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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…

Be aware of scam emails, phone calls, or letters
It has been reported to our office that one of our foreign nationals was contacted by someone claiming to be a Department of Homeland Security officer.  The foreign national was asked to wire money to a specified account.  Please note that U.S. government officials or agencies will NOT contact you for…

Visa Services in Damascus Suspended
Date of Announcement: February 6, 2012 The following announcement has been posted on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria: U.S. Suspends Consular Operations in Damascus Effective February 6, 2012, the U.S. Embassy has suspended operations and is not open for normal consular services.  Neither U.S. passports nor visas…

Form I-94 copy to ISSS for review
Date of Announcement: December 4, 2012 Starting today, we are requesting a copy of Form I-94, Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Record, from all Penn-sponsored individuals in H-1B, E-3, O-1 or TN status for all future entries to the United States for which a new Form I-94 is issued. This is to ensure that…

Travel During Summer
Dear Students and Scholars, As summer is approaching, we are writing to provide important travel information.   It is crucial for you to proactively prepare for your return to the US to avoid travel delays/problems, such as an I-515A, etc.  We recommend that you meet with an OIP-ISSS advisor to review your…

J-1 Scholars: Updated Minimum Funding Requirements
Date of Announcement: September 19, 2012 Starting 1/1/2013, the new minimum will be $24,595 a year from $21,000 a year.   Completed J-1 scholar eforms submitted to ISSS on or after 1/1/2013 should meet the new minimum funding requirement.  Funding requirements for J-2 dependents will not change.    For post docs, please continue…

Federal law affecting Iranian students in the energy, nuclear science, nuclear engineering or related fields
  Updates from the Department of Homeland Security / Department of State Date of Announcement: July 29, 2013 The “Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act” was enacted August 10, 2012. According to Section 501, Iranian citizens are ineligible for U.S. visas if they are seeking to enter the U.S.…

Government system problems affecting SSN and driver's license applications
Date of Announcement: August 27, 2012 Dear Students and Scholars, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has discovered defects in the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database used by the Social Security Administration and PennDOT to verify the immigration status of F and J nonimmigrants. Currently the system cannot find…

SEVIS fee website down on 8/26/2012
Date of Announcement: August 23, 2012 The following announcement has been made by Department of Homeland Security SEVIS Fee (I-901) Website Maintenance DHS has announced that the SEVIS Fee (I-901) website will be down from 1am to 7am on Sunday, August 26, 2012, for emergency system maintenance.

Travel During Summer
Dear Students and Scholars, As summer is approaching, we are writing to provide important travel information.   It is crucial for you to proactively prepare for your return to the US to avoid travel delays/problems, such as an I-515A, etc.  We recommend that you meet with an OIP-ISSS advisor to review your…

A Day in the Life of an International Student at Penn: Keys to Success

Travel During Summer
Dear Students and Scholars, As summer is approaching, we are writing to provide important travel information.   It is crucial for you to proactively prepare for your return to the US to avoid travel delays/problems, such as an I-515A, etc.  We recommend that you meet with an OIP-ISSS advisor to review your…

Visa Services in Tripoli Suspended
Date of Announcement: March 28, 2011 The following announcement has been posted on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli: Visa Services in Tripoli Suspended  The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, has suspended all visa services until further notice. If you have an appointment for a nonimmigrant visa or to…