ISSS NEWS FOR THURSDAY, 07 JANUARY 2016


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Contents
1. Urgent Alert from the ISSS Office: Have you picked up your new I-20?
2. Soccer Day 2016
3. Are You Assisting New Spring 2016 Students?
4. New International Student Orientation is Wednesday, January 20
5. Reminder of ISSS Availability
6. Students Requesting Waivers/Adjustments of International Health Insurance for Spring 2016
7. No International Coffee Hour in January
8. Important Caution to International Students When Taking On-Line Courses
9. Graduating in May 2016? Planning to Register Less Than Full-Time?
 
1. Urgent Alert from the ISSS Office: Have you picked up your new I-20?
Does your program of study continue after the Spring 2016 semester? Does your OPT end after May 31, 2016? If you will graduate in Summer 2016 or later (or if your OPT continues after May 31, 2016) and you have not yet picked up the new version of your I-20 from the ISSS Office you must do so now! Why this change? The SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) has updated the format of the I-20 document in the SEVIS system.
The ISSS Office has printed the new I-20 for you (in its updated format). It is essential that you pick up this new document now! Please be sure to stop by our office with your student ID to pick up your new document(s). You are legally required to possess your most-current I-20 at all times.
If you are traveling outside the US over the winter break, contact us immediately to arrange express mail of your document. You must have the new I-20 with you when you return to the United States! Failure to do so may cause problems when you are attempting to re-enter the US. If you are NOT in the US, you can request Express Mail service by clicking here.
If you are in the United States but not in the Binghamton area and would like your new document mailed to you, please reply to this email with your name and mailing address.
 
2. Soccer Day 2016
Are you staying in Binghamton over Winter Break? Are you looking for something fun to do? Then you are formally invited to participate in Soccer Day 2016! This event will be held on Friday, January 15 from 11:00am to 3:00pm in the West Gym. All international and domestic students are invited to participate in this event! Please register here prior to January 13, 2016. You can register a team or as a Free Agent. If you register as a Free Agent, we will place you on a team with other Free Agents. Please bring your Student ID the day of the event. Thank you to our co-sponsors: Residential Life and B-Healthy!
 
3. Are You Assisting New Spring 2016 Students?
New students are beginning to arrive to begin their studies for the Spring 2016 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 can distribute its new student early arrival information. ISSS business hours through Friday, January 15 are 8:30 am to 3:45 pm weekdays. The ISSS returns to regular academic year office hours beginning Monday, January 18. Please visit the ISSS website for updates.
 
4. New International Student Orientation is Wednesday, January 20
International Student Orientation activities begin Wednesday, January 20, and orientation packets will be distributed during orientation check-in, Wednesday January 20. The first event will start at 8:00 am in the University Union, Mandela Room. Additional information on International Student Orientation is available here
 
5. Reminder of ISSS Availability
Advising Walk-In Hours & Updates:
The office of International Student and Scholar Services holds walk-in advising hours on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10:00am to 11:45am and Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. Please be advised that ISSS advising walk-in hours are cancelled for Tuesday, January 19, 2016 and Wednesday, January 20, 2016. ISSS walk-in hours will resume as scheduled on Thursday, January 21. Please visit the ISSS Website for updates.
 
Special Notice Regarding ISSS Unavailability:
The ISSS will be unavailable on Monday, January 11 from 12:30pm to 4:00pm, and Wednesday, January 20 from 11:45am to 1:30pm. Please visit the ISSS website for additional updates regarding availability.
 
6. Students Requesting Waivers/Adjustments of International Health Insurance for Spring 2016
The International Health Insurance Team is now accepting requests from non-funded students (i.e. those other than G.A.'s, T.A.'s and R.A.'s) that believe they are eligible to receive an international health insurance fee waiver. In order to qualify for a waiver of the fee you must:
*Meet ALL of the requirements found here.
*Send a detailed copy of your health insurance policy, as well as proof of coverage, in English, to Intl.insure@binghamton.edu.
*Your policy submission must indicate which services are NOT covered under the policy. This information is usually found in the "Exclusions and Limitations" section of a policy. Additionally it must state if there is an deductible associated with the policy and how much the deductible is.
Approved waivers are valid for one semester only. Every semester a new request must be submitted. Submission does not guarantee approval. The deadline for submission of a waiver request is February 15, 2016. No exceptions are granted.
 
7. No International Coffee Hour in January
There will be no International Coffee Hour in January. Instead, the regular International Coffee Hour schedule will resume Friday, February 5, 2016 at 3:30 pm in Old Union Hall. Watch for the announcement in the February edition of ISSS-BU News.
 
8. Important Caution to International Students When Taking On-Line Courses
Most international students are aware that US federal regulations limit the number of on-line or distance learning classes that can be taken by F-1 visa holders, even if the classes are offered by Binghamton University. A full description of the rules can be found here on the ISSS website.
If a student needs only one course to finish his or her program of study in the final semester (and this includes Summer Session or Winter Session), it cannot be taken through online/distance education. There must be a physical presence requirement for the course. If a student remains in the United States without reporting to any class, it becomes a security issue and cannot be allowed.
Students who take only a distance learning class in their final semester are not eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT). This is because the distance learning course taken by itself, with no other physical presence courses, is a violation of F-1 regulations. Don't let this happen to you! If you have questions, send an email message to isss@binghamton.edu or visit ISSS during walk-in advising hours.
 
9. Graduating in May 2016? Planning to Register Less Than Full-Time?
Undergraduate students who will be graduating at the end of the Spring 2016 semester and plan to register for less than a full-time course load because they need fewer than full-time credits to graduate must complete a Request for a Reduced Course Load Due to Course Completion form.
Graduate students who are graduating at the end of Spring 2016 and are registered for a course rubric that cannot be certified as full time must also complete this form.
 
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Last Updated: 4/12/16