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Current ISO Student News

Issue 14: April 16, 2018

 

Table of Contents

  1. Input Wanted on Global Offices' Planned Relocation to College Town (more)
  2. Tax Forms Must be Postmarked by April 17! (more)
  3. International Student Photo Contest (more)
  4. Update on H-1B Cap & Cap-Gap Extension (more)
  5. Historic Rochester Pedal Tour with RGC- April 21 (more)
  6. Campus Focus: West African Drumming Ensemble - April 29 (more)

 

Input Wanted on Global Offices' Planned Relocation to College Town 

The University’s global offices—the Global Engagement Office, International Services Office (ISO), and the Intensive English Program—will relocate from offices on the River Campus to integrated space in College Town over the summer and in fall 2018. The new space presents an opportunity to better serve the University’s growing international populations of students, faculty, staff, and visitors. To those of you whom have already filled out the survey, we extend our thanks; however, further input from other members of the University community regarding the move is necessary and valuable to determine needs and services related to the new location. If you have not done so already, please take some time to complete the survey. The ISO greatly appreciates your time and effort. Thank you.

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Tax Forms Must be Postmarked by April 17!

Tomorrow is Tax Day in the United States! In order to avoid late fees or penalties, all required tax forms must be in the mail no later than Tuesday, April 17. The Postal Service will likely hold extended hours on this day, to allow late filers to meet this deadline. To find out which branches will offer extended hours, you can use PO Locator to find locations that will be open late to postmark your tax return. Partner locations that provide postal services do not offer late postmarking, so verify their last collection hours.

If you are unable to complete your tax return and mail it today, you may want to request an extension. “Requesting an automatic extension” means you send the government a form that will automatically grant you an additional six months to file your tax form without penalty for filing late. You should send a separate extension request to both the Internal Revenue Service for your federal taxes, and to New York or any other state where you earned money in 2017. However, all extension requests must also be postmarked by April 17! This automatically gives you until October 15 to file your completed tax forms with the IRS and the state(s). While most students will not owe any additional money for taxes, any money that you do owe may be subject to interest charges. You should keep a copy of each form and enclose a copy with your tax return when you do file. Please see Issue 13 of ISO Student News for instructions about how to file for an extension.

Reminder: International students must be careful to file the appropriate tax forms depending on their tax status. Most tax software programs assume that the filer is a US citizen, Permanent Resident, or Resident Alien for tax purposes. If you are a Non-Resident Alien for tax purposes, the GLACIER Tax Prep software will calculate your taxes and prepare the correct forms. GLACIER Tax Prep is your best resource for guidance through the non-resident alien tax process, unless you prefer to pay for professional services or prepare the forms on your own. You should not use TurboTax, or other similar software programs, unless you are a Resident Alien for tax purposes. As a reminder, your GLACIER Tax Prep record determines your current tax status. It is considered fraud to file tax forms that are not appropriate to your status. If you are a non-resident alien for tax purposes who has used tax software other than GLACIER Tax Prep in error, please contact our GLACIER Tax Prep assistants (tax@iso.rochester.edu) for information about how to amend your tax returns.

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International Student Photo Contest

Attention Photography Enthusiasts: Got a cool photo from this past year at UR? Traveling this summer? Going to your home country, a new country, a new destination in the United States, or staying put in Rochester? If so, take photos! (And look over this past year’s photo collection for a gem to submit, too!)

ISO is partnering with Education Abroad, Global Engagement, and Communications to host an International Student Photo Contest in conjunction with the Education Abroad Photo Contest for this upcoming year. The contest will open at the start of Fall 2018 semester, and winners will be decided by the Global Fair, which will be held near the end of September 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 currently include: UR Experience; International Culture; US Sightseeing; Local Rochester Culture; Most Epic Selfie. More details to come!

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Update on H-1B Cap & Cap-Gap Extension 

As of April 6, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received enough H-1B petitions to reach the mandated cap of 65,000 as well as the additional 20,000 available for advanced degree holders. USCIS will now proceed to reject and return all unselected cap-subject petitions with their filing fees. If an H-1B petition has been successfully filed on your behalf, please be sure to inform the ISO by using the online H-1B Application Details & OPT Cap Gap Request form and submit a copy of your H-1B receipt to opt@rochester.edu. The filing of your H-1B petition may make you eligible for the cap-gap extension, which extends your OPT work authorization to the time when the H1-B will start on October 1. Please see the ISO webpage about the Cap-Gap Extension for more information. You can also find more information about the H1-B cap online.

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Historic Rochester Pedal Tour with RGC - April 21

Rochester Pedal Tours: Historic Site Seeing Tour
Marshall Street Bar and Grill
81 Marshall Street
Rochester, NY 14607

Explore Rochester with international students like never before! The tour will showcase the downtown area and tell you about its history and also what the future holds. For instance, the tour features many up and coming projects such as the Inner Loop Development and Strong Museum Expansion, Sibley Building/Parcel5-Performing Arts Center and Waters Edge Project-(where the subway entrance used to be). This is a FREE event for students and RGC members, thanks to the generosity of Rochester Pedal Tours. Due to limited seating, this tour is not open to the general public. A stop at BBQ Dinosaur will be included if you get hungry!

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 www.rocglobal.org.

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Campus Focus: West African Drumming Ensemble - April 29

West African Drumming Ensemble
Sunday, April 29 - 7:00 – 9:00 pm
May Room, Wilson Commons, River Campus

Led by Master Drummer Fana Bangoura, the West African Drumming Ensemble is dedicated to the dynamic percussive traditions of Guinea. The ensemble combines the iconic djembe hand drum with a trio of drums played with sticks, known as dunun, sangban, and kenkeni. This fantastic free cultural event is sponsored by the School of Art, Sciences, and Engineering’s Department of Music.

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Editor: Molly Murray, Immigration Advisor