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Program Department Newsletter Spring 2013 A newsletter from ISSS to tGraduate Coordinators and Academic Advisors

ISSS Team
Marisa Atencio Director, ISSS Manages J Scholar Program Katie Tudini Senior Intl Student Advisor Manages J Student and J Student Intern Program Gwen Fernandes Assistant Director, ISSS Manages F Student Program Charlie Hammons Intl Student Advisor Exchange Advisor

I-20 Request E-form


As we continue our transition to a fully paperless office, we are working to introduce an E-form to replace the paper-based Draft I-20 request and mirror the existing J student DS-2019 request process in many ways. For Fall 2013, all departmental I-20 requests will be completed electronically through iStart.gatech.edu. These requests will be applicable to initial, transfer and change of status students. Information about the E-form, including a tutorial and FAQ, will be available in March through the Graduate Admissions office.

In this Issue Changes and Updates 1

Meg Popick Intl Student Advisor Leadership and Programming Emily Dolezal Intl Student Advisor

Jeevan Devassy Intl Student Advisor SEVIS Coordinator Brittny Malbrue Intl Student Coordinator

Reminders & Common Requests

Other Considerations

Communications

Student Newsletter
InTECHnational News is an email newsletter sent to all international students twice a month from ISSS. The newsletter allows the ISSS to communicate with students and departments regarding immigration law/policy updates, reminders, and upcoming programs or events. We expect to introduce a variety of changes to the InTECHnational News as well as introduce new mediums of communication in the coming year. If you currently do not receive the newsletter, please contact Emily Dolezal at emily.dolezal@oie.gatech.edu

http://www.oie.gatech.edu/international-student-and-scholar-services

Reminders and Common Requests


Reduced Course Load (RCL) Immigration laws provide very limited exceptions to the full-time (12 credits) enrollment for international students. While academic/medical problems do happen, students must submit a Reduced Course Load request and an ISSS advisor must authorize the RCL in SEVIS before the student can drop below 12 credits. At this point in the semester, a student can only submit an RCL for either academic difficulties or for a medical RCL. Request can be made via istart.gatech.edu Off Campus Employment International students considering off campus work experience are encouraged to consider the immigration benefit(s) for which they are eligible. F1 students may be eligible for either Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT). J1 student off-campus work authorization is known as Academic Training (AT). Students must have the appropriate authorization before they begin any employment off campus. For more information, please direct students to our website: oie.gatech.edu/employment-and-training CPT Requests F1 students can begin applying for CPT after they have spoken with an advisor in the Division of Professional Practice (DOPP), or for degrees that require internships, their academic advisor. If DOPP or the academic advisor approves their Co-op or Internship employment, it will be passed on to OIE to authorize the employment on their I-20. listed on their Form I-20 or DS-2019. I-20 or DS-2019 Program Extensions Students who will not complete their program by the end date on their I-20 or DS-2019 must request a program extension in iStart prior to the end date. They should be directed to log into istart.gatech.edu and submit the request. They should also speak with OPT Applications Optional Practical Training (OPT) gives F-1 students an advisor/grad coordinator prior to making the rean opportunity to gain work experience in the U.S. quest, so that the advisor/grad coordinator knows to before and/or after completion of a degree. It is lim- expect an e-mail requesting the submission of the ited to a total of 12 months for each higher degree students information and funding. To be in complilevel in a job directly related to the student's field of ance with immigration laws and avoid a violation of study. Students must be enrolled full time for a mini- their F-1/J-1 status, students must have requested mum of 2 academic semesters to be eligible to work and been issued their new immigration form before off-campus. Unlike CPT, OPT does not require that the expiration date on their current I-20 or DS-2019. the employment be a required internship or practiScanning I-20 or DS-2019 forms cum. ISSS has detailed information and tutorials on I-20s/DS-2019s are legal immigration documents and our website, at oie2.gatech.edu/OPT should not be reproduced through a fax or scan to an incoming or current student. If a student is requesting Change of Degree Levels Students changing degree levels must submit a reinformation about their immigration document, the quest in iStart before the registration period ends, and program department can direct the student to log into their BANNER record must reflect admission to the iStart to review their profile information. The campus new degree program. Students have a limited period codes for the purpose of paying a SEVIS I-901 fee of time to be issued a new degree level I-20 or DScan be found at oie.gatech.edu/pre-arrival/transfer 2019 and will be in violation of their visa status if the degree they are pursuing is different than the degree

http://www.oie.gatech.edu/international-student-and-scholar-services

Other Considerations
August 2013 Check-In We are beginning preparations for Fall 2013 international student check-in. In August, all new F and J International students will use iStart to complete their check-in with the OIE. New student check-in support is scheduled from August 7th to 21st. Students will scan their immigration documents and complete a check-in form within iStart that provides the ISSS information needed to activate the I-20 or DS-2019 SEVIS record and remove the OIE registration hold. More detail about the fall check-in will be shared before the end of the Spring semester. J Student Intern
Starting in January 2013, Tech added the J Student Intern category to the other J Exchange Visitor student and scholar categories already being utilized. You may be contacted by students interested in coming to Tech to participate in an internship or practical research experience that will fulfill educational objectives for his or her current degree program at his or her home institution. Once a student has identified a GT faculty member interested in supervising their internship, the Hiring Manager in the sponsoring department will need to initiate the J Student Intern request in iStart. For more information about the J Student Intern, visit oie.gatech.edu/Studentintern

ISSS Liaisons to Program Departments Administrators


ISSS Advisor Gwen Fernandes Charlie Hammons Meg Popick Katie Tudini Jeevan Devassy Emily Dolezal Program Department ISYE, ECON, Public Policy, Math College of Computing, MGT, Textile Engineering College of Sciences( except Math), CEE ECE AE, LCC, INTA, BME ME, MSE, HTS, ARCH, ChBE ISSS Contact gwen.fernandes@oie.gatech.edu , x5-6734 charlie.hammons@oie.gatech.edu, x4-9165 meghan.popick@oie.gatech.edu, x5-2598 katie.tudini@oie.gatech.edu, x4-9166 jeevan.devassy@oie.gatech.edu, x5-6708 emily.dolezal@oie.gatech.edu, x5-0735

http://www.oie.gatech.edu/international-student-and-scholar-services