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ISO Student News: 10/31/2018

Table of Contents

  1. Info Sessions on New Immigration Policy (more)
  2. Next Steps for Students Completiing their Studies this Term (more)
  3. Travel Signatures & Info on Taking a Cruise (more)
  4. Join a Family for Thanksgiving Dinner - November 22 (more)
  5. Campus Focus: International Education Week at UR - November 2018 (more)


Info Sessions on New Immigration Policy

ISO recently posted information about a new policy from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which took effect on August 9th.  The policy specifically targets F-1 students, J-1 exchange visitors, and dependent families, and relates to valid status and lawful presence within the US while pursuing their program of study or other authorized activities.  ISO has prepared a summary of the policy memorandum. Additionally, several information sessions are now scheduled for discussion and questions on the new policy.  This is an important immigration topic for our F-1 and J-1 populations to be aware of, since it can have long-term implications and unintended, severe consequences.  We hope that you will make an effort to attend one of these sessions and contact ISO for guidance when your immigration plans might change.

  • Friday, November 9th, 1:00-2:00 pm
    Morey 321, River Campus
  • Wednesday, November 14th, 10:30-11:30 am
    Gowen Room, 2nd floor Wilson Commons, River Campus
  • Friday, November 16th, 2:30-3:30 pm
    1-9525 Northeastern Conference Room, UR Medical Center



Next Steps for Students Completing their Studies this Term 

If you are completing your studies this term or early in the spring semester, please consider your next plans and contact the ISO with any questions. You may have several options available after graduation, some of which will require immigration processing. Most students are eligible for a year or longer of employment authorization in the United States using F-1 Optional Practical Training or J-1 Academic Training. You must meet important deadlines and application requirements in order to remain eligible for this work permission. Alternatively, if you plan to continue your studies by enrolling in a new degree program, you may need to request an Immigration Transfer of your SEVIS record. Even if you are returning home after you finish your studies, you will need to understand the relevant grace periods and other requirements of your status. All of these plans are often impacted by other concerns as well, including travel abroad and the exact timing of your completion at UR. It is helpful to plan ahead and discuss your options with an advisor in the ISO! To speak with an advisor about your next steps, please review the information on our website, call (+1 585-275-2866), or email ISO to schedule an appointment.



Travel Signatures & Info on Taking a Cruise

International Services Office - Travel Signature Open House
Friday, November 16
11:00AM to 4:30PM
213 Morey Hall, River Campus

As holiday weekends and vacation periods are coming up, many students begin planning trips home or other visits outside of Rochester. If you plan to travel, please check whether the travel or validation signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 is up-to-date. While these signatures are valid for one calendar year, the ISO recommends that students have a signature from the current academic year when planning to cross the US border. Therefore, if you intend to travel overseas during the coming months and have not had your document signed during the fall term (August 2018 or later), we recommend you visit the ISO to request a travel signature. Please see our website for our hours of operation at our various offices and walk-in hours throughout UR campuses. ISO will also be holding a Travel Signature Open House event during International Education Week where ISO staff will be available to provide signatures and quick advice on traveling. Snacks will be provided! Please see the details above in order to attend this event.  

Are you planning to take a cruise over break?
If you plan to take a cruise, please be sure that you have permission to enter all the countries included in the cruise itinerary. You may be prevented from boarding the ship if you have not obtained any required visas. Please be sure you also have permission to re-enter the United States upon the conclusion of your cruise trip. F-1 and J-1 students are often allowed to re-enter the United States with an expired visa stamp after a short trip to Canada, Mexico, or some nearby island nations. The Department of State refers to this program as Automatic Revalidation.  Citizens of Iran, Sudan, and Syria are not eligible for this program. Under Automatic Revalidation, re-entry with an expired visa is permitted ONLY when 1) travel is limited to eligible countries, and 2) the trip is shorter than 30 days. More information and the complete list of eligible countries can be found on the Department of State's website. If the trip includes travel to other countries or exceeds a total of 30 days, you must make arrangements to renew your visa before your return.



Rochester Global Connections: Join a Family for Thanksgiving Dinner - November 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 are inviting 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, please sign up by submitting the online form for Thanksgiving Dinner. If you have a friendship volunteer, please check with them before responding - they may be expecting you for dinner.

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: International Education Week at UR - November 2018

International Education Week (IEW) is coming the week of November 12-16, 2018. IEW is promoted each year by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education as an opportunity to recognize and support the benefits of cultural exchange and international education programs. University of Rochester's IEW Committee invites you to submit any events related to International Education occurring during the month of November to be included in the IEW event calendar. Grants up to $100 per event can also be provided for refreshments. For more information or to submit an event or grant proposal, please visit Please contact Keri Grimes at or Meredith Doubleday at with any questions. Please see the full schedule and check back for updates as more events are added.

We would like to highlight some key events:

Developing Identities through International Experiences 
Wednesday, November 14
11:30AM to 1:30PM
Feldman Ballroom, Douglass Commons, River Campus

Center for Education Abroad is hosting a luncheon featuring IES Abroad's Gretchen Cook Anderson designed to provide a platform for returnees to unpack their experiences abroad. This event will allow students to share with the university community how important an opportunity such as this can be for their overall university experience and impact their lives. 

Transformational Leadership, Monica Sharma
Wednesday, November 14
4:00PM to 6:30PM
Hawkins Carlson Room, Rush Rhees Library, River Campus

Monica Sharma MD PhD, author of Radical Transformational Leadership, trained as a physician and epidemiologist, worked for the United Nations more than twenty years. Currently, she engages worldwide as an international expert and practitioner on leadership development for sustainable and equitable change, working with the United Nations, universities, institutions, governments, businesses, media, and civil society organizations. She is the Tata Chair Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. She has published and presented over 250 articles in journals and international forums. Monica Sharma created and uses a unique response model based on extensive application—a conscious full-spectrum model—which is for simultaneously solving problems, shifting systems, and creating new patterns sourced from individual inner capacity and transformational leadership.

Dr. Gray’s talk on women’s empowerment and leadership, in the broader context of global educational mobility
Thursday, November 15
4:00PM to 6:30PM
Hawkins Carlson Room, Rush Rhees Library, River Campus
Dr. Doris H. Gray directs the Hillary Clinton Center for Women’s Empowerment at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco where she also serves as Associate Professor of Gender Studies. Her latest publication with the International Center of Transitional Justice in New York has the same title as her talk today. She has published three books: “Women and Social Change in North Africa: What counts as Revolutionary?”, “Beyond Feminism and Islamism: Gender and Equality in North Africa” and “Muslim Women on the Move: Moroccan Women and French Women of Moroccan Origin Speak Out”. Before becoming an Academic, Doris Gray worked as a journalist, 12 years as foreign correspondent first in South Africa and then Kenya.

Dr. Sharma and Dr. Gray Discussion on Equity and Access 
Friday, November 16
3:00PM to 6:00PM
Goergen 101 & Munnerly Atrium, River Campus
Please join Dr. Sharma and Dr. Gray, along with a faculty moderator, for a joint event which will address issues of equity and access to health and education on a global scale. 


Editor: Molly Murray, Immigration Advisor