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ISO Student News: 10/15/2018

Table of Contents

  1. New Immigration Policy - Maintain your F/J Status! (more)
  2. International Student Photo Contest Now Open! (more)
  3. Grant Opportunities for Women of Other Countries (more)
  4. Career Forum for Bilingual Speakers of English and Japanese (more)
  5. Rochester Global Connections: Join a Family for Thanksgiving Dinner 11/22 (more)
  6. Campus Focus: RIA URJA 2018 (Annual Diwali Night) - 10/28 (more)


New Immigration Policy - Maintain your F/J Status!

On August 9, 2018, a new policy from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) took effect that relates specifically to individuals in F, J, and M nonimmigrant visa categories. ISO has prepared a summary of the policy memorandum, which is now published on our website for Recent Immigration Actions. The intended implementation of this new policy remains somewhat unclear, but creates an opportunity for USCIS to review the entirety of an international student or exchange visitor’s immigration record and make a determination about whether that person has maintained valid immigration status for the duration of their program.  This is possible only when an application for a new status or immigration benefit is filed with USCIS, although this is a common occurrence for many within the UR international community.

The consequences for failing to maintain valid status can be quite severe. Therefore, it is extremely important in the current immigration climate that our F-1 and J-1 populations, along with their dependent family members, must take every effort to maintain their valid immigration status at all times! This includes mandatory reporting via ISO and obtaining authorization in advance for special permissions (such as employment or a drop below full-time enrollment). A few reminders about these requirements include:

  • Register full-time each academic term and maintain a full course of study, as indicated on the I-20 or DS-2019
  • Do NOT work off-campus without prior written authorization from ISO
  • Limit on-campus employment to a maximum 20 hours per week during academic terms
  • Obtain authorizations in advance for extensions, reduced course load, leave of absence, transfer to another school, etc.
  • Report any change in address within 10 days of moving

In the coming weeks, ISO will be working with various departments and academic units throughout the University to offer opportunities for more review and discussion of this new policy. Please stay tuned for event information as it may be scheduled, coordinate with your school, or contact ISO to request such an event in your area.


International Student Photo Contest Now Open!

Attention Photography Enthusiasts: Do you have a cool photo from this past year at UR? Did you travel this summer either home, around the world, or around the US? If so, then submit your photos to the International Student Photo Contest!

Submission Deadline: 11:59 p.m. on Monday, October 22, 2018

Submissions should be photos from this past academic year (Fall 2017, Winter/Spring 2018, Summer 2018), and prizes will be awarded in all categories. Categories include: UR Experience; International Culture; US Sightseeing; Local Rochester Culture; Most Epic Selfie. Please read the Terms and Conditions carefully.

For more information and to enter the contest, please visit the submission website. If you have questions, contact


Grant Opportunities for Women of Other Countries

Margaret McNamara Education Grants (MMEG), established in 1981, "provide grants to women from developing countries to help further their education and strengthen their leadership skills to improve the lives of women and children in developing countries." The MMEG US/Canada grant program offers scholarships to women from other countries who are completing degrees in the United States or Canada and who are committed to improving the wellbeing of women and children in developing countries. Students must be at least 25 years old at time of application and a national from an eligible country. In the past, individual MMEG Scholarships of up to $15,000 have been awarded in the US/Canada program. For complete information about the MMEG US/Canada grant program, scholarship eligibility, online application instructions and deadlines, please see the organization’s website. The application process is open now and available until January 15, 2019. You may submit questions about this grant by email to


Career Forum for Bilingual Speakers of English and Japanese

Boston Career Forum – November 9 to 11
Hynes Convention Center
Boston, Massachusetts

DISCO International will also hold its annual Boston Career Forum, the World's largest Japanese-English bilingual job fair, from November 9 to 11. Over 200 companies will participate in this job fair, which makes it a wonderful opportunity to seek an internship or full-time job regardless of your major or background. Please visit their website if you are interested and for qualifying details. $100 Travel Scholarships are available for this forum for students traveling from New York. 


Rochester Global Connections: Join a Family for Thanksgiving Dinner - 11/22

Thursday, November 22 will mark the US Thanksgiving holiday! This classic American tradition is generally celebrated in family gatherings, with plenty of good food and good times. Members and friends of Rochester Global Connections will invite Rochester area international students to join them for a holiday feast. If you will be in town over the break and would like to visit with a local family for Thanksgiving Dinner, consider signing up! If you have a friendship volunteer, check with them before responding - they may be expecting you for dinner. For new and returning US hosts, please fill out the registration form.

Rochester Global Connections (RGC) is a community-based volunteer organization that provides services to international students and Department of State visitors in the Rochester area. The International Services Office (ISO) hosts RGC at the University of Rochester and co-sponsors most events and activities.  For more information about RGC, visit their website at


Campus Focus: RIA URJA 2018 (Annual Diwali Night) - 10/27

RIA URJA 2018 – Annual Diwali Night
Saturday, October 27
6:30PM to 10:00PM
May Room, Wilson Commons, River Campus

Rochester Indian Association (RIA) Presents URJA 2018 (Annual Diwali Night). Their flagship event will be celebrated on 27th October 2018 at the May Room, University of Rochester, between 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM. Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the oldest festivals in India which symbolizes victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Join RIA for a night of music, play, and Bollywood dance. Email  with any questions.


Editor: Molly Murray, Immigration Advisor