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ISS Blog


  • Consul General of India in Seattle Visits the UW

    February 27, 2024

    In November 2023, the Consulate General of India in Seattle was established with Prakash Gupta serving as its first Consul General. According to his biography, Consul General Prakash Gupta is a career diplomat from the Indian Foreign Service. He has served in Beijing, Shanghai, and Jakarta as well as the Indian Mission to the United…


  • Meet Our Advisers - Jo Anne Marie

    February 26, 2024

    How did you become interested in working with international students? Well, I was born in the U.S., but my parents immigrated from the Philippines. My family has been navigating the immigration process since before I was born.  I’ve seen and heard stories of the challenges they had to overcome. When I started working in higher…


  • Tips for Filing Taxes

    February 15, 2024

    F and J international students are required to file taxes with the U.S. government. This can be a complicated process. Luckily, international students, scholars, and alumni can use an online service, Glacier Tax Prep (GTP), to help! While ISS advisers and staff are not able to provide guidance on filing taxes, we do have a…


  • Expanded Services Beginning Winter 2024

    January 28, 2024

    Those of you who stopped by our drop-in advising sessions in autumn may know that we had three new advisors in training throughout the quarter (if you’re interested in learning more about our advisors, you can check out our blog archives!). We are happy to announce that all advisors are now fully trained and advising…


  • Meet Our Advisers - Sophia

    January 24, 2024

    How did you become interested in working with international students? I have engaged and been around different cultures and learned multiple languages throughout a good chunk of my life. I have studied in Germany and I have traveled and find each culture and language unique and fascinating (I am a linguistics nerd). After I received…


  • Campus Spotlight: CIRCLE and ISS

    January 11, 2024

    The UW is home to nearly 8,000 enrolled international students from all over the world with an almost-even split of undergraduate and graduate students. From pre-arrival through graduation and beyond, our international student population is supported by two offices on campus: the Center for International Relations & Cultural Leadership Exchange (CIRCLE) and International Student Services…


  • Campus Spotlight: Office of International Student Advocacy

    December 29, 2023

    The Office of International Student Advocacy (OISA) is the newest office established by the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) in 2021. The ASUW is the student government at the University of Washington. At ASUW, elected and hired employees represent student voices on campus, organize programming, and provide resources for students to make…


  • Jeff Shih Student Loan

    December 12, 2023

    UW international graduate and undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the Jeff Shih Student Loan. The loans are made possible through a generous gift from Jeff Shih, a Seattle and San Francisco businessman and are intended to help international students in financing their education and completing their degree objectives. Eligibility: Graduate students must be…


  • Watch Out for Scams

    December 4, 2023

    A growing number of international students have reported receiving scam phone calls or emails over the last several months. Scams can be difficult to identify, but you can certainly prepare yourself to avoid falling victim to one. What is a scam? A scam is a fraudulent attempt to get a person's personal information or money.…


  • Preparing for Travel this Winter Season

    November 27, 2023

    The holiday season has begun, and many of you have made plans to travel internationally over the next month or so. Here are some quick tips to ensure you have no problems returning to the U.S.. Tip 1: Check your I-20 When will your I-20 expire? If your I-20 is expiring at the end of…


  • Taking an Alternate Vacation Quarter

    November 13, 2023

    Most students take a vacation quarter during the summer. However, sometimes you may want to take a vacation quarter a different quarter to take a break from studies or go home and visit family. In this case, you will need to apply for an Alternate Vacation Quarter. What is a vacation quarter? Immigration regulations allow…


  • Making Academic Progress

    November 7, 2023

    F and J international students are expected to make academic progress during their studies, but what exactly does this mean? The UW issues I-20s and DS-2019s for the average time it takes students to complete your degree program. During this time, you should maintain full-time enrollment and work towards the completion of your program by…


  • All about Social Security Numbers

    October 10, 2023

    Written by Jennifer Oppliger A Social Security Number (SSN) is a number that identifies U.S. citizens and other selected residents. Noncitizens can generally only receive SSNs if they are employed in the U.S. An SSN is used to track your annual income. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is in charge of the SSN application process.…


  • Surviving and Thriving: Your First Year at UW – A Guide from a Seasoned Husky

    September 26, 2023

    Written by Jessica Jie Wang, UW Senior Welcome to the pack! How does it feel for the first week of school? Excited? Overwhelmed? I felt the same way in my first week/month at UW as there were so many things on the checklist to be done and so many “surprises” (good or bad) happening every day.…


  • Dos and Don’ts for Check-in

    September 19, 2023

    Immigration Check-in can be a confusing process. To help, we’ve written up a list of things to do and not do to have a successful Immigration Check-in process. Do! Read our Post-arrival Check-list for step-by-step instructions. Wait 3 days after you entered the U.S. to get your I-94. Check your UW email – we will…


  • Returning to Seattle soon? Make sure you're prepared.

    September 11, 2023

    International Student Services (ISS) is excited to welcome back more than 5,000 continuing international students to our Seattle campus. We hope that you had a wonderful summer break and are ready to begin another academic year at UW. Please remember that ISS is here to help you on all things related to your immigration status.…


  • Enrollment Requirements for Autumn 2023

    August 27, 2023

    International Student Services (ISS) staff are happy to welcome more than 8,000 new and returning international students to the Seattle campus. We know that the beginning of the academic year is an exciting but busy time for you. With that said, we wanted to take some time to help you understand your enrollment requirements for…


  • Meet Our Advisers - Max

    August 11, 2023

    ISS recently welcomed three new advisers to our team! To introduce them to you all, our blog will feature Adam, Brittany, and Max throughout the week. Max, ISS Adviser How did you become interested in working with international students? I became interested in working with international students while I was a TA here at UW. It…


  • Meet Our Advisers - Brittany

    August 9, 2023

    ISS recently welcomed three new advisers to our team! To introduce them to you all, our blog will feature Adam, Brittany, and Max throughout the week. Brittany, ISS Adviser How did you become interested in working with international students? I spent about 8 years travelling and working with students around the world, and through those experiences…


  • Meet Our Advisers - Adam

    August 8, 2023

    ISS recently welcomed three new advisers to our team! To introduce them to you all, our blog will feature Adam, Brittany, and Max throughout the week. Adam, ISS Adviser How did you become interested in working with international students? During my Undergraduate and Graduate studies at the university I attended, I worked for a First-Year experience…


  • Spring 2023 Graduates - Your Grace Period is Ending Soon

    July 26, 2023

    If you graduated in Spring 2023, remember that your 60-day grace period ends on August 08, 2023. During your grace period, you have a few options to consider: apply for OPT: Your OPT application must be received by USCIS by August 08. Remember: you can remain in the U.S. while your application is being processed…


  • I-765 Review Ending

    June 12, 2023

    Beginning June 12, 2023, ISS advisers will no longer review I-765 documents when processing OPT. Our advisers have discussed this change since 2022 and following spring 2023, we have ended our review process. What does this mean to you? If you've already submitted an OPT request to our advising team, they will not review the…


  • Summer Jobs for F-1 and J-1 Students

    June 8, 2023

    Summer is (almost) here and we know that many students are hoping to work on or off campus. Thus, we wanted to share some reminders about what you need to do to work! Know that the rules for F-1 and J-1 students will differ so make sure that you check on the appropriate rules for…


  • Processing, Expedites, and Patience

    June 7, 2023

    As we near the end of the quarter, ISS advisers are working diligently to meet with students, respond to emails, and process requests. Our director, assistant directors, and program assistants are also helping us process different kinds of requests to ensure we process things within a reasonable timeline. That said, we wanted to give some…


  • F-1 Transfers to Another School

    May 8, 2023

    On April 21, 2023, we held a group advising and information session about transferring your SEVIS record to another school. Along with sharing the recording with you, we wanted to give you a few pro tips to ensure you have a successful transfer. Pro-Tips for F-1 SEVIS Transfer Success Upload a copy of your admission…


  • Special Student Relief for Students from Hong Kong

    May 5, 2023

    The Department of Homeland Security announced that students from Hong Kong will be granted Special Student Relief if they are impacted by the crisis in Hong Kong. Here is a summary of what is listed in the Federal Registry Notice: Eligibility You must have been in F-1 nonimmigrant status as of January 26, 2023, to…


  • Special Student Relief for J-1 Students

    April 24, 2023

    The State Department posted a notice to the Federal Register on April 5, 2023, granting Special Student Relief to J-1 Exchange Students. They have stated that this action was effective on August 18, 2022, and will remain in effect until October 23, 2023. Details of Special Student Relief: Ukrainian students may pursue course work at…


  • J-1 Students and Work Opportunities

    April 24, 2023

    J-1 students are advised to revisit the rules of their J-1 visa. We have a few reminders here to help with some common questions. Online Courses J-1 students are not allowed to count any online classes towards full-time enrollment. While hybrid courses may be counted towards full-time enrollment, if J-1 students learn that their course…


  • Premium Processing for OPT and STEM OPT Applications to USCIS

    April 24, 2023

    On April 3, 2023, F-1 students were given the opportunity to submit their I-765s for OPT and STEM OPT to USCIS together with Form I-907. Information about the time it may take for approval is listed on USCIS's website. While many students ask us whether we think that students should file for premium processing, our…


  • SEVP's COVID-19 Flexibilities Upcoming Expiration Date

    April 21, 2023

    SEVP's COVID-19 guidance for F-1 students lasts for the full 2022-23 academic year. This past week, the ISS Leadership Team met to confirm that as UW considers summer 2023 to be part of the 2022-23 academic year, that summer 2023 allows for the continuation of the guidance issued by SEVP on April 18, 2022. Though…


  • J-1 Travel Signature Clinic is Thursday, April 27!

    April 18, 2023

    We've moved the J-1 Travel Signature Clinic next week to Thursday, April 27th from 10 AM to 12 PM in Schmitz 490. If you'd like to get your DS-2019 signed in person, please come between 10 AM and 12 PM. As a reminder, J-1 Virtual Advising begins this Thursday, April 20, and will continue weekly on…


  • Understanding Your Grace Period and Unemployment Days on OPT

    April 3, 2023

    OPT can be difficult to navigate even without all of the dates and deadlines to remember. One of the questions we get a lot is about the grace period students get after their program and the unemployment days students have once their OPT begins. We’ve created a graphic that will hopefully help you understand the…


  • Digital Signatures for DS-2019s

    March 31, 2023

    On March 28, 2023, the Department of State announced that effective April 27, 2023, DS-2019s may be digitally signed and electronically transmitted. This will allow AROs in ISS to issue your DS-2019s through MyISSS with our digital signatures. All J-1 forms will be updated in MyISSS on April 26, 2023 to prepare for this change.…


  • Signing Bonuses

    March 30, 2023

    With the recent challenges with lay-offs in the tech industry, we have also heard of students on OPT or STEM OPT asking questions about receiving lump sums of money to start their jobs later than expected. Lump sums from potential employers are often called signing bonuses. The sign-on bonus is not considered employment and you…


  • H-1B Season is Here!

    March 30, 2023

    We've had a lot of students come to ISS to talk about their questions about the H-1B visa recently and we wanted to make sure to communicate clearly about how ISS can help you with your questions. ISS's Purview ISS's mission is to advise students about their F-1 or J-1 visas. While we may have…


  • Common Issues with STEM OPT Requests in MyISSS

    March 29, 2023

    We've been seeing some errors in STEM OPT I-20 requests that are causing delays. e-Verify Number Issues Your I-765 requires you to include the e-Verify number for your employer. Our form in MyISSS request also requires it. We're seeing students answer the question that they will upload a letter from their employer about their e-Verify…


  • Post COVID Guidance for STEM OPT

    March 29, 2023

    Our advising team recently discussed the upcoming end of the SEVP COVID Guidance which ends after this academic year (June 10, 2023). While remote work for STEM OPT Employers was allowed under COVID guidance, we are anticipating that the regulations will return to normal and require direct supervision/on-site work from your employer. If the COVID…


  • Spring 2023 Make-Up Orientation for F-1 Students

    March 24, 2023

    F-1 Immigration Orientation is required for all new students who receive I-20s from ISS at the University of Washington. New students who missed spring 2023's orientation session on March 22 or 23 may make up their orientation requirement by watching a recording of our session from winter 2023 F-1 immigration session and completing the form…


  • Remember to Report Your Employment While on OPT

    March 17, 2023

    On March 28, 2023, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program is scheduling an update to the SEVP Portal that will display the number of days you have been unemployed when you log into the portal. We wanted to remind you of your obligation to report your employment within 10 days of starting or ending a…


  • Non-Resident Tax Information Session Recording

    March 9, 2023

    On March 7, 2023, we had a Tax 101 Information Session for international students at UW! During the session, presenters shared about how the U.S. tax system operates and talked about some important information about filing non-resident and resident taxes. As a note, though presenters mentioned that you can consult with ISS about your taxes,…


  • Post-Completion OPT or STEM OPT?

    March 6, 2023

    We've been noticing that many students and campus staff are coming to our information sessions or sending emails about 3 years of OPT. We wanted to clarify the difference between post-completion OPT and the STEM 24-month extension of OPT. One of our advisors, Alisa Sweet, wrote out a message to help promote understanding. Some of…


  • Tips for Filing the I-765

    February 24, 2023

    As we finish out winter quarter, ISS advisors are preparing for the heavy OPT season for spring quarter graduates. To help you prepare, our newest advisor in ISS, Sophia Schuessler, shared some tips for filling out your I-765! When filing the I-765 with USCIS (either with a physical form or online) it is important to…


  • UW Center for Human Rights Funding Available

    February 17, 2023

    Our colleagues across campus have reached out to us about funding available through the UW Center for Human Rights! If you're researching human rights or working on projects to advance social justice, this may be available to you! Details for individual funds are listed below: 1) Osheroff and Clark Fund Available to undergraduate and graduate students…


  • Get ready for spring break! Come to a Travel Signature Clinic!

    February 13, 2023

    If you're planning on traveling outside of the U.S. during spring break, you need a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019! Wait - what is a travel signature? The travel signature is on page two of an I-20 and page one of a DS-2019. An advisor signs it after they've confirmed that you are…


  • STEM OPT Application Address Issue

    February 8, 2023

    Some students applying for their STEM OPT Extension are not receiving their EAD cards at their current addresses. This issue may impact students who are applying for the STEM OPT extension if they have moved since filing their last I-765. What is happening? Students who applied for OPT by filing their I-765 online with USCIS…


  • Filing Taxes? Make sure you have your documents!

    February 3, 2023

    This year, ISS made Glacier Tax Prep go live a bit earlier than usual. We wanted to make sure it was available for alumni who are on post-completion OPT, STEM OPT, or post-completion AT as early as possible. That said, we wanted to make sure that students understand that UW has not yet issued 1042-S…


  • Special Student Relief for Haitian Students Extended

    January 26, 2023

    Today, the Department of Homeland Security published a notice to the Federal Register regarding an extension to Special Student Relief for Haitian students studying on an F-1 visa. Special Student Relief allows students to apply for work authorization off campus and request reduced course loads when approved. More information about Special Student Relief and how…


  • SEVP Portal Update: Students will be able to edit additional OPT information!

    January 23, 2023

    The Student and Exchange Visitor Program has a planned update for the SEVP Portal tomorrow, January 24, 2023. The release will allow students on post-completion optional practical training to see and edit supervisor information including last name, first name, telephone number and extension, and email address. SEVP anticipates a three-hour SEVP Portal outage from Tuesday,…


  • Getting ready for Tax Season

    January 23, 2023

    Tax season is upon us! By now, you may have started to see messages from tax preparation companies and you may have even received your W-2 tax form from your employer. While ISS is not able to meet with you about or advise you on your tax obligations, we provide information to all students about…


  • Recording of F-1 Immigration Orientation Make-Up Session

    January 20, 2023

    We are always excited to welcome new international students to the University of Washington! Today, we held our make-up immigration orientation session for new F-1 international students. During this session, students were able to learn about the basics of their F-1 status. Immigration Orientation is required for all new students. Students who did not attend…