International Student Services

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April 8, 2021

UPDATED 5/5/2021: COVID vaccine and in-person requirements for Autumn 2021

Dear Students, We have been receiving many queries about autumn quarter 2021 in-person course and vaccine requirements. We hope the information below will help answer your questions based on what we know right now. UW President Cauce announced in January and again on April 1 that the University intends to return to largely in-person instruction…


April 6, 2021

USCIS Adds Form I-765 To Electronic Forms

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 or guidance prepared at this time. If you decide to file online, please know that we are unable…


March 26, 2021

Announcement: Extension of ISS Processing Time

Beginning Monday, March 29, 2021, the processing time for all requests submitted to the ISS office will be up to one month.  We are adjusting our processing time to better align with the reality of our current workload. Additionally, we are working to balance changes in staffing by hiring and training additional ISS staff to…


March 22, 2021

Update for Transfer Pending/Change of Education Level Students Studying Outside the U.S.

We wanted to share an update with you regarding studying outside the U.S. with transfer pending and change of level I-20s in initial status. Your study outside the U.S. while your I-20 was still pending/in initial status may be counted towards CPT and OPT recommendation eligibility. In autumn quarter, our advice was based on our reading of the Frequently…


March 18, 2021

ISS statement against violence and hate targeting the Asian community

No words can express the anger, sadness, and fear I am feeling in light of the recent violence and hate crimes against Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Asian-Americans — particularly against Asian women — taking place in the U.S, most recently the attacks in Atlanta, GA. As President Cauce recently posted, we must not let racism…


March 2, 2021

Scam Targeting International Students

It has come to our attention that there is a new scam targeting international students. There have been TWO reports of UW students falling victim to this scam. We are sharing this information so that you can protect yourself. This is what we know: Students received a call from “U.S. Border & Customs” warning that they “found…


February 26, 2021

USCIS has extended flexibilities for OPT applications sent between Oct. 1, 2020 through May 1, 2021

Dear Students, We have exciting news! Today, we learned that USCIS will be flexible for OPT applications received on or after October 1, 2020 through May 1, 2021. The announcement from USCIS is available for your review. Sincerely, ISS


February 23, 2021

Travel Ban and National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland

Dear Students, We’ve had inquiries from students asking about the COVID-related travel bans in the U.S. and national interest exceptions. On February 10, 2021, the Department of State announced that there was a national interest exception for students on F-1 visas. Please read about this exception directly on their website. Sincerely, Sharece M. Bunn Assistant…


February 19, 2021

USCIS Update Regarding Applicants Filing Form I-765 for OPT

The following message was released by USCIS. USCIS continues to experience delays at certain lockboxes in issuing receipt notices for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, based on eligibility categories described in 8 C.F.R. 274a.12(c)(3), relating to optional practical training (OPT) for F-1 students. While we have made progress in addressing the delays, we would…


February 12, 2021

Deferring your I-20: Spring Quarter 2021 Process

We understand that many students are still making decisions about travel to the U.S. for in-person study. The ISS office must update your I-20 so that the program start date aligns with the quarter you plan to arrive. This process is known as a ‘deferral’. Please use our guide to determine the appropriate process based…



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