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ISSS-BU News 30 April 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

Traveling soon? All BU international students are reminded to check their most recent SEVIS I-20 or SEVIS DS-2019 to be sure they have an updated travel signature from the ISSS. If the travel signature (on the bottom of Page 3 of the I-20, or in the lower right hand section of Page 1 of the DS-2019) will be more than 12 months old when you return to the United States to resume classes in the Fall, come to the ISSS for an updated signature BEFORE you travel. Students who will also be applying for a new US student visa abroad this summer should not request an updated travel signature. Instead you should request a letter of certification and a new I-20 from the ISSS, as this is needed as part of the visa application.

Departing Binghamton at the end of the semester and not returning? BU students who will not be returning to the University for the Fall 2012 semester are reminded to fulfill their federal SEVIS responsibilities by completing the ISSS departure form on line at the following web link:

http://saffairs.binghamton.edu/isss/webforms/DepartureForm/

Students in F-1 status who are graduating and are not going to pursue Optional Practical Training (OPT) or transfer to a new U.S. school or begin a new degree program in the United States are required to depart the United States within 60 days of their degree completion date. Students in J-1 status are required to depart the United States within 30 days of their degree completion date, or the end of their programs.

CONTENTS:
1. National Holidays For May
2. Last International Coffee Hour For the Spring Semester is Friday, May 4
3. International Student Graduation Reception is Friday, May 18
4. Leadership Volunteer Application is Now On-Line
5. New! International Student Wire Payments Through peerTransfer
6. Health Insurance Walk-In Hours Changing for May 8 Only
7. Canadian Consulate in Buffalo Ends Same-Day Walk-In Service as of Monday, May 7
8. Are You A Native Or Near-Native Speaker Of Spanish, German, French, Hebrew, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Italian, Or Some Other Language? Will you be on campus for the Fall 2012 semester?
9. Attention Graduating Seniors
10. Students Selected for Surveys
11. Planning to Work in the United States This Summer?
12. Confirmation of Enrollment Mandatory for Students Taking Summer Session Classes
13. Accessing Health Services, Library Services and Off Campus Bus Services During the Summer
14. Glacier Tax Prep Available To File Late Income Tax Returns
15. Did You Receive A Grade of "Incomplete" in Fall 2011?
16. Registering for Less Than a Full Time Course Load for Fall 2012?
17. Latest H-1B Visa Update

1. National Holidays for May

The following countries are celebrating national holidays during May

Marshall Islands 1-May
Poland 3-May
Israel 12-May
Paraguay 15-May
Norway 17-May
Turkey 19-May
Cameroon 20-May
Yemen, Republic of 22-May
Eritrea 24-May
Argentina 25-May
Jordan 25-May
Georgia 26-May
Azerbaijan 28-May
Ethiopia 28-May
Croatia 30-May
South Africa 31-May

2. Last International Coffee Hour For the Spring Semester is Friday, May 4

Good company! Free food! Hot and cold beverages! Celebrate May and the approaching end of the Spring semester by coming to this month's International Coffee Hour on Friday, May 4 from 3:30-5pm in the University Union Old Union Hall. This month's sponsor is the Division of Student Affairs.

We look forward to seeing you on Friday, May 4.

3. International Student Graduation Reception is Friday May 18

We are delighted that so many international exchange students and graduating students have informed the ISSS that they will be attending the 26th Annual International Student Graduation Reception in the University Union Old Union Hall, Friday, May 18 at 7:00pm. Invitations were sent by email last week.

If you are completing your program or are graduating, and have not yet responded to our invitation, please do so soon by using our on-line response form:

http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/gradreception/invite.html

Please note that the response form requires you to use your Binghamton.edu email address.

Students who graduated in December 2011 or who will graduate in Summer 2012 and would like to participate in the International Student Graduation Reception should also use the invitation link, above.

Each student will receive a certificate from the ISSS, in recognition of your achievements. If you will be graduating, or completing your exchange program this month, come join the ISSS staff and your fellow students for good food, short speech making, and lots of photo opportunities!

Please note that the International Student Graduation Reception is separate from the University’s official Commencement ceremonies, which will be held on Saturday, May 19 for graduate students and Sunday, May 20 for undergraduate students. For more information on the Commencement ceremonies, visit:

http://commencement.binghamton.edu/

4. Leadership Volunteer Application is Now On-Line

Current students interested in becoming Leadership Volunteers and assisting with International Student Orientation in August may obtain information and the required application form on-line at this link: http://saffairs.binghamton.edu/isss/webforms/LV/ The training is from August 20 to August 24 and International Student Orientation is August 27 -29, 2012.

5. New! International Student Wire Payments Through peerTransfer

Binghamton University has partnered with peerTransfer to streamline the tuition payment process for our international students. With peerTransfer, you are offered excellent foreign exchange rates, allowing you to pay in your home currency (in most cases) and save a significant amount of money, as compared to traditional banks. You will also be able to track where your payment is in the transfer process via a student dashboard and an email confirmation will be sent to you when your payment is received by the school.

For more information please visit

http://www2.binghamton.edu/student-accounts/internationalpay.html
or to make a payment now, go to: https://peertransfer.com/school/binghamton

6. Health Insurance Walk-In Hours Changing for May 8 Only

On Tuesday, May 8, the walk-in hours for International Student Health Insurance will be shortened, and will be from 10:00am to 11:15am. This week’s walk-in hours (Tuesday, May 1) will be held at their regular time, 10:15am to Noon.

7. Canadian Consulate in Buffalo Ends Same-Day Walk-In Service as of Monday, May 7

As of Monday, May 7, 2012, the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo will no longer offer same-day walk-in service for those seeking entry visas to Canada. Instead, applications shall be mailed to their office for processing.

8. Are You A Native Or Near-Native Speaker Of Spanish, German, French, Hebrew, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Italian, Or Some Other Language? Will you be on campus for the Fall 2012 semester?

Why not apply for an LRS position? We would like to encourage you to visit our website and to submit an application early.

Program Description

The Languages Across the Curriculum (LxC) program is now accepting applications for the position of Language Resource Specialist (LRS) for Fall 2012 who speak Spanish, Korean, Russian, French, Hebrew, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Italian, and a host of other languages.

Job Description

Based on work with LxC staff, instructors and other LRS colleagues, LRSs design a syllabus for the Languages Across the Curriculum study group and research and prepare reading assignments (or films or internet-based assignments). LRSs lead discussions of these assignments in the study groups and evaluate students' performance. Throughout the semester, LRSs compile a Blackboard-based teaching portfolio consisting of all the materials used in the study group. LRSs are expected to meet weekly for mandatory LxC staff training.

Job Requirements

The ideal candidate will have previous teaching experience, strong analytical and critical thinking skills; be eager to develop pedagogical skills that foster a globalized understanding of the world, have very strong English language skills and native or near-native proficiency in one or more other languages. LxC supports an array of courses in a variety of disciplines including, but not limited to: Environmental Studies or Life Sciences, American History, Political Science, Education and Human Development, Theater, International Business, Engineering, and Marketing.

Pay begins at $10/hr and LRSs work 5-10 hours per week. Weekly study group meetings led by each LRS begin in the 5th week of classes, scheduled at the convenience of the LRS and her/his students.

NOTE: THIS IS NOT AN ASSISTANTSHIP.

Use the PDF form available in this link to apply: http://lxc.binghamton.edu/forms/LRS_appl_form.pdf, or call for a hard copy to be mailed to you. All applications should be submitted to the Languages Across the Curriculum office as hardcopy or via email (lxc@binghamton.edu).

Some interviews will take place during the next few weeks. For more details you can call the LxC office at 607-777-2499, or email us:lxc@binghamton.edu

9. Attention Graduating Seniors

Binghamton University is collecting information from 2012 Graduating Seniors (undergraduates) about career plans after graduation. We use this information to help us better understand the employment market for our students and how we can best prepare our students for their various professional paths.

The survey should take less than 5 minutes for you to complete. Students from Harpur College or the Decker School of Nursing who complete the survey by May 1st can be entered into a drawing for four priority seating commencement ceremony tickets! These are in addition to any other guest commencement tickets you may receive.

Thank you in advance for completing the survey. Your answers will greatly assist current and future students. Should you have additional questions about this survey please refer to bit.ly/HpBDTx.

10. Students Selected for Surveys

The University is currently supporting three campus wide surveys: the Student Opinion Survey (SOS), the National College Health Assessment (NCHA), and the Civic Engagement Baseline Survey. Students were randomly invited to participate in the electronic surveys. If you were selected to participate we encourage you to complete the survey. Your answers assist the University in evaluating programs and services, and assist with future planning. Thank you in advance for your contribution.

11. Planning to Work in the United States This Summer?

International students in F-1 or J-1 status are reminded that all off-campus employment must be authorized! This includes summer internships and other forms of off-campus employment. Do not jeopardize your non-immigrant status through unauthorized employment. If you have any questions, please come to the ISSS, send an email to the ISSS employment team at intl.work@binghamton.edu or visit the employment section of the ISSS website at:

http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/employment/index.html

12. Confirmation of Enrollment Mandatory for Students Taking Summer Session Classes

At the start of each semester all undergraduate and graduate students are required to confirm enrollment via BU BRAIN at http://bubrain.binghamton.edu For summer 2012, confirmation must be completed to avoid your courses being canceled. If you fail to confirm enrollment and your classes are dropped, you will have to re-enroll in the courses online via BU BRAIN. How do you confirm enrollment? After logging into BU BRAIN, click on the “Start of Term” tab. View a step-by-step guide on how to confirm enrollment at http://www2.binghamton.edu/registrar/students/course-registration/confirmation-enrollment.html Problem accessing? Go to http://its.binghamton.edu/helpdesk

13. Accessing Health Services, Library Services and Off Campus Bus Services During the Summer

BU students remaining in the Binghamton area for the summer (but who are not registered for Summer Session) frequently ask the ISSS about their ability to utilize services during the summer months, such as the Library, University Health Service, and Bus Services.

Any BU student can continue to use the library and bus services in the summer with their BU ID. A student wishing to visit University Health Service in the summer, but who is not registered for the Summer Session, will be asked to pay a one-time fee of $25 per Summer term at the Office of Student Accounts.

14. GLACIER Tax Prep Available To File Late Income Tax Returns

Glacier Tax Prep users will be able to access Glacier for late 2011 federal non-resident income tax filings through December 30, 2012. Full instructions for accessing GLACIER are available at: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/taxes/glacier.html The ISSS will maintain its supply of income tax forms for several months, for those who need to file amended returns. Then the forms will be placed in storage.

15. Did You Receive A Grade of "Incomplete" in Fall 2011?

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services would like to remind international students of a potential problem for those in F-1 or J-1 status who do not complete in a timely manner the required work for a course for which they have been issued an "Incomplete" grade. For example, a student who receives a grade of "incomplete" in a graduate or undergraduate course for the Fall 2011 semester has until the end of the Spring 2012 semester to turn in the required work so that the professor can issue the appropriate final grade. However, if the Fall 2011 course work is not completed, or if the professor does not submit a grade change form, the Incomplete will change to "W" or withdrawn for graduate students, and to "F" or failure for undergraduate students following the Spring 2012 semester.

Now that the Spring 2012 semester is coming to an end, international students in F-1 and J-1 status who received one or more grades of Incomplete in Fall 2011 are urged to check their Fall 2011 grades in BU brain; http://bubrain.binghamton.edu

A grade change to "W" is very detrimental to any F-1 or J-1 graduate student, because if the course was being counted towards a full-time course load, the W grade means that the course was not completed successfully, dropping the student from full-time to part-time. Often, we find that the student has made arrangements with the faculty member to complete the work. In such cases, we strongly advise the student to check with the faculty member to see if the grade was submitted, or if necessary, extend the deadline for the incomplete and have the grade changed back to "I."

A grade that remains "W," if it drops the graduate student below a full time course load, may mean that the F-1 or J-1 student is in violation of U.S. immigration requirements. Thus, some international students could suddenly find themselves in violation of their F-1 status based on a course taken as long as two semesters ago. Students who find themselves in this situation should contact the ISSS to set up an appointment with Ellen Badger.

16. Registering for Less Than a Full Time Course Load for Fall 2012?

Some students have already completed pre-registration for Fall 2012, others may delay signing up for courses until the regular registration period that begins August 30, 2012. 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. See http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/Immigration/ruleftload.html for a summary of what constitutes full-time study at Binghamton University.

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. A 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.

One of the most common requests for a reduced course load is when a student is in their final semester of study, but needs less than a full time course load to graduate. The ISSS may authorize a reduced course load for this reason. If the reduction is authorized, the student must then be registered for those credits needed to complete the course of study.

The student must first obtain permission from the ISSS before dropping below a full-time course load. A special form, which can be obtained from the ISSS or downloaded at:

http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/essential-forms/study_comp.pdf must be completed by both the student and department advisor, and then approved by the ISSS before any courses can be dropped. In addition, the student must also have filed a "declaration of candidacy form" (for graduate students) or an "application for undergraduate degree" (for undergraduate students), verifying the student's intention to graduate in that semester. These forms are available in BU Brain.

A note of warning: Students should be absolutely certain that they will be graduating in the current semester before choosing to register for less than a full-time course load. Failure to graduate after dropping below a full-time course load may result in the student being out-of-status, and the loss of F-1 benefits, unless it can be shown that the student is still making satisfactory progress towards their degree.

17. Latest H-1B Visa Update

The most recent H-1B visa update was on Friday April 20, 2012.

USCIS reports that approximately 25,000 H-1B cap-subject petitions and approximately 10,900 petitions qualifying for the advanced degree cap exemption had been filed. USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

Last year, on April 29, 2011, USCIS reported that approximately 9,200 H-1B cap-subject petitions and approximately 6,600 petitions qualifying for the advanced degree cap exemption had been filed. Thus, the filings for this year are substantially ahead of this time one year ago.

USCIS will provide regular updates on the processing of FY2013 H-1B petitions. The updates can be found on the USCIS’ Web site at www.uscis.gov/h-1b_count

 

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Last Updated: 7/26/12