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Update on Executive Order - March 6, 2017
Dear International Students, Faculty, Staff, and Department Representatives, As you may know, a new Executive Order has been signed yesterday restricting visas and immigration from certain countries, again raising concerns for many members of the Penn Community.  I write to provide details about the current situation and to reiterate our committed…

USCIS Suspends Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions
On Friday, March 3, 2017, USCIS announced that it will suspend Premium Processing for all H-1B petitions, effective April 3, 2017 until further notice.  The option of Premium Processing provides a response to all H-1B petitions within 15 days for an additional fee.  The full announcement can be found here. …

Spring Break 2017 Dining Hours

    • Dawn Kelly-Norris
Winner of 2017 ISSS Penn Administrator Partnership Award
Congratulations to Dawn Kelly-Norris from the School of Engineering and Applied Science for being awarded the first-ever ISSS Penn Administrator Partnership Award! The winner of this award demonstrates active partnership with ISSS and provides superior support for our international scholar population at Penn. Winners of this award exhibit the following characteristics:…

Executive Summary: Executive Order on U.S. Immigration Policy
Update (2/10/2017): On February 9, 2017, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the administration's argument and ruled against reinstating the entry ban. This means the 90-day entry ban for those seven countries is temporarily halted. However, ISSS still advises all foreign nationals to travel with caution. . EXECUTIVE SUMMARY On…

Avoid Payment Scams: US Government Doesn't Accept Fees By Phone or Email
Date of Announcement: September 1, 2016 Immigrants all over the country are being targeted in scams. Don’t be one of the victims! Scammers may call or email you, pretending to be a government official, such as USCIS or IRS. They will say that there is a problem with an application or additional…

New STEM OPT Regulations
[sent to all F-1 students on 3/11/2016]:   We write to share the update that the new STEM OPT final rule has now been published.  The rule is available in its final form on the Federal Register's Current Issue page at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-03-11/pdf/2016-04828.pdf.   The STEM Designated Degree Program list is…

2014 1042-S Withholding Credit Denial
June 14, 2016 Dear International Students and Scholars: The IRS has announced that it is taking corrective action for taxpayers whose 1042-S withholding credits were wrongly adjusted or denied as a result of a new matching program it put into place recently.  Please see the announcement at https://www.irs.gov/uac/irs-takes-steps-to-help-students-and-others-outlines-interim-process-for-obtaining-refunds-of-withholding-tax-reported-on-form-1042s-foreign-persons-us-source-income-subject-to-withholding Please continue to…

Court Ruling on STEM OPT
[sent to all F-1 students with STEM majors on 1/26/2016]: As many of you are aware, the existing STEM OPT program has been undergoing some significant changes following last summer's court decision. We are writing to inform you that the February 12, 2016 deadline that the court imposed on the Department…

IRS Phone Call Scam
Please be alerted that if you receive a phone call from an “IRS agent” demanding that you have to complete Form 2555 and pay a fine or you and your family will be deported, you should report it to Penn Police.  ISSS has confirmed with Penn's Department of Public Safety about…

Visa Processing Glitch at US Consulates
The Department of State has released information on the system glitch that has been causing visa processing delays at the U.S. Consulates around the world.  Their system is still performing below its normal operational capacity.  Therefore, it will take some weeks before they are back to normal turnaround times on issued…

US Visa Processing Suspended in Tel Aviv, Israel
Due to the current security situation in Tel Aviv, routine visa application processing has been canceled.  Please see http://israel.usembassy.gov/consular/niv/nonimmigrant.html for more details. If you are affected by ths situation, please contact ISSS (see http://global.upenn.edu/isss/hours).

Update on Visa Processing at US Consulates in Canada
The U.S. consulates in Canada will temporarily suspend Third Country National (TCN) processing during the peak demand period of June, July, and August 2014. TCNs, in this case, are individuals who are not citizens or Landed immigrants of Canada, but want to obtain a visa sticker at one of U.S.…

Penn Philippine Association - Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda
The Penn Philippine Association (PPA) would like to offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to the families and loved ones of those affected by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda and many thanks to all those who have shown support so far. As a student organization with members both from the Philippines and with family…

Impact of Government Shutdown on Immigration Agencies
Updates Date of Announcement: October 18, 2013 Both chambers of the U.S. Congress passed a temporary budget deal which was signed by President Obama shortly thereafter. Federal workers have been instructed to return to work effective today, October 17, 2013. As federal agencies resume operations, it may take time for immigration-related…

Updated J-1 Scholar Minimum Funding Requirements
Date of Announcement: June 21, 2013 Starting 9/1/2013, the minimum will be slightly raised to $25,400 from $24,595 a year.  Funding requirements for J-2 dependents will not change. For post docs, please continue to follow the requisite stipend levels.  Completed J-1 scholar eforms submitted to ISSS on or after 9/1/2013 should…

Important Travel Update - Additional Inspection upon Entry to the U.S.
Date of Announcement: May 13, 2013 Dear F-1 and J-1 Students and Scholars, Due to heightened security concerns, please note that if you are currently or will be traveling outside the U.S., you will likely experience significant delays when reentering.  Per a recent memorandum from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), all…

I-94 Automation Information Sessions
Date of Announcement: May 2, 2013 As we previously announced, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), began automating the I-94 process at air and sea ports by eliminating the paper Form I-94 as of April 30, 2013. ISSS is offering information sessions…

Scheduled Renovation for ISSS
Date of Announcement: July 25, 2013 Dear Penn Community: The office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is pleased to inform you that we are returning to our newly-renovated space.  Thus, our office will be closed on Friday, August 2 and will reopen at 1pm on Monday, August 5.  We…

DHS will automate I-94 starting April 30, 2013
Date of Announcement: March 28, 2013 On April 30, 2013, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will begin automating the Form I-94 process at air and sea ports by eliminating the paper Form I-94.   At this point, there is…