| Office of International
Students and Scholars
Office of International
Phone: (504) 280-6021
Issue #39—December 2015
Students who will begin a new level of study (e.g., completing bachelor's and commencing master's or completing master's and commencing PhD) will need to request their new I-20 at OISS.
Students in F-1 status who are graduating and are not going to pursue Optional Practical Training (OPT), not transferring to a new U.S. school nor beginning a new degree program in the U.S. are required to depart the U.S. within 60 days of the end date on the I-20 or the completion of studies date. Students in J-1 status are required to depart the U.S. within 30 days of the end date on the DS-2019, or the end of their programs.
Travelling over Intersession? - Be sure to have your I-20 or DS-2019 when you travel, as well as the other recommended documents listed on our Travel Instructions Handout at http://oiss.uno.edu/forms/Travel_Instructions.pdf . Also, make sure that you have a valid travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019. The travel signature should be less than six months old as of the date you will return to the United States. If you need a travel signature please bring your I-20 or DS-2019 in to OISS for processing at least 10 days before your trip.
Health Insurance Information for Spring - All students must submit a new Insurance Coverage Evaluation Form each semester. For the Spring 2016 semester, the dates of coverage must begin on or before 01/11/2016 and end on or after 05/6/2016. Insurance requirements and forms are available at http://oiss.uno.edu/UNOinsurancereq2.cfm . Forms must be submitted to OISS no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 15, 2016.
Affordable Care Act (ACA) for international students – Beginning this year, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and others, including international students in F-1 and J-1 immigration status who are taxed as residents (more than five years in the U.S.) to have health insurance coverage at minimum levels. Those individuals without health insurance that meets the coverage requirements (or with no insurance at all) are subject to a tax penalty.
The University of New Orleans health plan complies with the “minimum essential coverage” required by the Affordable Care Act (for more information see: https://www.uhcsr.com/uhcsrBrochures/Public/SBC/2015-701-76-SBC.pdf ). Students who have other insurance coverage will have to contact their insurance provider to determine if it meets the ACA requirements. Additional information will be available at the Accounting Department income tax sessions in the spring.
Optional Practical Training —If you are completing your program in December, are in F-1 status, and have been planning to apply for post-completion optional practical training, but have not yet done so, do not delay! Fall 2015 graduates must send their completed applications to the USCIS Processing Center so that it arrives there before February 29, 2016, which is 60 days following the completion date for Fall graduates. Make an appointment with an advisor as soon as possible. Remember : It can take three months or more to obtain the Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Service Center. Employment cannot begin until you receive your EAD card, even if the requested start date has passed.
Employment Authorization - If you plan on working, please keep in mind that you need to meet with an International Advisor before beginning any employment (student worker positions, Internship through COOP, Internship for Academic credit, Graduate or Teaching Assistantship positions). Please make sure to do this well in advance so that your plans are in keeping with immigration regulations and UNO policies.
Have you ever received a new I-20 or DS-2019 from OISS? What should you do with your old I-20 or DS-2019? You should always keep any immigration documents that have been issued to you, even when you are given a new document with updated information or transfer to a new school. The forms I-20 or DS-2019 issued to you throughout your time in the U.S. are a record of your immigration status and these original documents will be needed in the future to apply for immigration benefits. Do not throw these documents away. Always keep them in a safe place for your records.
BCM Events - On Dec. 8th the BCM will have a free pancake breakfast from 5:30-7:30pm at the clubhouse at Privateer Place and everyone is welcome! Take a break from studying and come get some free food!
On Dec. 11th, at 6:00 pm we'll be taking students to see the Christmas lights at City Park called Celebration in the Oaks (for more information see: www.celebrationintheoaks.com ). Admission is $8 and if you would like a ride to this event, please email Kimberly Myers
( firstname.lastname@example.org ) by December 10th. We will meet in front of the U.C.
Airport Rides— The BCM is offering free rides to the airport to International Students. If you would like a ride to the airport, please email Kimberly Myers ( email@example.com ) a week before your flight. Please email Kimberly your name (and whether you are male or female), the time in which you need to be at the airport, the location from which you need to be picked up from, an email address (that you will check) and cell phone number, if you have one.
Important December Dates —
December 4: Last day of classes
December 7 -11: Final exams
December 15: Final grades available on WebStar
December 18: Commencement, 3:00 pm at the UNO Lakefront Arena
December 24-January 1: UNO Closed for the Holidays
OISS Fall Walk-In Hours Reminder —
Monday & Thursday 8:00 am -12:00 pm
Please note: For past issues of OISS News please check our website under the heading “OISS News” http://oiss.uno.edu .
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