Our Mission

The Office of International Affairs is dedicated to enhancing a vibrant international community and to fostering cross-cultural experience. We welcome, support and strengthen diversity through advocacy and holistic service. Enriching connections is our goal.


News

Updates for Students with 2014 Tax Return Issues

This message recently went out to all international students who are on the OIA F-1 and J-1 Student mailing list. If you are still having issues with your 2014 tax return, please review the information below.  Note that this information is only for tax returns from calendar year 2014 and does not apply to recently filed 2015 tax returns.

Dear Students,

We are writing with an update on IRS matters, as we understand them based on recent communication from the IRS and related sources. 

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ITIN Appointment Availability in June

Due to limited staff availability, OIA will not be able to provide ITIN appointments or ITIN application processing between June 2 and June 22, 2016.  To accommodate students with summer grants and scholarships, we have increased ITIN appointment availability on May 26, May 31, June 1, and after June 22.

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F-1 Students: Updated I-20 Format

As you may know, USCIS updated the format of Form I-20 in June 2015.  As part of the new form rollout, USCIS will require every F-1 student (and any F-2 dependents) to have the updated Form I-20 for all benefit applications and travel starting July 1, 2016. If you are in F-1 status, OIA asks that you follow the instructions below to check if you need an updated I-20 and take action, if needed. This information applies to F-1 Students only. J-1 students can disregard this message.  Please read the entire message before taking any action.

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Recent Tax Scam Targeting International Students

OIA has just become aware that a member of our international community was recently contacted by individuals conducting a sophisticated tax scam that seems to target international students.

The scam consists of someone contacting an international student, claiming to be a representative of the IRS or other federal agency, and stating that unless money is paid immediately, the student’s visa will be revoked or they will be arrested.

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New STEM Regulations in Effect as of May 10, 2016

After a lengthy review process, the U.S. government recently approved changes in the F-1 OPT STEM extension program.  These changes went into effect on May 10, 2016.  Changes include an extended duration of the STEM extension period, wider STEM eligibility requirements, increased employer involvement, and additional reporting requirements.

Information about the STEM extension and eligibility requirements can be found on our OIA STEM page.

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Letter-writing Event on Monday, 5/2/2016, 5:00pm - please RSVP!

If you are planning to attend the Tax-related letter-writing event this evening (Monday, May 2), please make sure to RSVP on OIA's Facebook Group 2014 Taxes by 12:00 noon today!

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Update on 2014 Tax Issues and Additional Events and Features

As problems with international students' 2014 tax returns continue to unfold, we are offering several options you may find helpful.  

  • An update on where advocacy efforts by NACUBO and others with the IRS stand and what guidance NACUBO* and GLACIER are offering; (*NACUBO=National Association of College and University Business Offices, i.e. the organization that represents offices such as our Payroll or Finance Office)

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OIA Closed on Thursday, April 21.

The OIA will be closed on Thursday, the 21st of April for its annual retreat. We will re-open the office on Friday, the 22nd of April at 10:30 AM. 

We are sorry for any inconvenience!

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OIA Closed on Tuesday, April 19.

Due to some maintenance problems, the OIA will be closed on Tuesday, the 19th of April, from 9-11:30 AM. We will open the office to our clients at 11:30 a.m. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

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Tax Scam Targeting International Students

A new scam has been reported in which criminals target international students.

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Glacier Tax Prep for Non-Residents Now Available

Each year, OIA pays for licenses that allow UChicago students use Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) without charge to the student.  You will require an active CNET ID to use Glacier. Should you decide to file without using Glacier Tax Prep, please be sure you have all of your tax forms before submitting your return. As a reminder, Glacier is for 'non-residents for tax purposes' only. Residents for Tax purposes are not able to use the software.

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Recent OPT STEM Changes and OIA Impact

You may have seen the recent news about the final STEM ruling, which was released in the federal registrar March 10, 2016.  As the notice indicates, the final STEM rule is expected to go into effect on May 10, 2016.

OIA continues to closely monitor STEM news and updates and we will continue to provide information as more guidance from USCIS becomes available.  We are excited to see these positive changes take place. 

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Director's Message Regarding 2014 Tax Returns & Refunds

Dear International Student,

We would like to provide you with an update on the issues surrounding the 2014 tax returns as many students are experiencing delays in the processing of tax returns for nonresident students and may have received IRS notices (5532C, CP21C, CP22A) or been denied refunds or benefits from 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ submissions for 2014.

To summarize what follows in more extensive detail:

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Glacier Tax Prep for non-resident filers will be available in Mid-March

Should you decide to file without using Glacier Tax Prep, please be sure you have all of your tax forms before submitting your return. If you received taxable money from the University, you can expect you receive your form 1042S and other tax forms by March 15.

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OIA Closed for Construction: Dec 7-9

The Office of International Affairs will be closed for construction from Mon, Dec 7 through Wed, Dec 9. We will reopen for regular business hours on Thur, Dec 10.

 Advisers will be available by email throughout the closure, but the office will be closed for all in-person services, inluding drop-off, pick-up, and travel signatures.

If you need assistance while the office is closed, please email your adviser directly, or write to us at: international-affairs@uchicago.edu.

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F-1/J-1 Student: Address Format Update FAQs

Recent changes in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) require particular attention to the format in which you report your US residential address in myUChicago or Booth Portal.

If you are a current F-1 or J-1 Student sponsored by the University, we ask you to update your US address along the guidelines provided below and to do so by December 1, 2015.

These changes only apply to your U.S. residential address.  You do not need to update your permanent foreign address unless it has changed.

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OIA Office Access

Beginning on Monday, October 19, 2015 entering I-House will require your University ID card.  After entering the outer doors from 59th Street, you will find a proximity reader (much like those at the entrance to Regenstein Library, for example) on the right.  Please tap or wave your ID card in front of the reader and the inner door will unlock. This mechanism is in place from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm daily and if you visit OIA during our hours of 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday – Friday, this should work very well.

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Revised Procedures for Determining Visa Availability for Applicants Waiting to File for Adjustment of Status

USCIS’s procedures for determining visa availability for applicants waiting to file for employment-based or family-sponsored preference adjustment of status have been revised. The revision can be seen in the new format of the Visa Bulletin. The reformed Bulletin now lists two cut-off dates for each backlogged employment-based preference category and country. | Website

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Increase in Scams Targeting International Students

Dear International Student or Scholar,

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Director's Message: Recent Developments in Regard to STEM Extensions of OPT

If you have been following recent immigration news, you may have become aware that the current regulation allowing for a 17-month STEM extension of OPT has been vacated by a district court.  The reason for this intervention was a failure on the part of the Department of Homeland Security to follow proper procedure.  The court has given the agency until February 12, 2016 to address the matter.  For more details, please see http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/district-court-vacates-f-1-stem-opt-51055.

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Office Closings for the 4th of July

The Office of International Affairs will be closed Thursday, July 2nd and Friday, July 3rd in observance of Independence Day. The Office will reopen on Monday, July 6th with regular hours. Happy Independence Day, and we hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday! Looking for fun ways to celebrate the 4th of July? Check out the Chicago Celebrations here!

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Delays in Visa Issance at U.S. Consulates

See daily updates about this situation on the State Dept Facebook page.

Because of technical problems affecting the State Department’s consular systems, U.S. consulates are temporarily unable to issue visas or other travel documents. Foreign nationals who filed nonimmigrant visa applications or had visa interviews on or after June 9 will not be able to receive their visas until the problems are resolved. 

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Be With Nepal: Divinity School Wednesday Lunch

Be With Nepal Wed, June 3: 12-2 PM, Swift Hall, Common Room (1st Floor)

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At&T Offers Phone Service to International Students with No Deposit

Contact AT&T for more information.  This notice is posted as a courtesy and does not constitute OIA or the University's recommendation or endoresement of AT&T or any specific mobile service.

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Another Scam Targeting International Students and Scholars

OIA has just become aware that a member of our international community was defrauded of a substantial sum of money through a scam targeting international students and scholars in the US. The scam consists of someone claiming to be an immigration official contacting the international student or scholar, stating that something is wrong with the person’s immigration record/status and that the only way to avoid imminent arrest and/or deportation is to pay certain fees.  A very short time-line for such a payment is given and the person making the demand for payment may have certain personal fact

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Scam Targeting International Students in Chicago

Recently, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) became aware that scammers are targeting students in the Chicago area in an attempt to solicit funds on behalf of the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee. Scammers are requesting those targeted to send up to $4,000 to avoid deportation. The scammers are using the ‘Location Services’ app on students’ cellular devices to find the students’ location and threaten them with continued pursuit if they do not receive the money.

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Message from OIA Director: Campus Climate Survey

International Students: Please see the message below from OIA Director Tamara Felden:

Dear International Student,

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USCIS Tax Filing Reminder

Please see below for the important message from USCIS:

 

This time of year, when you file your income tax returns before the April 15 federal deadline, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) urges you to be careful if a tax preparer offers to also help you prepare and file your immigration forms. Individuals and businesses that prepare tax returns may not be authorized to assist you with immigration services.

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Celebrate Spring Festival with Food, Music, and Dance

Considered the most prominent event of the year among Chinese communities, the university’s 2015 Spring Festival celebration will be hosted by the Chinese Student and Scholar Association on February 22 in Mandel Hall. Presented in conjunction with eight local universities (Northwestern, IIT, UIC, Loyola, DePaul, SAIC, Columbia College, and Roosevelt), and sponsored by Asian Cultural Center, this year’s Spring Festival is not to be missed.

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Glacier Tax Prep Software Available for Nonresidents

Tax Filing: Glacier Tax Prep Software for Nonresidents Available.

First-time filers should attend a Tax Workshop before accessing the software.

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OIA Closed on Mon, Jan 19: Join the MLK Celebration!

In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration day, OIA will be closed on Mon, Jan 19. We will reopen for regular business hours on Tue, Jan 20. If you have an immigration emergency while the office is closed, you can contact the Dean on Call at (773) 834-HELP (4357) or 4-HELP from a campus phone.

Join in the Celebration:

25th annual MLK Commemoration Celebration Thursday, January 15, 2015 • 6 PM • Rockefeller Memorial Chapel “What does justice look like?”

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Holiday Greetings

This is a time when many faith traditions around the world celebrate high holidays and participate in religious observance, contemplate the good the year has brought, seek atonement, and spend special moments with and remembering loved ones.  It is a time when we give thanks and remember “the better angels of our nature.”

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OIA Winter Break Office Closures 2014

The Office of International Affairs will closed on specific dates during Winter break.  Outside of the dates listed, OIA will be open for regular business hours.  You can find all holiday closures on the OIA calendar. 

OIA Holiday Closures:

OIA will be closed during the following dates and times.  Please make arrangements around these closures for any OIA business:

- Wed, Dec 17: Half-day (OIA closes at 1 PM)

- Wed, Dec 24: Half-Day (OIA closes at Noon)

- Thu, Dec 25: All Day

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Chicago Winter Guide 2014

If you are staying in Chicago over winter, make sure to get out and enjoy some of the many special events our city has to offer:

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Change to U.S./China Visas

The United States and the People’s Republic of China have recently increased the validity of short-term business/tourist visas and student and exchange visas issued to each other’s citizens. 

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Thinking of Winter

Winter does not officially begin until December 21, but snowflakes were dancing in the air this morning and this has been the week when we have seen winter coats and hats appear on campus.

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'Let's Talk' Autumn Quarter Hours

The Student Counseling Service has set up Let's Talk hours and locations for Autumn Quarter.  Hours and locations are as follows:

TUESDAY 4 PM–6 PM 5710 Woodlawn, Room 301

WEDNESDAY NOON–1:30 PM Harris School, 1155 E. 60th St., Room 153C

FRIDAY 3 PM–4:15 PM Biological Sciences Learning Center (BSLC), 924 E. 57th St., Room 313

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Scam Targeting International Students and Scholars

OIA has just become aware that a member of our international community was defrauded of a substantial sum of money through a scam targeting international students and scholars in the US.  The scam consists of someone claiming to be an immigration official contacting the international student or scholar, stating that something is wrong with the person’s immigration record/status and that the only way to avoid imminent arrest and/or deportation is to pay certain fees.  A very short time-line for such a payment is given and the person making the demand for payment may have certain personal fac

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OIA Opens at 12:30 PM on Wed, August 6

Due to the annual I-House fire alarm testing process, OIA will be closed from 9 AM to 12:30 PM on Wednesday, August 6. We will reopen for regular business hours at 12:30 PM. Advisers will still be available through email during the morning.

OIA Opens at 12:30 PM | Wed, Aug 6: 12:30 PM

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Student Employment Opportunities: Work at OIA!

OIA is now accepting applications for several open Graduate Student Assistant positions.  Graduate Student Assistants will assist with events and programming, as well as help with other office functions.  See the job posting for more information requirements (log-in required).

Requisition ID: 455745 | Student Employment Website

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OIA Closing on Thu, July 3 - Fri, July 4

In honor of Independence Day, OIA will be closed all day on Thursday, July 3 and Friday, July 4. We will reopen for regular business hours on Monday, July 7. If you have an immigration emergency while the office is closed, you can contact the Dean on Call through the UChicago campus police: (773) 834-HELP (4357) or 4-HELP from a campus phone.

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International Policy Committee Seeks New Members

The Institute of Politics (IOP) is currently seeking applications to the International Policy Committee, the executive body of the International Policy Program.

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OIA Closing at 10 AM on Fri, June 20

TOMORROW: OIA Closing Early Fri, June 20: 10 AM  Due to our divisional picnic, OIA will close at 10 AM on Friday, June 20.  We will be open for drop off/pick up only from 9 AM to 10 AM.  If you need service from OIA, please make arrangements accordingly.   

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OIA Summer Tips

Dear all,

OIA is open all summer in case you need our services. Do not forget to come get your travel signatures if you are leaving the US during the summer. The office is open daily 9-4 PM.

We are having a White Sox baseball outing on 18th July and summer carnival in early August so come have fun with us! We look forward to seeing you!

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RISE Event: Ron Suskind

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IMPACT Recruiting Mentors Now

Calling all current PhD students in BSD, PSD, SSD, & Humanities!

Did you have a hard time getting around, finding a grocery store, or navigating the CTA when you came to Chicago? Do you wish you had someone you could ask about where to get coffee or how to use the library printing system? Now you can help incoming international students answer these questions and adjust to life at UChicago!

The application deadline is May 7. More information on the program can be found here.

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Today's (4/29/14) Tax Withholding Workshop Cancelled

Due to a scheduling conflict with the presenter, today's Tax Withholding Workshop has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date.  You will receive communication with an updated date and time for this workshop once it has been rescheduled.

In the meantime, you can get information about tax withholding on our new employee website.

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1-Minute Survey: Green Card after Marrying a U.S. Citizen

Dear International Student or Scholar,

OIA occasionally gets requests for information regarding green cards based on marriage to a U.S. citizen and we are exploring whether we should develop better resources on this topic.  So we are asking you to take a 1-Minute Survey (2 questions and 1 comment box) to help us make this determination.  Please respond to the survey even if you are not interested in such resources; one of the possible answers lets you indicate this.  Thank you for your time and for supporting our work!

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New Ways to Submit Feedback to OIA

The Office of International Affairs now has two additional methods of communication available for international students, scholars, employees, spouses, and others.  Visitors to the OIA webpage can now submit an anonymous comment, suggestion, or issue through OIA’s Online Comment Box.  Your personal information will not be collected when you

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IRS Warns of Fraud Scheme Targeting Foreign Nationals and Others

Fragomen reports:

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New service available to transfer funds internationally

Dear International Student,

We are very pleased to announce a new service available to those of you who need to transfer funds from abroad to the University of Chicago to pay for tuition and fees. While you have always been able to do so via wire transfers, you have told us that those can be expensive, slow, and unreliable. The University has now partnered with peerTransfer to provide a system that has several advantages:

peerTransfer allows you to:

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USCIS Stakeholder Message: Recent Telephone Scams

USCIS sends the following message:

Dear Stakeholder,

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Message from OIA Director Tamara Felden regarding U.S v. Windsor and the end of DOMA

Dear Members of our International Community,

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Scam Alert: Individuals Misrepresenting Themselves as DHS Employees Calling Indian Nationals

ACIP Reports:

ACIP has received recent reports of Indian nationals in the U.S. receiving phone calls from people falsely representing themselves as DHS employees asking the foreign nationals to pay a penalty via money transfer to resolve discrepancies in their immigration cases.  The people making the phone calls have had access to personal information such as passport numbers and foreign addresses and have threatened adverse actions such as deportation. 

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Fragomen: Foreign Students and Exchange Visitors Face Closer Scrutiny, Delays at U.S. Ports of Entry

Law firm Fragomen reports:

Foreign Students and Exchange Visitors Face Closer Scrutiny, Delays at U.S. Ports of Entry

May 9, 2013

F-1 and M-1 foreign students and J-1 exchange visitors are facing additional questioning and entry delays at U.S. ports, after a change in Customs and Border Protection procedures following the April 15 bombings in Boston.

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