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Policies and Procedures

ISS’s mission is to serve F-1 and J-1 international students. On this page, international students can review some ISS policies and procedures to ensure they understand their personal responsibilities.

Processing Timelines

ISS forms and requests are processed in the order they are received. Processing times vary based on the time of year and request type. Currently, ISS processing time is up to three weeks. Once your request is reviewed and processed, you will receive an email from an ISS staff member. We ask that you not contact us for status updates since this will only cause delays in the processing timeline and advising services. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Application Responsibilities

All applications, such as for Optional Practical Training or a Social Security number, are the student’s responsibility. While ISS tries to provide necessary documents with care, it is always the student’s responsibility to ensure their Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 are correct.


Students must beware of deadlines and processing timelines. ISS will take care to notify students of appropriate deadlines, but it is the student’s responsibility to take ISS processing times into account when applying for benefits. ISS does not expedite late requests. Registration and refund deadlines are based on the UW official academic calendar, and students must familiarize themselves with these important Academic Calendar dates each quarter.


Although ISS advisers are experts in F-1 and J-1 regulations, they are not attorneys. Students should consider their options carefully, and there may be situations in which an advisor may recommend consulting with an experienced immigration attorney for advice.

Records Retention

Forms I-20 and DS-2019 are important government documents and should be treated like a passport. Students must keep electronic and paper copies of all documents during their years at UW and even after graduation. Forms related to F-1 or J-1 status may be needed for a later change of status petition, such as to H-1B or permanent residency. If students request copies of documents from ISS, that request is subject to the one-month processing time. Records are destroyed after 6 years as required by the UW campus records retention policy.

Drop for Low Scholarship

Students who are dropped for low scholarship and are not permitted to enroll in subsequent quarters must take action immediately to maintain valid F-1 status. Students must depart the United States or if admitted to a new school must submit a timely SEVIS transfer request for the next possible enrollment term.

Current Quarter and Former Quarter Drops

F-1 and J-1 students must maintain their full-time enrollment as required by regulations, even if UW policies might allow for a course drop or withdrawal. In some cases a retroactive Former Quarter Drop may be permitted in active SEVIS status, provided the student was in valid status in the prior quarter. Students must consult with ISS before dropping below full-time enrollment for any reason. Request forms for approval are usually required.

Name, Image, and Likeness for NCAA Athletes

The NCAA has adopted a policy that allows student-athletes to receive compensation for using their name, image, or likeness. Unfortunately, international student-athletes on F-1 or J-1 visas are not eligible to participate in NIL deals while they are physically located in the U.S. with F-1 or J-1 status. The only exception to this would be if the student has approved CPT. As a note: CPT requires academic credit and is tied to their major or program of study.

While international student-athletes are physically outside of the U.S., in their home countries, or abroad, they can engage in as many NIL deals as they wish. This is because while a student is not on U.S. soil, they are not subject to the F-1 or J-1 employment regulations tied to their U.S. visa.