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ISO Services and Programming

Responsibilities of the International Services Office (ISO) include the following:

Immigration Advising

ISO administers the University’s F-1, J-1, H-1B, O-1, and TN programs. We are the University's official liaison with the US Department of State, foreign and American consulates, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), along with other organizations and government agencies.

We issue the relevant documentation for University-sponsored visa categories, petitions USCIS for sponsored nonimmigrant statuses, and advise on immigration matters, including:

  • Issuance of I-20 and DS-2019 forms for F-1 and J-1 nonimmigrant visa programs
  • Petitions for H-1B, O-1, and TN categories
  • Guidance on maintaining legal immigration status and accessing available benefits
  • Mandatory SEVIS reporting and processing
  • Employment authorizations and regulations
  • Facilitation of US Social Security applications
  • Travel advisories, including valid documentation for re-entry and Canadian visitor visas
  • Spouse and dependent visa documentation
  • Visa application and renewal procedures
  • Extension or change of immigration status
  • Coordination of SEVIS immigration transfers
  • Medical evacuation and repatriation insurance
  • Verification letters of immigration status
  • Routes to US permanent residency status

Cross-Cultural Counseling

Our staff can help international students and scholars adjust to life at Rochester by providing information and referrals concerning:

  • Cultural adjustment issues
  • Legal rights and responsibilities
  • Medical, financial, and other emergencies
  • Personal, relationship, and family problems
  • Support services for dependents
  • US attorneys (immigration, civil, etc.)
  • General information on life in the US, such as healthcare, insurance, and taxes

Student and Scholar Advocacy

ISO staff liaise with University departments and Rochester community representatives to advocate for and address the needs of the University’s international students and scholars. Outside of the University, we help our international populations access local services, such as Social Security, New York State drivers licenses, and area banks.

Our staff members also belong to professional organizations, including NAFSA (The Association of International Educators).

Educational, Cultural, and Social Programming

Each year, ISO hosts numerous programs to welcome new students and to promote cross-cultural understanding throughout the University community. Many activities are sponsored with student and scholar groups and community organizations.

Our main programs include:

  • International Student Orientation Program (ISOP), featuring an introduction to ISO, overview of immigration regulations, US culture and customs, understanding the American classroom, taxes and legal issues, as well as a formal welcome to campus and the city.
  • Rochester Global Connections (RGC) events that encourage students to engage with the local community and one another through cultural activities. Events include picnics, square dancing, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and more.
  • Workshops and presentations on topics such as immigration, employment, and Social Security Number application procedures.
  • English Conversation Groups, group meetings to practice conversing in English, are free to University community members.
  • Staff development on cross-cultural communications for University departmental representatives and others working with international populations.
  • Day trips to local sights such as Niagara Falls and Canadice Lake.

Data Reporting

More than 100 countries are currently represented in the University’s international community. Contact us for a copy of our most recent ISO Statistical Report (generated each fall).

For information about national and regional trends within international education, see the Institute for International Education Open Doors Report or the National Association for Foreign Student Advisors Economic Value Tool.