INTERNATIONAL

IESC International Student E-Newsletter

CSUN International and Exchange Student Center logo
IESC International Student E-Newsletter

June 3, 2021

Congratulations Class of 2021! You did it!

Congratulations to the Class of 2021 on this great accomplishment of completing your CSUN degree. We are so impressed and proud of your strength, resilience, and determination in completing your academic degree during extraordinary times. We are grateful to have been part of your CSUN journey and success. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

To all our students, we wish you a safe and healthy summer break and a safe return to CSUN for Fall 2021. We will be ready to assist you during this time!

Sincerely,

The IESC Advisement team

www.csun.edu/international

Important Tax Information - Deadline Coming Soon!

Form 8843

All international F and J students, and their dependents present in the U.S. during any part of the 2020 calendar year have some type of IRS filing obligation and are responsible for filing annual tax forms. You are generally considered nonresident aliens for tax purposes for the first five calendar years of your stay in the US. If you were present in the U.S. anytime during 2020 and you did not earn any U.S. source of income in 2020, the IRS requires you to file only Form 8843 - "Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition." The Form 8843 is not a U.S. income tax return. It is an informational statement required by the IRS for nonresidents for tax purposes (including spouses or dependents of nonresidents).

The IESC has a dedicated webpage with relevant Tax Information and Reporting Requirements for International Students. This information does not replace consulting a tax specialist for your tax information needs. Please consult a professional tax preparer that specializes in international tax matters, or for specific questions related to filing your individual taxes.

Your deadline to file the Form 8843 is:

  • June 15, 2021 (if you did not earn US sourced income in 2020)

Important Information for International Students during COVID-19

IESC Covid-19 FAQ

We updated the IESC COVID-19 FAQ webpage with Travel Advisory information and the SEVP guidance for the academic year 2021-2022. The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak may continue to affect your travel plans. The IESC highly recommends that you keep in mind all travel restrictions, which can change rapidly and with little notice. Also, please note that we continue to wait for the updated Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Please be sure to visit the IESC COVID-19 FAQ regularly!

Are you planning to travel during the Summer? In addition to reviewing the Travel Advisory During COVID-19 before your travel plans, please remember that a travel signature is VALID FOR ONE YEAR. If you already have one, please make sure it is valid by the time of your re-entry to the U.S. To request a travel signature on your I-20, you will need to complete and submit the request for a new I-20 and checkmark Travel.

Maintaining Your Immigration Status HIGHLIGHTS!!!

Fall 2021 Important Reminders

The health and safety of our CSUN community is of paramount importance as CSUN’s intensive planning continues for Fall 2021. Fall 2021 course sections will be offered online or hybrid with a face-to-face component. We encourage you to periodically visit the Fall 2021 Planning Gateway webpage for the most up-to-date information as we look ahead to the Fall 2021 semester.

Visit the Fall 2021 Reminders for International Students to help you plan your Fall 2021 enrollment as it relates to maintaining your immigration status. Also, if you have not contacted your academic department regarding the classes you plan to take for Fall, please make sure to do so sooner than later!

IESC Advisement Webinar Logo

Fall 2021 advisement events are available now! Plan ahead and sign up for these events. The webinars will be conducted utilizing Zoom. Webinar topics consist of Curricular Practical Training, Q&A POST-OPT, General Immigration Advisement, and more. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend one of the live webinars or events to help you maintain your immigration status in good standing! To register in our live webinars, please be sure to visit us at our Events and Webinar page.

Graduates Spring/Summer...What's Next

Apply for Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (Post-OPT). If you are graduating and plan to gain work experience in the United States, you may apply for Post-OPT. But hurry! Your application deadline may be fast approaching. For more information keep reading the next section about Post-OPT and review the application process from our Post-OPT website.

Are you planning to attend another institution for Fall 2021? Make sure to submit your SEVIS Transfer Release form along with your admission letter to IESC. Instructions are listed on the form.

Seeking to change your current F1 status to a different non-immigrant or immigrant status? You need to consult with an immigration attorney regarding changing your status. However, please be reminded that you must depart the U.S. within 60 days of completion of your academic program. Keep reading to learn more!

Are you leaving the United States after graduation? If you are not planning to apply for Post-OPT, continue studies in a new academic program, or pursue the change of your non-immigrant status in the U.S., you must depart the U.S. within 60 days of completion of your academic program.

Spring 2021 Program completion Dates: 05/26/2021
Summer 2021 Program completion Dates: 08/24/2021

Once a matador, always a matador! Stay connected to CSUN and enjoy all the benefits of becoming a CSUN Alumni.

Post-OPT Reminders

POST-OPT Reminders: Congratulations to International Students who are completing their program this Summer 2021! You may begin the OPT application process now. Students may apply as early as 90 days prior to the program completion date and no later than 60 days after the program completion date. Below are some important dates to remember.

Summer 2021 Program Completion Date: 08/24/2021

Requesting OPT start dates: Students completing their studies at the end of the summer 2021 must choose a start date between 08/25/2021 and 10/24/2021

Remember!!! USCIS must receive your application no later than 30 days from the date your OPT I-20 was issued to you, but no later than the 60th day from your program completion date whichever is earlier.

Have questions? Make sure to watch the recently updated OPT Tutorial, attend a Post-OPT QnA webinar or email your international student advisors.

Visit our Employment & Practical Training page for more information!

Post-Optional Practical Training (Post-OPT) - Tutorial

Watch the recently updated POST OPT Tutorial (36 min.)

From the SEVIS Coordinator's Desk

Dear Students,

Summer 2021 is here! Please find below a reminder about your SEVIS record and to be ready for the Fall 2021 semester. Make sure to read this information as it will help us help you maintain your SEVIS record and immigration status.

  • Maintain a valid U.S address at all times and update your CSUN Student Portal account. The U.S. address is required to keep your SEVIS immigration record in good standing. Any changes must be reported within 10 days of the change. Learn how to keep your information updated at UPDATE PERSONAL INFORMATION!
  • Do you still have a Foreign hold on your student account? To removed the "F" hold from your student account, please visit health insurance requirement. Important! Be sure to complete the Current Location Report if you have not done so to help us assist you with further questions accordingly.
  • As you are planning your Fall 2021 enrollment, please contact your international student advisors if you will drop below full-time course enrollment or may not attend any courses during the fall semester and will need a leave of absence.
  • Deadline to apply for POST OPT for students who graduated Spring 2021 is July 25, 2021 (60 days after 05/26/2021). For more information about POST OPT eligibility requirements and application, please visit: POST Completion OPT.
  • Are you currently on OPT? Don’t forget to report your required POST-OPT or your STEM OPT information in a timely manner.
Improving your Wellness and Mental Health

Stay Active and Focused on Your Wellness with "Summertastic!" from June 7 to Aug. 13

You are invited to make the most of your well-deserved break with Summertastic! They have plenty of fun and free virtual offerings — from gaming tournaments and trivia nights to yoga classes, fitness challenges and more. Also, join for the chance to win a Summertastic T-shirt, gift cards, and a special giveaway! Don’t miss this great opportunity to get up, get moving, have fun all summer long and RECreate your wellness during Summertastic! from the University Student Union … Where Matadors Belong. To learn more, please visit https://www.csun.edu/usu/news/summertastic-june-7-aug-13.

Free On-Demand Fitness & Mindfulness Classes. Over a dozen on-demand Fitness & Mindfulness classes are available on the SRC YouTube channel and over 30 different mindfulness and art videos are available on the Oasis Wellness Center YouTube channel.

This summer, Let’s Talk about what’s on your mind. The International and Exchange Student Center in collaboration with the University Counseling Services is offering a free online service to support you during the challenging times you may be facing. Whether you feel sad, stressed, anxious or simply need to vent, talking can help and we’re here to listen.

This service is conveniently available from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. every Friday, starting Friday, June 11, 2021 through Zoom and is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. To drop-in for your first session via zoom, you may use the following information:

Zoom Meeting ID: 883 3918 8681

For additional information, please visit the University Counseling Services.

The University Counseling Services (UCS) Welcomes You! UCS counselors are available to provide support to enrolled CSUN students as they navigate college transitions and other life experiences. UCS is open during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm), providing all of their mental health services virtually via telemental health. During regular business hours call (818) 677-2366, option 1 to speak with a counselor. For after hours, Mental Health urgent care assistance, dial (818) 677-2366, Option 3. Please visit their About Us page for more information about their center, personnel, and resources available.

Introduction to YOU@CSUN

YOU@CSUN is a comprehensive online well-being platform intended to enhance student mental health, physical wellness, and academic success, and to connect students to information, campus resources, peers, and opportunities.

Scammer and Fraud Advisory

Beware of ICE Imposters

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is alerting the public of individuals and organizations posing as ICE officers or agents and targeting international students.

The scammers "spoof" a local ICE phone number as their caller ID and tell students that their status is in jeopardy and they can either proceed to a specific ICE location or pay X amount of dollars to solve the issue. ICE warns that the scammers are familiar with immigration lingo and can be very convincing. Don't answer the phone, but if you do, don't engage and just hang up. Learn more about the ICE alert here.

For more information, please visit the ICE website. You may also refer to the CSUN Department of Police Services' Identity Theft.

Beware of Scammers Using SEVP Phone Numbers

There have been reports of individuals pretending to be the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Response Center (SRC) representatives and targeting international students in the United States.

These scammers will spoof a local SEVP-SRC phone number (703-603-3400) or a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) office phone number (757-441-6533) and ask international students about their form I-94 documents and ask students to provide financial information.

Please do not give out any personal information or payment details to strangers over the phone. SEVP Representatives will NEVER ask you to provide financial information. Likewise, NEVER divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.

Please report all incidents to the HSI tip line. If you are unsure about the validity of a call from an SEVP official, you can also contact us.

For more information, please visit the Study in the States. You may also refer to the CSUN Department of Police Services' Identity Theft.

How to Contact Your International Student Advisor

Your International Student Advisors can meet you where you are and they are ready to assist you! Below, please find the four ways to contact us:

You are invited!!!

CSUN's University Library

Stay connected with CSUN during this summer!!! Do not miss the opportunity to get involved and participate in any of the virtual programs and events that CSUN offers. Check out the following links periodically and add them to your calendar! We are sure that you will find an event or program of your interest!