Office of International
Students and Scholars
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Office of International
Students and Scholars

International Center 125
University of New Orleans
2000 Lakeshore Drive
New Orleans, LA 70148

Phone: (504) 280-6021
Fax: (504) 280-7317





Issue #65—November/December 2018

•  UNO closed for Thanksgiving Holiday and Winter Break —Please keep in mind that all UNO offices will be closed November 21 - November 23 and December 24 – January 1

•  Optional Practical Training (OPT) — 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 2018 graduates must send their completed applications to the USCIS Processing Center so that it arrives there before March 1, 2019, which is 60 days following the completion date for Fall graduates. Make an appointment with an advisor as soon as possible.

As a reminder, 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 after applying for OPT. If you plan to begin employment as of January 2019, you should submit your paperwork as soon as possible. Employment cannot begin until you receive your EAD card, even if the requested start date has passed.

•  Accruing Unlawful Presence - On Aug. 9, 2018 USCIS issued a policy memorandum changing how the agency calculates unlawful presence for students and exchange visitors in F and J nonimmigrant status, including F-2, and J-2 dependents, who fail to maintain status in the United States. This policy states that anyone who accrues more than 180 days of unlawful presence during a single stay, and then departs, may be subject to three year or ten year bars to admission, depending on how much unlawful presence they accrued before they departed the United States. Additional information is available at .

•  I-20 or DS-2019 expiring?— Check your documents for the end date of your I-20 or DS-2019. If it is expiring in December and you will not be graduating, please make an appointment with an OISS advisor as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

Students who will begin a new level of study (e.g., completing bachelors and commencing masters or completing masters and commencing PhD) will need to request their new I-20 at OISS.

•  Graduating this semester? - If you are graduating this semester and returning to your home country, transferring to another university in the United States or returning to UNO for another degree program and/or a new level of the same program, please let OISS know your plans.  You can come into our office IC 125 or email us at .   

If you are graduating and would like to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Academic Training, make an appointment with an OISS advisor as soon as possible.  

•  Change of Address Information – As an F or a J student, you must regularly report any changes to the OISS to ensure that your information is correct in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Federal regulations require that you report a change of address within 10 days of moving to maintain your immigration status. If you move to a new residence or have moved but did not inform us of your address change, please do so at .

•  Travel Plans for Thanksgiving holiday or Winter break? —Read over our Travel Instructions for international students at . It is essential that you have your passport, printout of your I-94, Form I-20 or DS-2019 and UNO ID card with you even when travelling within the U.S. or the state of Louisiana. Travel outside the U.S. requires that your immigration document be endorsed for travel by OISS. The travel signature should be less than six months old as of the date you will return to the U.S. If you need a travel signature, please bring your I-20 or DS-2019 in to OISS for processing at least 7-10 business days before your trip. Please note that students who will need to apply for a new visa while abroad during the winter break or late summer, may not have sufficient time to obtain their visa and return to UNO for the beginning of the new semester. For more information about visa applications visit the Department of State (DoS) website at http :// .


•  Passport Renewal —Remember! Check your passport expiration date. Your passport must be valid at least six months into the future in order to maintain immigration status. If you need to renew your passport, please consult with the consulate or embassy of your home country.


•  International Education Week 2018 —UNO is joining the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education in celebrating International Education Week (IEW) during the week of November 12-16, 2018. This is UNO's 16th year to join in the national initiative. The Division of International Education is organizing several events during IEW, including its 12th Annual UNO International Photo Contest & Exhibition. For more information about the photo contest and IEW at UNO please check out the information at:

•  World Cup Champions —Congratulations to the FC International team for their first place finish in the International Student Organization's World Cup Soccer Tournament 2018! They played an exciting match against the runners up, team Pali FC . Thanks to all of the teams, players, spectators, and sponsors for making the ISO World Cup Soccer Tournament a successful event once again!

•  Be a part of International Night 2019! — International Student Organization is recruiting committee members to help organize one of the biggest student-run events at UNO: International Night 2019. Committee members will be given the opportunity to meet people of different backgrounds, gain leadership experience, and get involved at UNO. Weekly meetings will begin the week of January 20th. If you are interested, please request an application at the Office of International Students and Scholars International Center 125 or email . For more information, contact the president of ISO Gabriela Aldana at .

Upcoming Winter Events from the BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministry)

•  BCM International Thanksgiving Dinner – Friday, November 16 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the New Orleans Baptist Association Building, 2222 Lakeshore Drive. Shuttle service will be available from Pontchartrain Hall, Privateer Place, and Lafitte Village. Registration deadline Wednesday November 14. Come out to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal (turkey, dressing, vegetables, pie) and learn about the history of this American holiday. Only 100 seats are available, on a first-come, first-served basis, due to venue size restrictions – seating assignments will be made, but students can request arrangements of up to 4-5 students. Email Kimberly Myers ( ) to reserve your seat. To include your group of up to 4 friends or family members, be sure to include their full names and email addresses in your email. International families and children welcome. Each individual who registers for this event will be entered to a drawing for door prizes.

•  Christmas Programs and Concerts - There are many Christmas programs and concerts happening at local churches in December. If you would like to visit a local church during the Christmas holiday, please contact Kimberly Myers ( ) for more information and a ride to church.

•  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 ( ) 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.

PLEASE NOTE: The contact email address for BCM has changed. For more information you can contact Kimberly Myers at

Upcoming Events hosted by the OISS

•  UNO Career Services presents: “Navigating the Job Market – Maximizing Your Potential in the Workplace” – Wednesday, November 7 from 12:00-1:00pm in the International Center Student Lounge.

We deliver a series of career skills workshops and activities throughout the year to assist you with career planning, developing effective job search skills and building professional skills to make a good impression in the workplace.  While most of our workshops are available to students from all degrees and classifications, we understand that international students are facing extra challenge in their job search, based on the current job market and visa landscape.  We want to assist in helping international students better navigate the job search process and land opportunities where you can maximize their potential in the workplace.

Topics will include the following:

•  Career Services and our offerings

•  Resumes, Cover Letters, and References

•  Interviewing

•  Job Search

•  Networking

•  The Workplace


University Calendar – To view the official university calendar for Fall 2018 and/or Spring 2019, please go to the following link:

Important November/December Dates

November 7: Last date for thesis and dissertation defenses for Graduate degree candidates

November 17: Last day of Saturday classes

November 21-24: Thanksgiving Holiday, no classes

December 3: Last day of classes

December 5-13: Final exams

December 14: Commencement, 3:00 pm at the UNO Lakefront Arena

December 17: Final grades due

December 20: Official Conferral date for Fall 2018

December 24 – January 1: UNO Closed for Holidays

OISS Fall Walk-In Hours Reminder

Monday & Thursday       8:00am -12:00pm
                                           2:00pm - 4:00pm
Tuesday & Friday            9:00am - 12:30pm
                                           1:30pm - 4:00pm

Wednesday                     1:30pm - 4:00pm

Walk-in consultations are for quick 10-15 minute discussions. You will receive assistance on a first-come, first-served basis.

Appointments are at specific times and with specific advisors. If your discussion involves changing status, an OPT or CPT application, or any other complex situation, please make an appointment. Please call 504-280-6021 to schedule an appointment or send an email to .

Please note: For past issues of OISS News please check our website under the heading “OISS News” .




The University of New Orleans • 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148
(504) 280-6000 • Toll-Free at (888) 514-4275