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Hurricane Preparedness
Date of Announcement: August 26, 2011 Dear International Students and Scholars, We are writing to make you aware of a strong hurricane that is heading up the East Coast and will probably reach Philadelphia Saturday and Sunday.  The hurricane is likely to disrupt travel through our region.  You should be prepared…

H-1B and J-1 Scholar Application eforms
H-1B and J-1 Scholar Application eforms As we have announced, in keeping with OIP-ISSS efforts to improve our processes to serve the Penn community, we have developed electronic forms for H-1B Specialty Worker applications and for J-1 Scholar applications.  The new electronic forms have a number of distinct advantages: 1)…

Be Aware of IRS-Related Scams
BE AWARE OF SCAMS Please know that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will not contact anyone via email. If you receive such an email, you should not open it as it likely contains some sort of virus or malware. You should not provide your SSN/ITIN to anyone via an email. Should…

Travel During Summer

Limited Visa Services at U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
Date of Announcement: March 17,2011 Today the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo announced the following notices on their website: Non-immigrant Visa Procedures (2) (March 17, 2011) Due to the recent events, we are only able to process emergency visa cases. Please follow the instructions below for applying for a non-immigrant visa. F,…

Immigration Relief for Japanese and Other Nationals from the Pacific Stranded due to the Earthquakes and Tsunami
On March 11, 2011, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the following: Relief for Japanese and Other Nationals from the Pacific Stranded due to the Earthquakes and Tsunami This advisory is for Japanese and other foreign nationals from the Pacific stranded in the United States due to the earthquakes and tsunami…

New H-1B eform Effective March 15, 2011

Partial Reduction in Visa Operations at U.S. Consulate Mumbai

All Visa Services at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo Suspended
Date of Announcement: March 4, 2011 The U.S. Department of State has issued the following announcement: Due to security concerns, all visa services at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo are suspended until further notice. The Embassy regrets any inconvenience this temporary suspension may cause for persons wishing to visit or immigrate to…

Email Scam Warning from USCIS - Avoid Green Card Lottery Fraud
On March 3, 2011, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued the following warning: Have you or someone you know recently received an e-mail claiming you’ve won the Green Card lottery and asking you to send or wire money? Don’t fall for it – the sender is trying to…

Travel During Spring Break

U.S. Embassy in Tel-Aviv Closed to Public from February 17 to March 18, 2011
Date of Announcement: February 6,2011 The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Tel-Aviv, Israel will be closed for this period. During this time, no visa interviews will be conducted except for in extenuating circumstances. Israeli nationals planning on traveling to the United States over the coming months are encouraged to apply…

Changes in H-1B and O-1 petitions per USCIS
Date of Announcement: December 23, 2010 Per new federal rules, all Penn H-1B and O-1 petition filings to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must include the recently revised Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. OIP-ISSS has revised the H-1B request packet and O-1 request packet in order to gather…

Changes in H-1B and O-1 petitions per USCIS
Date of Announcement: December 23, 2010 Per new federal rules, all Penn H-1B and O-1 petition filings to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must include the recently revised Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. OIP-ISSS has revised the H-1B request packet and O-1 request packet in order to gather…

Changes in H-1B and O-1 petitions per USCIS
Date of Announcement: December 23, 2010 Per new federal rules, all Penn H-1B and O-1 petition filings to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must include the recently revised Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. OIP-ISSS has revised the H-1B request packet and O-1 request packet in order to gather…

Travel During Winter Break

USCIS Fees
We are writing to inform you that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a new fee schedule effective November 23, 2010. Applications or petitions mailed, postmarked, or otherwise filed on or after November 23, 2010 must include the new fee.  Most fees are being raised, but the fee for…

Change of Filing Location for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) just announced revised filing instructions and addresses for applicants filing an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765).  As you may know, Form I-765 is used for F-1 OPT, F-1 Economic Hardship, and J-2 work permission applications.  According to USCIS, the change of filing location…

Update on New Centralized Prevailing Wage Process
As we advised you in November and December, the Department of Labor (DOL) has centralized the prevailing wage determination (PWD) request process for the H-1B, E-3, and permanent labor certification programs as of January 1, 2010.    The prevailing wage determination is the first step of the H-1B, E-3, and permanent labor…

SEVIS I-901 Fee Payment for Certain Countries
Date of announcement: 2009 SEVP stops accepting I-901 credit card payments for F-1/J-1 students and scholars from 4 countries Due to some problems, SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) is currently unable to accept credit card payments made on behalf of F-1/J-1 students and scholars from the following countries: Ghana Nigeria…