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ISSS-BU News 02 January 2012 ISSS-BU News


An electronic news service for international students and scholars, owned by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services atBinghamtonUniversity, State University of New York

Visit ISSS on the Web!   http://isss.binghamton.edu

Editor’s Note: Happy New Year to all our readers! Best wishes for a peaceful, healthy and productive 2012. The Office of International Student and Scholar Services is till on holiday curtailment until Tuesday, January 3. The ISSS has special operating hours from Tuesday, January 3 – January 20, 2012: weekdays from 9:30am to 3:45pm except for Thursdays, when we are open from 11:30am to 3:45pm. The ISSS will resume its academic year office hours on Monday, January 23, 2012.

CONTENTS:
1. Are You Assisting New Spring 2012 Students?
2. Course Registration for Spring 2012
3. Important SEVIS Registration Information for International Students
4. Information on U.S. Visitor’s Visas for Family Members and Friends From Abroad
5. Income Tax Information: Statement of Interest Earnings From Your Bank, Form 1099-INT

1. Are You Assisting New Spring 2012 Students?

New students are beginning to arrive to begin their studies for the Spring 2012 semester. If you are assisting a new student, be sure to bring them to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services so that ISSS distribute its new student early arrival information. ISSS business hours through Friday, January 20 are 9:30am to 3:45pm weekdays except Thursdays, when hours are 11:30am to 3:45pm. The ISSS returns to regular academic year office hours beginning Monday, January 23.

Orientation activities begin Wednesday, January 25, and orientation packets will be distributed during orientation check-in, Wednesday January 25 from 9:00am to 11:30am in the Old University Union Tillman Lobby (in front of the Mandela Room)

The full orientation schedule and registration information will be posted soon. Once it is available, it may be viewed at the ISSS website by going to the homepage and clicking on the appropriate link.

2. Course Registration for Spring 2012

The University’s registration system on BU Brain http://bubrain.binghamton.edu will be turned on for Spring 2012 course registration beginning Friday, January 27, 2012 for new and continuing undergraduate students. Graduate students will be able to access BU Brain for course registration beginning January 23, 2012. The system will be available seven days a week until the evening of the course withdrawal deadline, which is March 30, 2012. Course adds will be accepted until the deadline of Friday, February 10. The system will accept course drops and deletes until the course drop deadline, Friday, February 10. After that date, the system will allow for course withdrawals until the course withdrawal deadline of March 30. Please note that students who drop courses during the course withdrawal period will receive a grade of W.

Schedule of Classes

The Schedule of Classes for Spring 2012 is available online at http://bubrain.binghamton.edu

The online schedule is the most up to date and accurate source of course information and is the only published version of the Schedule of Classes.

Students with outstanding debts to the University, and students who have not complied with University Health Service requirements will be blocked from registering. Students can also view their account balances and pay any outstanding debts through BU Brain, http://bubrain.binghamton.edu

Registration Start Times and Classroom Assignments

Students are assigned starting times for spring registration according to their total cumulative credits, not including advance registration credits. Students can check their total cumulative credits by going to BU Brain http://bubrain.binghamton.edu

You can view and print your schedule from BU Brain at any time. Student schedules will not be mailed. Please look online for your classroom assignments.

* Classroom assignments are subject to change. Assignments on BU Brain are the most accurate and up to date.

Registration start times are available at: http://registrar.binghamton.edu/registration.htm

3. Important SEVIS Registration Information for International Students

Students in F or J status are reminded that in order for them to be in compliance with SEVIS requirements, they must register promptly for the Spring 2012 semester. The last day to add classes for Spring 2012 is February 10, 2012. No later than February 24, 2011, the University is required to notify the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) via SEVIS of any new Binghamton student who entered the United States on a Binghamton I-20 or DS-2019 but has not yet registered. No later than February 29, 2012, the University is required to notify the DHS of any continuing Binghamton student who was registered for Fall 2011 but who has not registered for Spring 2012 (and did not graduate, withdraw, take a leave of absence, or transfer to a new U.S. school).

Special Note for Graduate Students: Graduate students (both master's and PhD) who are course-completed and register for thesis, project, pre-dissertation, dissertation or other course rubrics that are eligible to be certified as full time even though the number of credits will be below the normal full-time course load do not need special permission from the ISSS for a reduced course load. Instead, such students must submit the Graduate School's "Certification of Full-Time Working Towards Degree Status For Students Not Receiving Funding” OR “Certification of Full-Time Working Towards Degree Status Funded Students Only” to their department each semester for filing with the Graduate School.

A graduate student who can be considered as “full-time” with fewer than 9 credits (such as a student taking thesis or dissertation credit) should still show as 9 credits in BU Brain because additional credits of GRAD 700 (if not funded) or GRAD 701 (if funded) will be added by the Graduate School to bring the student to 9 credits, once the student submits the required “Certification of Full-Time Working Towards Degree Status Form.”

4. Information on U.S. Visitor’s Visas for Family Members and Friends From Abroad

Do you have a family member or friend from abroad who is planning to come to the United States for a visit?

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services prepares letters of invitation for Binghamton University students who wish to invite family members and friends from abroad to visit. These letters can be very useful for visa interviews. You may request a letter of invitation by visiting the ISSS, or by using the web form at:
http://saffairs.binghamton.edu/isss/webforms/LOI/start.aspx

You will need to know the following information for each person you wish to invite:
Family Name (surname) as it appears on the passport
First Name(s) as it appears on the passport
Date of birth
City and country of birth
Country of citizenship
Relationship to you

A good source of information about U.S. visitor’s visas is the U.S. State Department's travel website. Here is the direct link:
http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1262.html

Also, visa information specific to a particular US Embassy or Consulate can be found by consulting that Embassy’s or Consulate’s website. Find the index to all U.S. Embassies world-wide at: http://www.usembassy.gov/

5. Income Tax Information: Statement of Interest Earnings From Your Bank, Form 1099-INT

This is part of a weekly series of "Income Tax Information" that appear in ISSS-BU News. To view back issues go to: http://isss.binghamton.edu and click on "ISSS-BU News."

Today's income tax article is about the statement of interest earnings (1099-INT) that you may soon receive from your bank.

If you have a checking or savings account in the United States which earns interest, a certificate of deposit (CD) or other cash investments, you may have already received or will soon receive a form from your bank or investment institution called a "1099-INT" which shows the interest or dividends you earned on your savings or investments for the 2011 calendar year. This information is provided to you for tax purposes, and is also reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by your bank or investment institution. It is important to save these interest statements, because in SOME instances, you may be required to report the interest or dividend income on your income tax forms.

Review the form carefully. Was income tax withheld from your interest earnings? If tax was withheld from your bank interest, and you are in F-1 or J-1 student status and have been continuously in F-1 or J-1 status for five years or less (entered the United States as F-1 or J-1 student in 2007 or later), interest may have been withheld in error. To correct this situation for future years, obtain form W-8BEN, fill it out, and give it to your bank or financial institution that issued the 1099-INT. W-8BEN forms with instructions are available in the ISSS. For more information on the W-8BEN, go to the following link on the ISSS website: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/taxes/formw8.html

International students who have been continuously in F-1 or J-1 status for five years or less (entered the U.S as F-1 or J-1 2007 or later) generally file income tax forms as non-residents, and are usually not required to report interest as earnings, although dividend income MUST be reported.

International students who have been continuously in F-1 or J-1 status for MORE than five years (entered the U.S. as F-1 or J-1 2006 or earlier) generally file income tax forms as residents for tax purposes, and are taxed on all world-wide income, INCLUDING interest earnings. However, residents for tax purposes also have greater benefits under the tax laws, such as larger income deductions, deductions for dependents, etc.

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Last Updated: 3/13/12