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ISSS NEWS FOR MONDAY, 01 APRIL 2019


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Editor's Note: The ISSS Newsletter is distributed monthly. Please 'Like' us on Facebook to learn about programs, events, and additional information between monthly Newsletters. Please remember to click the page's "Following" button to receive post notifications.

Contents:
1. Reminder of ISSS Availability
2. Leadership Volunteers needed for Fall 2019 International Student Orientation
3. Workshop: Visas after Graduation: Tuesday, April 16
4. Next International Coffee Hour: Friday, April 5
5.Downtown Binghamton Photo Scavenger Hunt: Tuesday, April 30
6. Income Tax Reminders
7. Thinking of Applying for Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
8. The Clock is ticking on the Optional Practical Training (OPT) Application
9. OPT Health Insurance Policy for the Remainder of the 2018 – 2019 Academic Year

1. Reminder of ISSS Availability
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 today, April 1. Please visit the ISSS Website for updates.

2. Leadership Volunteers needed for Fall 2019 International Student Orientation
Are you interested in helping new international students during orientation and adding leadership and cross-culture training experience to your resume? Then, sign up to be a Leadership Volunteer! All international and domestic students are welcome! Leadership Volunteers are a select group of current Binghamton University students, who join ISSS staff to welcome new international students during Fall International Student Orientation. Leadership Volunteer recruitment is now underway.

Leadership Volunteers engage in a two day training program to help prepare them for their role during Orientation. The training program is organized by the five goals of the Orientation program: help new students feel comfortable in a new environment (networking), meet students' needs, share important information, learn about U.S. & foreign culture, and build trust and make new friends.

During Orientation, Leadership Volunteers greet new international students at check-in, welcome them during the introductory meeting, participate in group events, provide reassurance and essential information, and most importantly contribute to a warm and sincere presence for new international students during their first few days on campus. Many new students tell the ISSS how important the Leadership Volunteers were to their initial experience at Binghamton University. Many Leadership Volunteers tell the ISSS how valuable the training was to their own professional and personal development.

Leadership Volunteer Training will take place Monday, August 12 and Tuesday, August 13. International Student Graduate Orientation is Wednesday, August 14. International Student Undergraduate Orientation is Thursday, August 15 and Friday, August 16.

If you are interested in becoming a Leadership Volunteer, please click here to complete the application form. Please note that your application must be submitted by April 26, 2019. Questions? Contact Katie Barvinchak, International Student Advisor.

3. Workshop: Visas after Graduation

Kristal Ozmun and David Wilks, from Miller Mayer LLP, will give a summary of immigration options for international students after graduation. Kristal Ozmun is a Partner in Miller Mayer's Immigration practice group. Ozmun focuses her practice on employment-based immigration with a unique specialization in the EB-5 preference category. David Wilks is a Senior Counsel in Miller Mayer's Immigration practice group. Wilks' practice focuses primarily on employment-based immigration.

This workshop will be held Tuesday, April 16 from 4:00 – 6:00pm in the Old Champlain Atrium (Old Champlain, Room 133). All students are welcome. Note that space is limited. To attend, register on B-Engaged.

Questions? Contact International Student and Scholar Services at 607-777-2510 or isss@binghamton.edu.

4. Next International Coffee Hour: Friday, April 5
Good company! Complimentary refreshments! Relax at April's International Coffee Hour, from 3:30-5:00pm on Friday, April 5, in the Old Champlain Atrium (Old Champlain, Room 133). April's coffee hour sponsor will be the Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera. Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the sponsor while mingling with both international and domestic students as well as scholars. There will be games, interactive activities, and complimentary coffee and snacks! If you have any questions about International Coffee Hour, contact Katie Barvinchak, International Student Advisor. All are welcome!!

5. Downtown Binghamton Photo Scavenger Hunt: Tuesday, April 30
The ISSS is organizing a photo scavenger hunt in Downtown Binghamton on April 30 at 4:00pm! Grab some friends (or arrive solo and make new ones) and meet ISSS Staff at the University Downtown Center (UDC), Room 220A. Teams will be given clues to help them find various locations/destinations around downtown Binghamton. All teams will return to the UDC by 5:30pm for refreshments and awards!

To ensure we have enough staff and refreshments to implement this program, we request that all participants register on B-Engaged. Participants that register to attend by April 20 will also receive parking information.

Please note that if there is inclement weather, we will send event updates via email to those who have registered on B-Engaged.

If you are unable to register via B-Engaged or if you have any questions, please email ISSS at isss@binghamton.edu.

6. Income Tax Reminders
Remember that the deadline for filing tax forms this year is Monday, April 15, 2019. All F-1 and J-1 students who were present in the U.S. in 2018 must file a tax return, even if you did not work.

The ISSS has purchased access to a software tax preparation program called Glacier Tax Prep. This program will guide you through the non-resident tax preparation process. It will help you prepare the necessary tax forms, which you will then print, sign, and mail (e-filing is not an option for non-residents), and determine if you are due a refund or owe tax money. Glacier Tax Prep provides an easy to use web interface for entering information regarding your federal income tax liability (whether you worked or not). It populates your information into the required forms (which you can then print and sign). After you make copies for your records, you will mail the original tax forms to the IRS. Glacier Tax Prep is password-protected, so that only you have access to the information. Do not attempt to complete your income tax forms using the e-filing options recommended by the Internal Revenue Service. You are not eligible to e-file tax returns if you are a non-resident for tax purposes. Information about how to access and use Glacier Tax Prep can be found on the ISSS Website by clicking here.

After you have completed your non-resident Federal Tax Return, you will then proceed to complete your non-resident State Tax Return, if applicable. Although Glacier cannot be used to file State taxes, information on how to file your NYS Tax Return, as well as links to the NYS non-resident tax forms can be found here. There is also an option for non-residents to use Sprintax (different from Glacier Tax Prep, but similar in that it is also an online system that walks you through the tax form completion process) to complete their State Tax Forms. Please note that there is a fee that you would need to pay to use Sprintax (the ISSS is not involved in this process, nor do we collect the fee). Information on how to access Sprintax, should you wish to purchase this software to file your state taxes, is provided automatically when you complete your federal tax return using Glacier Tax Prep software.

Note: Be sure to complete your Federal Returns before you begin your State Tax returns, and do not forget to keep copies of both sets of documents for your records before you sign and mail in your originals.

Please note that the staff at the Office of International Student and Scholar Services are neither qualified nor permitted to give individual tax advice. Students with complicated tax situations may wish to consult with a tax preparation service, professional tax accountant, or tax attorney who is knowledgeable about nonresident tax law.

7. Thinking of Applying for Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
This is the time of year that many international students in F-1 status apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). CPT is an off-campus work authorization for a temporary position, such as an internship, that is directly related to your degree program. Federal immigration regulations state the internship experience must be integral to (part of) your academic studies. Click here for additional information on CPT and/or to access to the CPT application. If you have any questions about how to apply for CPT authorization contact us at intlwork@binghamton.edu.

In most cases, students need to register for a minimum of one credit that is directly linked to their CPT. One way to do this is through the Fleishman Center's Career Development Centralized Internship (CDCI) Program.

Once you have secured an internship, email CDCI@binghamton.edu to request to be enrolled and you will be registered for the CDCI internship seminar class, which you will attend once per week.

8. The Clock is ticking on the Optional Practical Training (OPT) Application
F-1 students who will be graduating in May 2019, and plan to apply for post-completion optional practical training (OPT), are reminded to submit their application to the ISSS as soon as possible. It can take 7-10 business days for the ISSS office to process a new OPT I-20. After an I-20 is created, an OPT application must then be submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS must receive an OPT application no later than sixty days after the degree conferral date, which is May 19, 2019. The Student Checklist: Applying for Optional Practical Training will provide you with more information regarding the OPT application requirements. Click here for additional information. If you have any questions contact us at intlwork@binghamton.edu.

9. OPT Health Insurance Policy for the Remainder of the 2018 – 2019 Academic Year
If you are currently authorized for OPT and purchasing health insurance through Binghamton University, the current monthly rate of $124.69 will end on August 14, 2019. Therefore current requests for continued coverage may not exceed the date of August 14, 2019. Coverage past this date will be accepted and processed as soon as the new insurance rates are established.

Please check the ISSS Website mid-summer for more information regarding rates and continued insurance coverage for the 2019-2020 academic year. If you have additional questions, please email intl.insure@binghamton.edu.

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Last Updated: 6/4/19