An electronic news service for international students and scholars, owned by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at Binghamton University, State University of New York
Visit ISSS on the Web! http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/index.html
Editor’s Note: Today, Monday, January 17, 2011 is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Most university offices, including the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, are closed.
Are you assisting new international students? Many new students have begun to arrive at Binghamton. New international students who have not yet visited the ISSS should come to the ISSS beginning Tuesday of this week to pick up an early arrival packet. New Student Orientation begins Thursday, January 20, 2010.
Are you an undergraduate international student in Binghamton over the winter break? Do you want to have some fun writing greeting cards to newly admitted students from your own countries in your native languages? Come join the Student Ambassadors at the Undergraduate Admissions Office in Academic A on January 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st from 2pm to 3pm! Please meet at the entrance to the Admissions Office, and there will be signs! Please feel free to come on any of these dates when you are available! Refreshments will be served! If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be no walk-in hours for employment questions on Tuesday, January 18, due to new student arrivals. Employment Walk-In Hours will resume on Tuesday, January 25, 1:30-3:15pm. There will be Health Insurance walk-in hours at its usual schedule, Tuesday, January 18 from 10:15am to Noon. Students should check in at the ISSS front desk in Room G-1 for walk-in appointments.
University Health Service will close at 3:30 pm on Tuesday, January 18 to allow
staff to prepare for the Decker Student Health Services Center Grand Opening
beginning at 5 pm.
Normal business hours will resume at 8:00 am on Wednesday, January 19.
International Student Orientation activities begin Thursday, January 20, and orientation packets will be distributed during orientation check-in, Thursday January 20 from 9:30am to 12 Noon in the University Union Tillman Lobby (in front of the Mandela Room).
Orientation schedules and orientation information may be viewed at: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/orientation/spring/index.html
The Office of International Student and Scholar Services will be open for regular office hours beginning Tuesday, January 18. However, most staff will be away from the office during Thursday and Friday, January 20 and 21, participating in various New Student Orientation activities.
This means that obtaining appointments, document processing and responses to e-mails may take somewhat longer than usual while staff takes care of the newest class of international students. ISSS thanks you for your patience and understanding!
Most international students in F-1 status know that they cannot work off campus without advance authorization, and that federal regulations greatly limit the kinds of off campus employment that can be authorized. Students in J-1 status must have all employment authorized in advance, whether it is on campus or off campus.
For F-1 students, the authorization for off-campus employment may be printed on page 3 of the I-20 (Curricular Practical Training) or it may be on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security-issued Employment Authorization Card (Optional Practical Training, Off Campus Employment Due to Economic Hardship). For J-1 students, the employment authorization will be in the form of a letter, issued by the student’s J-1 program sponsor, or, if academic training, as a letter and on the DS-2019.
But, some students have become confused about the Social Security Card issued by the Social Security Administration, and believe that having a Social Security Card with a Social Security Number printed on it is the document that confers eligibility to be employed. NOT TRUE!
In fact, the purpose of a Social Security Card is for presentation to a U.S. employer so that the employer can fulfill U.S. government requirements for reporting taxes on wages, and other taxable income earned in the United States. The Social Security Card is also used as an identity document to obtain other benefits not related to employment, such as certain kinds of health insurance or a driver’s license. But, the Social Security Card does not give someone in F-1 or J-1 status the ability to work.
The Social Security Card issued to F-1 and J-1 students will have a notation on the front of the card “Valid for Work Only With DHS Authorization.” “DHS” stands for Department of Homeland Security. The notation is a reminder to the student and the off-campus employer that other documentation will need to be shown to prove eligibility to work.
Questions? Visit the ISSS website for information on employment:
The ISSS website has been updated to include five year's worth of international student comparative data for the period 2006-2010. In the past five years, international student enrollment at Binghamton University has increased by 30.9%, from 1678 in Fall 2006 to 2196 in Fall 2010. The data is in three tables in the Publications section of the ISSS website: go to http://isss.binghamton.edu and click on “Publications” from the blue menu on the left side of the webpage.
The direct links are:
International Student Enrollment by Country and World Region
Undergraduate International Student Enrollment by Field of Study
Graduate International Student Enrollment by Field of Study
Thanks to the efforts of Nalini Pawar, ISSS graduate assistant, the ISSS website tax pages will soon be updated for the 2010 tax year, which has just concluded. You will be able to view the pages by going to http://isss.binghamton.edu and clicking on "Taxes." We recommend that you visit the Tax section of the ISSS website and familiarize yourself with some of the rules for tax filing.
The Office of International Student and Scholar Services plans to announce the availability of CINTAX income tax software in the next two weeks. This web-based software product will make it very easy for international students to fulfill their U.S. Federal income tax filing obligations for calendar year 2010. Watch for an upcoming e-mail message. Once ISSS receives its supply of income tax forms, an announcement will be posted in ISSS-BU News. A series of Income Tax Webinars will become available in mid-February. Watch ISSS-BU News for the announcement.
This week's income tax information is about the W-2 form, which is also known as a Wage and Tax Statement. Many international students and scholars who were employed during calendar year 2010 may have just received or will soon receive their W-2 forms in the mail. If you were employed in the United States for any period of time during 2010, each employer for whom your worked is required to report your earnings to both you and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). By law, W-2s must be mailed no later than January 31.
If you worked during 2010, whether off campus (including paid internships) or on-campus at Binghamton University or at a previous school and have not received your form W-2 by February 1, contact your former employer right away. It is possible that they do not have your current address. You will be required to include a copy of each W-2 form with your federal and state income tax forms. The IRS computer system will match the income you report with what they have received from the employer.
Different kinds of taxes are withheld by employers. The W-2 form has boxes for reporting withholding of Federal Income Tax (box 2), Social Security Tax (box 4), Medicare Tax (box 6), State Income Tax (box 17) and local income tax (box 19). Some individuals who received form W-2 will find that all of these boxes have amounts in them, others will find only some or none of the boxes showing tax withheld. We'll discuss Social Security and Medicare withholding in a future tax information article.
If you have an interest-bearing savings account, checking account, or certificate of deposit, you may have received or will soon receive a letter from your bank that summarizes the interest you earned on your account(s) during calendar year 2010. Known as form 1099-INT, it is a statement of interest earned from your bank or credit union. Be sure to retain such statements, they may be needed for your federal income tax filing.
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Last Updated: 4/12/11