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ISSS-BU News 26 November 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

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CONTENTS:

1. International Student Enrollment at Binghamton University
2. Important Caution to BU International Students When Taking On-Line Courses
3. Fall 2012 International Student Graduation Reception Update
4. Take the Binghamton University Virtual Tour!
5. Is Your I-20 or DS-2019 Expiring Soon? Do You Need an Extension of Stay?
6. Changing Landscapes: Languages & Cultures Across the Fields on December 6th
7. Traveling Over Intersession? Don’t Let This Happen to You!
8. Holiday Curtailment Dates for International Student and Scholar Services
9. Practical Training Update from the ISSS
10. SEVIS Compliance and Spring 2013 Registration
11. SEVIS Compliance for Students Not Returning for Spring 2013
12. Important Announcement Regarding Addresses for W-2 Forms

1. International Student Enrollment at Binghamton University

Binghamton University has an international student enrollment record for the Fall 2012 semester! There are 2375 international students from 109 countries enrolled for Fall 2012, 899 graduate students and 1476 undergraduate students. This is an increase of 10% percent from the year before, when total enrollment was 2161. Undergraduate international student enrollment has increased by 15.6 percent (from 1277 to 1476). Graduate international student enrollment has increased by 1.7 percent (from 884 to 899).

Fall 2012 International Students by School      
School   Undergraduate      Graduate     Total  
Harpur 779 331 1110
Watson 245 396 641
SOM 384 103 487
Exchange 27 5 32
Grad School* 0 32 32
Continuing Ed** 26 0 26
CCPA 6 17 23
Decker 9 10 19
Education 0 5 5
*Materials Science and Engineering      
**AMBOW (23) and NSE (3)      


Fall 2012 international student enrollment top ten countries at BU

The following countries account for 86% of total international student enrollment at BU. Among the top 5, the positions remain unchanged for this year. The number of students from China increased by 24.7% from the year before. The number of students from the Republic of Korea increased by 12.6%. The number of students from India, Taiwan, Kenya and Canada declined while the number of students from Turkey, Jordan and Japan all increased.

Fall 2012 International Students by Top 10 Countries       
Country  Undergraduate   Graduate   Total 
China 400 313 713
Korea (Republic) 449 70 519
Turkey 352 63 415
India 18 210 228
Vietnam 27 7 34
Taiwan 14 17 31
Jordan 1 28 29
Canada 19 8 27
Japan 23 2 25
Kenya 1 24 25

2. Important Caution to BU 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 at:
http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/immigration/rulecourse.html

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.

Recently, several students who took only a distance learning class in their final semester have found that they are not eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) because the distance learning course taken by itself, with no other physical presence courses, is a violation of F-1 regulations. Don’t less this happen to you! If you have questions, send an email message to isss@binghamton.edu or set up an appointment with one of the advisors.

3. Fall 2012 International Student Graduation Reception Update

The fifth annual Fall International Student Graduation Reception will take place, Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 7:00 pm in the University Union Old Union Hall. Invitations will be sent by email later this week to Binghamton.edu addresses of students who have declared candidacy for Fall 2012, as well as to all exchange students completing their programs in December. All students completing their programs in December who plan to attend need to respond by completing the on-line reply form (once they receive the email message) no later than December 7! Be sure to indicate any guests who may accompany you by indicating the appropriate number on the response form.

The Fall International Student Graduation Reception is open to students who graduated in Summer 2012, and those who will graduate this December. Please note that the date is the evening before Fall commencement. Desserts and beverages be served, there will be many photo opportunities, and a commemorative certificate will be given to each student being honored.

Students frequently ask about appropriate dress for the reception. While business suits are not required, consider it a Saturday evening out, so feel free to dress up in Western or traditional clothing! The reception will end by 8:30pm, so there will be plenty of time for you to enjoy other evening plans following the reception. Cameras are encouraged, as there will be lots of opportunities for picture taking. This is your evening to celebrate your achievement!

4. Take the Binghamton University Virtual Tour!

Did you know that there is now an on-line virtual tour of Binghamton University? We think it’s so good that it’s now featured on the ISSS home page! It includes narration, 360 degree views, and videos. Take a look, and then share the link with your family and friends! The direct link to the tour is: http://binghamton.edu/grad-school/tour.html

5. Is Your I-20 or DS-2019 Expiring Soon? Do You Need an Extension of Stay?

This is the time of year when many international students whose I-20 or DS-2019 will expire this month, but who will be continuing their studies for Spring 2013, are applying for an extension of stay. Students who will begin a new level of study (e.g., completing bachelor’s and commencing master’s or completing master’s and commencing PhD) receive a new I-20 for the new level of study. Changes in level of study require an admission letter from the Graduate School (if completing a bachelor’s and commencing master’s) or from the student’s academic department (if completing master’s and commencing PhD) verifying that the student has been approved for the new level of study, and the semester that the new level will begin.

Student’s with I-20s or DS-2019s expiring in December 2012 but who will continue their studies at BU must begin the extension of stay process (or change in level of study process) well before that date so that the new I-20 is issued before the I-20 expiration date.

Complete information and the required forms are available in the ISSS, or on-line at:

http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/Immigration/index.html Select “F-1 Extension of Stay” or “J-1 Extension of Stay” as appropriate.

6. Changing Landscapes: Languages & Cultures Across the Fields on December 6th

A talk titled: Changing Landscapes: Languages & Cultures Across the Fields, will be held on Thursday, December 6, 2012 from 9:00am to 10:30am in Library North Room 1106 (IASH Conference Room, next to Library Tower elevators)

How can integrating the use of multiple languages across the disciplines help students and faculty to re-imagine teaching/learning and research, and even larger administrative structures? Please join us for an interactive discussion!

The speakers are:

Diana Davies, Vice Provost for International Initiatives, Princeton University

Cecilia Burke Lawless, Romance Studies, Cornell University

H. Stephen Straight, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology & Linguistics, Binghamton University

Sponsored by the Office of International Programs, Languages Across the Curriculum and the Center for Learning and Teaching.

7. Traveling Over Intersession? Don’t Let This Happen to You!

During intersession break, International Student and Scholar Services staff receive a number of worried phone calls and emails from BU students who are traveling outside the United States. The reason? Either the student has forgotten to travel with their current I-20 (or, if in J status, their DS-2019), and tells ISSS staff that the I-20 (or DS-2019) was left behind in their Binghamton apartment or residence hall, OR the student has the I-20 (or DS-2019) with them, but the form lacks a current travel signature.

Either way, that creates a very big problem for the student upon his or her return to the United States, because the student will be stopped by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Official for failure to present the appropriate documents. At the very least, this will result in delays at immigration inspection at the U.S. port of entry, and possibly, the issuance of only a 30-day stay in the United States.

So, don’t let this happen to you! Be sure to have your I-20 or DS-2019 when you travel (and if you have multiple documents, have them with you to present in case you are asked to do so). Also, check your most recent I-20 (or DS-2019) to be sure you have a currently valid travel signature. The travel signature should be less than one year old as of the date you will return to the United States.

8. Holiday Curtailment Dates for International Student and Scholar Services

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services, along with most other university offices, will be participating in what is traditionally known at the University as the "holiday curtailment" period. The official holiday curtailment starts at the close of business on Monday, December 24, 2012 with offices re-opening on Wednesday, January 2, 2013. During this period, there will be no mail delivery into or out of offices. Voice mail, e-mail and fax will be monitored periodically, but not every day.

International students and scholars who have paperwork that needs to be processed by the ISSS should note these dates and anticipate that after Monday, December 24, there will be a wait until January 2 before work resumes. It is strongly recommended that any requests for documents be made no later than Friday, December 14 to assure timely processing. Remember not to wait until the last minute!

9. Practical Training Update from the ISSS

If you are graduating in December, are in F-1 status, and have been planning to apply for post-completion optional practical training, but have not yet done so, do not delay! Fall 2012 graduates must send their completed applications to the USCIS Vermont Processing Center so that it arrives there before February 21, 2013, which is 60 days following the completion date for Fall graduates.

Please keep in mind that the ISSS office will curtail services at 4:30pm on Monday, December 24, 2012 and will not reopen until Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

We remind our F-1 students to allow 10 business days for the ISSS portion of the processing of OPT applications. Traditionally, the ISSS has advised students to allow 12 weeks for application processing by US Citizenship and Immigration Services. You are urged to consider these dates when submitting your paperwork. Applications are available in the ISSS.

Once you receive your EAD card, please bring it to the ISSS so that a copy can be made for your file. This will prove very useful to you in case the card is ever lost or misplaced. Remember: you cannot begin employment any earlier than the starting date on the EAD card.

10. SEVIS Compliance and Spring 2013 Registration

It's very important that all BU students in F or J status who will be registered for the Spring 2011 semester know the SEVIS rules for being in compliance.

SEVIS Registration Deadline
The SEVIS deadline for continuing students to be registered for the Spring 2013 semester is February 27, 2013 (30 days following the first day of classes). Although the University has a late registration deadline of February 8, 2013, some graduate students, especially those taking dissertation or thesis credit, sometimes register after the University’s late registration deadline.

Graduate Students Who Can Be Certified Full Time
Graduate students (both master's and PhD) who are course-completed and register for thesis, project, pre-dissertation, dissertation or other course rubrics that are eligible to be certified as full time even though the number of credits will be below the normal full-time course load must visit their academic department and request to have sufficient non-billable certification credits added to their schedule to bring them to nine credits total. This procedure is for students not receiving funding, as well as funded students who are ABD. However, all funded students who are not ABD must be registered full time.

A graduate student who can be considered as “full-time” with fewer than 9 credits (such as a student taking thesis or dissertation credit) should still show as 9 credits in BU Brain because additional credits of GRAD 700 (if not funded) or GRAD 701 (if funded) will be added by the department to bring the student to 9 credits, once the student makes the necessary request.

Students Graduating in May 2013 Who Will Be Less Than Full-Time
Undergraduate students who will be graduating at the end of the Spring 2013 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, available in the ISSS or by downloading the form from the web at:

http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/essential-forms/study_comp.pdf

Graduate students who are graduating at the end of Spring 2013 and are registered for a course rubric that cannot be certified as full time must also complete this form.

11. SEVIS Compliance for Students Not Returning for Spring 2013

Students not returning to Binghamton University for the Spring 2013 semester need to complete a departure form with the ISSS, unless they will be on optional practical training. The departure form is available on the ISSS website. Visit:

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

Those needing to complete a departure form include:

*those who are graduating in Fall 2012 but who will not be pursuing optional practical training

* exchange students who are completing their programs

* those who have decided to stop their Binghamton studies and either return to their home country or transfer to a new U.S. school

*anyone withdrawing or terminating their studies as of the end of the Fall 2012 semester

12. Important Announcement Regarding Addresses for W-2 Forms

Annual W-2 statements of earnings will be mailed directly to faculty, staff and student home addresses in January 2013. If you are paid on the NYS payroll (Graduate Assistants, Adjuncts, Teaching Assistants, most faculty and professional staff), the Office of Human Resources needs to confirm that home addresses are correct in their systems to ensure the mailing is successful. We ask that all faculty, staff and students check the address as recorded on their paycheck issued on December 5, 2012 to be sure it is accurate. If you need to make any changes, report this to your department and they will submit the necessary Oracle personal data change form.

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Last Updated: 11/26/12