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SPRING 2021 - WEEKS 6 & 7

We want to hear from you! We've published our Feedback Form and will include it in all email correspondence. Please help us by providing feedback whenever you're interacting with our office - be that during drop-in advising, emailing with our staff, or after an appointment. The feedback form is available here.

We're combining last week's newsletter with this week's - the ISS website recently underwent some structural changes - we hope you'll like the changes we've made to assist you in navigating our website and getting answers to your questions!
  • We have a new outgoing email address - We will use this account to send you important reminders about your quarterly SEVIS registration requirements as well as information related to your F-1 status. Please take a moment now to add to your safe senders list - this is a legitimate account owned and operated by ISS staff.
  • If you have added or changed a major recently, you can expect an updated I-20 from us this week or next! This is an automated process - you do not need to request an updated document, as long as your department has approved the change/add and it is effective this quarter. Read more about major updates on our website.
  • Check out our new 'Contact Us' form! This takes the place of our 'Have a Question?' form. We've heard your feedback and want to make getting in touch simpler. Here are our recommendations:


Earlier this week, UW President Cauce announced that the UW will require that all students be vaccinated against COVID-19. Please review our blog post about
autumn 21 planning and COVID vaccination requirement for more information.
The U.S. State Department updated it’s National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland on April 26, 2021. Contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if you are not sure whether you qualify for an NIE exemption.

The April 30, 2021 Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus Disease 2019 extends National Interest Exceptions (NIE) to students whose presence in India, China, Iran, Brazil, or South Africa may otherwise subject them to travel suspensions. Students with valid F visas who will begin or continue an academic program on August 1, 2021 will be automatically granted the NIE and may travel to the United States up to 30 days before the program start date on their Form I-20.


Many students apply to graduate in spring quarter - now is a great time to start thinking about what's next!

Be sure to review the final year checklist - this checklist includes reminders for ALL graduating students, including:
We know that these transitions can be highly stressful, so we have prepared thorough checklists and resources for, wherever your path may lead!


USCIS is currently testing an electronic form I-765 for students seeking optional practical training employment benefits.

The form is too new for us to have seen many students apply electronically - therefore, we do not have steps and guidance prepared at this time.

If you decide to file online, please know that we are unable to help you prepare your application spring quarter 2021. While we will issue you the required I-20 with OPT endorsement, we will not be able to answer your questions or provide guidance about the online form.

Once we have more information from USCIS and other colleagues in international education, we will update our website with more information and guidance.

If you choose to apply for OPT or STEM OPT online, please make sure you follow USCIS’s directions AND request an OPT endorsed I-20 from ISS.


If you aren't already registered full-time or authorized for an exception, it is very urgent that you do so now.

If you are unable to enroll full-time, or want to take time off, please review the exceptions to full-time enrollment. Contact our office with additional questions about eligibility - we're available through our Have a Question form and during drop-in advising.

If you will graduate this quarter, make sure to review the final year checklist - there is still time to apply for OPT, apply to transfer to a new program, or make other plans.


  • Upcoming events with our campus partners, CIRCLE:
    • Global Leadership Series: A Conversation with Young Alumni in STEM
      Thursday, 06 May 7-8:30pm
      Are you thinking about a career in STEM after the UW? Are you wondering what services and/or experiences at the UW will help you prepare for what’s next? Join UW CIRCLE for a conversation with two recent UW international student alumni who will talk about their experience at the UW and share tips to prepare for a career in Engineering.
      Vineeth earned a Bachelor of Science in Informatics and Xiangyang earned a masters and doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington.
  • Apply to join the International Student Mentorship Program - Deadline May 9, 2021
    We are pleased to announce that the mentor application for the 2021-2022 year is open! ISMP (International Student Mentorship Program) is an inclusive community dedicated to leadership and professional development through mentorship and empowerment. Since our inception in 2014, we have helped hundreds of students at the University of Washington to find their purposes and passions in and out of campus. We cater to our members' needs through various workshops and events and focus on developing practical leadership and professional skills. We also emphasize the importance of community building by arranging various social bonding events, retreats, and volunteering opportunities. We stand for inclusiveness, empowerment, and authenticity, and we can't wait to have you to be a part of our journey. Apply today to be a part of our family to help empower the next generation of leaders.
    Our application is now live!! Apply by May 9th, 11:59 pm and you can access the application form by clicking the link below:

    If you have any questions or would just like to get to know the application process more, feel free to shoot us an email at or leave a message on our Facebook site.
  • IRS Deadline to file taxes - May 17, 2021
    ISS has a website with tax information and links to the Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) software.
    Please do not use off-campus software. Most of the software you can purchase online or in the store is designed for U.S. citizens and will not work for most international students. This software also does not check for tax treaties with your country of citizenship.
    Students who used Glacier Tax Prep last year may have learned that they can now file taxes as a “resident alien for tax purposes.” If this is you, you may file using software designed for U.S. citizens and residents.
Spring VFD 2021

Need more information? We offer on-demand and live resources to help answer your questions! Let us know how we're doing by filling out our feedback form.

ISS Recordings
virtual front desk & drop in advising