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ISSS-BU NEWS FOR TUESDAY, 02 MAY 2017


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Contents

  1. Reminder: Greater Binghamton Airport closed from May 1 to May 31
  2. USCIS Starts Issuing a new design for EAD Cards and Green Cards on May 1
  3. Together: International Student Support Group
  4. Treasure Hunt and Tea Time: Today, May 2
  5. Next International Coffee Hour: Friday, May 5
  6. Did You Receive A Grade of "Incomplete" in Fall 2016?
  7. Registering for Less Than a Full Time Course Load for Fall 2017?
  8. Are You Graduating this Semester? Check your driver’s license!
  9. Have You Submitted Your Practical Training Application Yet?
  10. Reminder of ISSS Availability

 

1. Reminder: Greater Binghamton Airport closed from May 1 to May 31

The Greater Binghamton Airport will be closed from May 1 to May 31, 2017 while the runway is reconstructed. During this time there will be no flights in or out of the airport. The Greater Binghamton Airport will re-open for flights once the runway reconstruction is complete in late May 2017.   If you have questions about flights by Delta Airlines you will want to contact the airline directly.

2. USCIS Starts Issuing a new design for EAD Cards and Green Cards on May 1

On Monday, May 1st USCIS began issuing a newly designed EAD Card. There will be a transition period while the former design of the EAD card and the newly designed card will both be valid until the expiration date on each card.  The new versions of the EAD card and the Permanent Resident card will feature:

  • The individual’s photos on both sides
  • Show a unique graphic image and color palette (EAD cards will have an image of a bald eagle and a predominately red palette / Green Cards will have an image of the Statue of Liberty and a predominately green palette)
  • Have embedded holographic images
  • No longer display the individual’s signature
  • Green Cards will no longer have an optical stripe on the back

USCIS will continue using existing card stock until current supplies are depleted, so some Green Cards and EADs issued after May 1, 2017, may still display the existing design format. Both the existing and the new Green Cards and EADs will remain valid until the expiration date shown on the card.  View official examples of the new card design here.

3. Together: International Student Support Group

Discussion facilitator: Dr. Sangmoon Kim, staff psychologist at University Counseling Center
When: Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00p.m.
Where: University Union, visit B-Engaged for the full schedule of locations

Hello international students at Binghamton University! You are warmly invited to the Together: International Student Support Group. You will meet fellow international students. Together aims to promote international students’ social interaction and sense of belonging as well as academic success. You can practice and enhance your English skills. We will meet most Tuesdays; our next meeting is today, Tuesday, May 2 in UU 121 (University Union, Room 121). Weekly attendance is not required but recommended. If you have any question about the Together, please email Dr. Sangmoon Kim.

4. Treasure Hunt and Tea Time: Today, May 2

You are invited to join the UCC for to learn about stress and stress management!  The main activity of this event will be a treasure hunt!   Find hidden keys to open different treasure chests, and then earn some sweet prizes.  Various kinds of tea will also be available! 

To ensure that we have enough tea for everyone, we encourage interested participants to register on B-Engaged. You can register by clicking the blue button on the right side of the B-Engaged Event webpage that says: RSVP to event.  If you have any questions, contact Dr. Sangmoon Kim, staff psychologist at University Counseling Center.

5. Next International Coffee Hour: Friday, May 5

Good company! Complimentary refreshments! Relax at this month's International Coffee Hour, 3:30-5 p.m. Friday, May 5, in Old Union Hall. This month's sponsor is the Dean of Students C.A.R.E. Team. May coffee hour participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the sponsors while mingling with both international and domestic students.  There will be games, coloring, interactive activities, a visit from Baxter the Bearcat, and complimentary coffee and snacks! Participants are also invited to celebrate students who are completing their studies this semester. Congratulations to the class of 2017!  If you have any questions about International Coffee Hour, contact Linda Torricelli, ISSS programming coordinator.  All are welcome!

6. Did You Receive A Grade of "Incomplete" in Fall 2016?

All students who received a grade of "incomplete" in the Fall 2016 semester have until the end of the Spring 2017 semester to turn in the required work.  If the Fall 2016 coursework is not completed, or if the professor does not submit a grade change form prior to the end of the Spring 2017 semester, the Incomplete will change to "W" or withdrawn for graduate students, and to "F" or failure for undergraduate students.

If the incomplete course was being counted towards a full-time course load, the W grade means that the course was not successfully completed, and will therefore drop the student from full-time to part-time. This may mean that the F-1 or J-1 student is in violation of U.S. immigration requirements. Students who find themselves in this situation should visit ISSS advising walk-in hours.

7. Registering for Less Than a Full Time Course Load for Fall 2017?

Some students have already completed pre-registration for Fall 2017, others may delay signing up for courses until the regular registration period begins. Since all continuing F-1 students must comply with federal SEVIS regulations, we are reminding students of the rules governing taking less than a full-time course load.

U.S. Federal regulations governing F-1 status require that students pursue "a full course of study" that leads to the attainment of a specific educational or professional objective. For undergraduate students, a full course of study is defined as at least 12 semester credits per semester. For graduate students, Federal regulations defer to the school's definition of a full course of study.

SEVIS regulations require that F-1 students obtain permission from the Office of International Student and Scholar Services before dropping below a full-time course load. An F-1 student who drops below a full course of study without the prior approval of the Office of International Student and Scholar Services will be considered out of status.

When applying for Reduced Course Load Permission:

  1. Click here if you need to apply for a Reduced Course Load Due to Academic Difficulty or Final Semester.  You and your academic advisor will need to complete this form.
  2. To Submit a Request for a Reduced Course Load Application: Login to https://is.binghamton.edu/. Click on the blue “LOGIN” button on the left side of the screen and enter your PODS username and password. Click on “Academic Services” and then “Reduced Course Load Request”.
  3. If you need to submit a request for a Reduced Course Load Due to a Medical Condition, login to https://is.binghamton.edu/ and complete the online form. As part of the form, you will need to upload a doctor’s letter.  Click here for a sample of a doctor’s letter.

8. Are You Graduating this Semester? Check your driver’s license!

Students in F-1 or J-1 status are issued driver’s licenses with a Temporary Visitor stamp that matches the program end date on your I-20 or DS-2019. The NYS DMV will not extend your Temporary Visitor stamp unless you have an EAD card (Form I-766) for Optional Practical Training. You will find additional information here.

If you are not applying for OPT, but are enrolling in a new program of study in the Fall 2017 semester, you may need to wait until the program start date on your new program I-20 to renew your Temporary Visitor stamp.

9. Have You Submitted Your Practical Training Application Yet?

If you are in F-1 status and will be graduating in May 2017, and plan to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), you are reminded to file your application as soon as possible. The deadline for May 2017 graduates to apply for OPT is July 20, 2017 (60 days after your degree conferral date). Your application must reach USCIS before this date or you will lose your OPT eligibility. 

Currently the USCIS Processing Centers are taking approximately 90 days to process EAD cards for OPT. The ISSS recommends that OPT applications are filed at least 90 days before your requested start date. Please remember, you cannot begin your employment until you have received your EAD card.  More information on how to apply for OPT can be found here. Please e-mail intlwork@binghamton.edu with any questions regarding OPT.

10. Reminder of ISSS Availability

Advising Walk-In Hours:

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 visit the ISSS Website for updates.

Special Notice Regarding ISSS Unavailability:

The ISSS will be unavailable on Tuesday, May 2 from 2:30pm to 5:00pm and on Friday, May 5 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm.  Please visit the ISSS website for additional updates regarding availability.

Shift to University Summer Hours:

On Monday, May 22, the ISSS will begin to operate on summer hours. This means that the office will be open on weekdays from 8:30am to 3:45pm until Friday, August 18. On Monday, August 21, the ISSS will resume regular business hours, weekdays from 8:30am to 4:45pm.

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Last Updated: 5/2/17