with your future endeavors!

Best wishes,
___________

Arthur Galinat
Director, International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS)

ISSS has moved – New office location

ISSS on the Storrs campus has moved to a new building.

Our new home is the Center for International Students and Scholars located at 2019 Hillside Rd. Storrs, CT 06269. Look for the Center for International Students and Scholars at maps.uconn.edu.

The office is open Monday-Friday from 9:00-5:00.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

Resources for students and scholars impacted by war in Ukraine

Embassy Contact Information

Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Telephone: (+1) 202 349 2963

Email: ukrembus@gmail.com; consuluausa@gmail.com 

Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Phone: (202) 939-8914/Emergency Line: 202-298-5700 

Email: russconswdc@gmail.com; rusembusa@mid.ru

Visas and Travel

Announcement of Processing Posts for U.S. Visa Applicants from Ukraine: U.S. visa services are not available in Ukraine, but follow these guidelines to identify appropriate consular posts to apply for the U.S. visas outside Ukraine. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/announcement-of-processing-posts-for-visa-applicants-from-Ukraine.html

U.S. F/M/J Visa Processing for applicants resident in Russia: Due to lack of consular services for nonimmigrant visa processing in Russia, the U.S. Department of State has designated specific posts for receiving applicants who are residents of Russia and need student or exchange visitors visas. Read full post: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/announcement-of-F-M-J-processing-posts-for-applicants-resident-in-russia.html  

U.S. Visa and Humanitarian Information for Ukrainians in Poland: https://pl.usembassy.gov/humanitarian_assistance_ukraine_pl/ and https://pl.usembassy.gov/visas/humanitarian-assistance-and-visa-information-for-ukrainians/

Limited National Interest Exception of vaccine requirement for some travelers from Ukraine: Currently the U.S. requires that international travelers be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This limited National Interest Exception provides flexibility to arrive without vaccination for certain nonimmigrant travelers who were in Ukraine as of February 10, 2022. Read the full National Interest Exception, here:  https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/2022-02/22_0215_S1_national-interest-exemption_0.pdf 

Executive Order Restricting Entry to U.S. of Certain Individuals who have been determined to engage in activities in support of Russia’s recognition of DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine. Read the Executive Order, here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/02/23/2022-04020/blocking-property-of-certain-persons-and-prohibiting-certain-transactions-with-respect-to-continued   

AILA Practice Pointer: Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Visa Options for Ukrainian Nationals, including travel considerations for entering neighboring countries across land borders. (Source: American Immigration Lawyers Association)

U.S. Immigration Benefits

 Temporary Protected Status for Ukraine: 

On March 3, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. Read full announcement here: https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/news-releases/secretary-mayorkas-designates-ukraine-for-temporary-protected-status-for-18-months

Starting April 19, 2022 eligible Ukrainians may file for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Find filing details here: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status/temporary-protected-status-designated-country-ukraine

ISSS recommends you seek legal assistance when filing for TPS.

Special Student Relief for Ukrainian students on F-1 visas:

Ukrainian students on F-1 visas who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the conflict in Ukraine may seek authorization to work more than 20 hours per week through on-campus employment authorization, or to work off-campus, part time or full time. Students working under SSR may also take a reduced course load and maintain F-1 status. Make an appointment with your ISSS advisor to discuss this option.

USCIS Immigration Help Available to those Affected by Special Situations

https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/immigration-help-available-to-those-affected-by-special-situations-including-the-invasion-of-ukraine

Updated April 19, 2022

Legal Resources

ISSS Legal Resources Handout- Includes immigration attorney listings close to UConn campuses.

Financial Resources

ISSS Financial Resources Handout - includes university and external financial recourses.

IIE Emergency Student Fund: ISSS can nominate a limited number of Ukrainian students on F or J visas for an IIE emergency student fund grant if, due to the crisis in Ukraine, you are unable to meet educational, living or health costs this current academic year. Contact Rae Alexander, rae.alexander@uconn.edu for more information. Nominations are due March 21.

Emotional Support

SHaW - Mental Health Services at Storrs campus provides support to students who may be struggling to cope with stressful situations and other mental health challenges. Please refer to their webpage for services currently offered and ways to access help.

At the Regional Campuses there are clinical case managers who can help you and connect you to local mental health resources: https://studenthealth.uconn.edu/regional-campuses/

If you are a staff member, or are on post-completion OPT, refer to your employer’s Human Resources department or health insurance provider for counseling/wellness program referrals. At UConn, the Employee Assistance Program for UConn staff and faculty offers counseling and mental health support: https://hr.uconn.edu/employee-assistance-program/

Psychology Today provides a listings of theapists worldwide: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/counsellors?domain=www&cc=us&cl=en

American Psychological Association article: How to handle the trauma of war from afar.

Dean of Students Resources

The Graduate School Support

This post will continue to be updated with more resources as they become available. Last update: 3/4/22.

Message for returning international students

 

We want to share with you important information related to the recent announcement about the spring 2022 semester starting online. This message is for students who are returning to UConn and have active I-20 or DS-2019 forms. Please read carefully, and send us your questions.

Arrival Date for students who live off-campus:

International students who are returning to UConn and live off campus have flexibility to arrive when you like, as long as you arrive by January 30 to begin classes in person on January 31.  Arriving after January 18 carries some risk; see more below.

Students who live on-campus

The University has delayed move-in for most on campus students until January 29-30.  We know that international students may have already purchased flight tickets to move in based on the original schedule, or may not have another place to stay in the U.S. 

  • January 15 or 16th, with approval from Res Life  
  • You may also delay your arrival to move in on January 29 or 30. Delaying your arrival also carries risk; see more below. If you do not submit the early arrival request form by January 6, UConn Residential Life will presume you are moving in January 29 or 30. 

What to know if you delay your arrival

  • You must be able to participate in your coursework online from your location. If time zone differences or internet restrictions prevent you from participating fully in your online coursework, you should consider traveling here before classes begin January 18. Please be advised that the UConn VPN may not be available to access courses in China. 
  • If you begin your in-person courses online from your home country, and then you cannot arrive in person to participate due to unexpected reasons (flight cancellations, illness, visa delays, travel lockdowns) you will still owe tuition, even if you cannot complete the course as planned. See the refund schedule for course tuition
  • Graduate students who will arrive after January 18 (or after January 5, if a Graduate Assistant) need approval from The Graduate School, and your Graduate Assistant supervisor, should you have a GA. The late arrival request form can be found under the “Account & Forms” area of your Application Status Portal for new students, and on this website for returning students. 
  • Due to federal laws, Iranian graduate students may only participate in courses online while outside the U.S. under limited circumstances. If you are an Iranian graduate student who cannot arrive before January 18th, your case must be reviewed by the appropriate offices at UConn. 

Returning from travel abroad

Returning students arriving from abroad need to carry their passport, unexpired F or J visa, and I-20 or DS-2019 with a recent travel signature from ISSS (signed within the last 12 months). You can find your I-20 or DS-2019 form in your ISSS Portal account by logging in to isssportal.uconn.edu and click on your Academic Objective record, listed under the term/year that you started your program. Find your scanned I-20 copies under "Attached Documents". Check the date of your last travel signature on page 2, and if you need a new one, submit a Travel Information Record . You must download, print and sign your I-20 or DS-2019 to have with you at immigration. 

Students who will delay their arrival until January 29/30 can carry a spring 2022 travel letter in your carry-on luggage, in case you are asked to document why you are arriving late.  

We know that you still may have many questions. If you need help please contact international@uconn.edu or make an appointment with your ISSS advisor

Message for new regional campus students

 

We want to share with you important information related to the recent announcement about the spring 2022 semester starting online. This is for new international students who are at the regional campuses (Stamford, Hartford, Avery Point, Waterbury), the Graduate Business Learning Center and School of Law as well as returning students who are coming on a new, initial I-20 form.  Please read carefully and send us your questions.

Arrival date for students who live off campus

International students who live off campus have flexibility to arrive when you like, as long as you arrive by January 30 to begin classes in person on January 31. Submit the ISSS Arrival Confirmation form so that ISSS knows when you will arrive.

Arrival date for students who will live on campus

The University has delayed move-in for most on campus students until January 29-30.  We know that international students may have already purchased flight tickets to move in based on the original schedule. This means you may move in:

  • January 15 or 16th  
  • You may also delay your arrival to the move on the weekend of January 29 or 30. Delaying your arrival carries risk: read more details about that below. If you do not submit the early arrival request form by January 6, UConn Residential Life will presume you are moving in January 29 or 30.

    What to know if you delay your arrival

    • You must be able to participate in your coursework online from your location. If time zone differences or internet restrictions prevent you from participating fully in your online coursework, you should consider traveling here before classes begin January 18. Please be advised that the UConn VPN may not be available to access courses in China. 
    • If you begin your in-person courses online from your home country, and then you cannot arrive in person to participate due to unexpected reasons (flight cancellations, illness, visa delays, travel lockdowns) you will still owe tuition, even if you cannot complete the course as planned. See the refund schedule for course tuition
    • Graduate students who will arrive after January 18 (or after January 5, if a Graduate Assistant) need approval from The Graduate School, and your Graduate Assistant supervisor, should you have a GA. The late arrival request form can be found under the “Account & Forms” area of your Application Status Portal for new students, and on this website for returning students. 
    • Due to federal laws, Iranian graduate students may only participate in courses online while outside the U.S. under limited circumstances. If you are an Iranian graduate student who cannot arrive before January 18th, your case must be reviewed by the appropriate offices at UConn. 

      If I delay my arrival, will UConn update my I-20 or DS-2019 start date? 

      Students who already have their visa will not need an updated I-20 or DS-2019 form. You can carry a spring 2022 travel letter in your carry on luggage in case you are asked to document why you are arriving late. Students who will have their visa appointment after January 11th and will not arrive by January 18th may request an updated I-20 form or DS-2019. You will need to email international@uconn.edu and provide your date of visa appointment and planned travel date.

      We know that you still may have many questions. If you need help please contact international@uconn.edu or make an appointment with your ISSS advisor.  

      Message for new Storrs grad and undergrad int’l students

       

      We want to share with you important information related to the recent announcement about the spring 2022 semester starting online. This is for new international undergraduate and graduate students to UConn, including students who started their UConn programs abroad and will arrive for the first time. Please read carefully and send us your questions.

       

      Arrival date for students who live off campus

      International students who live off campus have flexibility to arrive when you like, as long as you arrive by January 30 to begin classes in person on January 31. Submit the ISSS Arrival Confirmation form so that ISSS knows when you will arrive. Arriving after January 18 carries some risk; see below for more information.

      Arrival date for students who live on campus

      The University has delayed move-in for most on campus students until January 29-30.  We know that international students may have already purchased flight tickets to move in based on the original schedule. This means you may move in:

      • January 13, 2022 between 8:30 and 4:30 pm., with approval from Res Life
      • You may also move in January 15 or 16th, with approval from Res Life  
      • Graduate students living in on-campus housing may have arranged different move-in dates individually with Res Life.  Follow the instructions provided to you by Res Life, and submit your ISSS Arrival Confirmation form, so that ISSS knows when you will arrive. 
      • You may also delay your arrival to the move on the weekend of January 29 or 30. Please see more details about that below. If you do not submit the early arrival request form by January 6, UConn Residential Life will presume you are moving in January 29 or 30. 

      What to know if you delay your arrival

      • You must be able to participate in your coursework online from your location. If time zone differences or internet restrictions prevent you from participating fully in your online coursework, you should consider traveling here before classes begin January 18. Please be advised that the UConn VPN may not be available to access courses in China. 
      • If you begin your in-person courses online from your home country, and then you cannot arrive in person to participate due to unexpected reasons (flight cancellations, illness, visa delays, travel lockdowns) you will still owe tuition, even if you cannot complete the course as planned. See the refund schedule for course tuition
      • Graduate students who will arrive after January 18 (or after January 5, if a Graduate Assistant) need approval from The Graduate School, and your Graduate Assistant supervisor, should you have a GA. The late arrival request form can be found under the “Account & Forms” area of your Application Status Portal for new students, and on this website for returning students. Undergraduates do not need to seek special approval to arrive after January 18, as long as you are here by January 30.
      • Due to federal laws, Iranian graduate students may only participate in courses online while outside the U.S. under limited circumstances. If you are an Iranian graduate student who cannot arrive before January 18th, your case must be reviewed by the appropriate offices at UConn. 

      If I delay arrival, will ISSS update my I-20 or DS-2019 form?

      Students who already have their visa will not need an updated I-20 or DS-2019 form. You can carry a spring 2022 travel letter in your carry on luggage in case you are asked to document why you are arriving late. Students who will have their visa appointment after January 11th and will not arrive by January 18th may request an updated I-20 form or DS-2019. You will need to email international@uconn.edu and provide your date of visa appointment and planned travel date.

      ISSS In Person Orientation

      The required in-person ISSS orientation and welcome activities January 14-17 will be postponed to a later date after in-person classes begin. Instead, we will offer a synchronous online orientation program on January 14 and 17 to help you adjust to your first few weeks of remote learning. We will send you more details soon.

      We know that you still may have many questions. If you need help please contact international@uconn.edu or make an appointment with your ISSS advisor.  

      New Travel Restrictions to U.S. Effective Today

      The U.S. has announced new restrictions on travel to the U.S., effective today (November 29, 2021), in light of the new COVID-19 variant of concern. The new travel restrictions apply to noncitizens who were present in the following countries within 14 days of planned entry to the U.S.: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. You can read the full Presidential proclamation here.  While there are some exceptions to the policy, currently there is no national interest exception for international student or exchange visitor travelers. ISSS will contact students and exchange visitors individually who we believe could be affected by this policy.   

      These newest restrictions are a stark reminder that travel policies may change at any time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, here in the U.S. and worldwide. We continue to urge caution to international students and exchange visitors who are here and considering taking a temporary trip abroad, due to the risk of travel policy changes that may prevent you from returning in time for spring semester commitments.

      Travel Signature Week at ISSS Storrs

       

      November 29-December 3 is Travel Signature Week at ISSS in Storrs

      While we urge that students and exchange visitors consider any international travel with great caution due to the ongoing pandemic, if you will travel abroad during winter break you can apply for your travel signature during Travel Signature Week. If you do not attend Storrs campus, check with your ISSS Advisor at your campus about a deadline for submitting your travel signature request for winter break travel.

      How to report your international travel and get a travel signature:

      1. Submit your online Travel Information Record.  Enrolled students: Submit your record here.  Visiting scholars: Login to the ISSS Scholar Portal with your email and password (do not use Net ID), click on requests, and click on Travel Signature.
      2. Between November 29 and December 3, drop off your most recent I-20 or DS-2019 document to the ISSS front desk between 8 am and 5 pm. Enrolled students should also drop off a full time enrollment verification document from the UConn Registrar. Pick up your full time enrollment verification at the Registrar office in Wilbur Cross building, or email registrar@uconn.edu and request the document be sent to you as a pdf.
      3. Your I-20 or DS-2019 with travel signature will be ready for you to pick up no later than December 10. The ISSS front desk will email you if your document is ready earlier than December 10.  We will also return your enrollment verification to you, so that you have it with you for travel.

      Questions? Email international@uconn.edu.

      How to Celebrate Thanksgiving in CT – A Guide for International Huskies

      As an international Husky, you might be feeling left out of the Thanksgiving celebrations taking place on Thursday, November 25, 2021, but there is so much you can do to celebrate the holiday in your own way. Use this guide to make your Thanksgiving break plans!

      Here are some ideas on what to do if you will stay in Connecticut during Thanksgiving vacation and if you don’t have plans on this national holiday:

      1. ISSS Movie Night on Monday, November 22 at UConn library HBL Instruction 2119A (formerly Video Theater 2) at 2pm
      2. Prepare for Black Friday: Black Friday is an annual nationwide sale that falls on the Friday right after Thanksgiving. It’s a great time to take advantage of the sales and shop for things you need, such as electronics, clothes, accessories etc… Most department stores and shops will have already put up their Black Friday deals on their websites or social media accounts, so you can research and compare deals, and plan your shopping budget accordingly.
      3. Things to do locally:
        1. Run or watch the Manchester Road Race Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day.
        2. Check out Winterfest Hartford for free ice skating in Bushnell Park November 26 – January 9. https://www.winterfesthartford.com/
        3. Check out other 35 things to do in Connecticut this November https://www.ctvisit.com/articles/31-things-do-connecticut-november
        4. Stamford students – check out the Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa’s Workshop November 26-December 24, 2021 https://www.greenwichreindeerfestival.com/
      4. Typical American Thanksgiving Activities:
      1. Dining Hall hours during Thanksgiving week break: https://dining.uconn.edu/2021/11/02/thanksgiving-break-hours-dining-halls-retail/
      2. Restaurants Open Thanksgiving Day for Dining or To-Go:
        1. Hartford and Manchester Restaurants https://www.courant.com/ctnow/food-drink/hc-ctnow-thanksgiving-2020-dine-in-take-out-20201105-y22jnmztfnh5dbylb7kf5rzliy-story.html
        2. Stamford and Fairfield County Restaurants https://suburbs101.com/fairfield-county-restaurants-thanksgiving/
      3. Rec Center hours during Thanksgiving break: https://recreation.uconn.edu/
      4. Volunteer for Thanksgiving and beyond:
      • Want to do good this Thanksgiving? A number of homeless shelters and soup kitchens are looking for volunteers. Find out if you can sign up to be volunteer since you don’t have plans, so you can spend the holiday helping others https://www.covenantsoupkitchen.org/services.htm .
      • Want to volunteer to help others whenever you can? Check out Community Service Day page https://uconntact.uconn.edu/organization/cocsd for different type of services to register for a day of community service. This is a great way to meet other students and to support our community.
      1. Hang out with other fellow international Huskies: Chances are, you are not the only one on campus who’s not celebrating Thanksgiving. See who else is around and organize a coffee/dinner get-together or even have a party! Whatever you choose to do, cherish this opportunity to just hang out with friends without stressing about finals. Off-campus students: Want to host your own Thanksgiving? Watch these YouTube Thanksgiving recipe videos and learn to prepare your own Thanksgiving feast.
      2. Relax and recharge: Not in the mood to socialize? That’s fine too! Use this opportunity to enjoy some alone time. Catch up on your favorite Netflix shows, exercise, read a good book or just catch up on sleep. This is the perfect time to relax and recuperate so you can face the last few weeks of the semester fully charged.

      NOTE: ISSS office will be closed on Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26, 2021

      Enjoy your Thanksgiving break!

      ISSS