| Office of International
Students and Scholars
Office of International
Phone: (504) 280-6021
Issue #7—April 2011
No advising on April 1: Please note that there will be no advisors available for walk-in hours or appointments on Friday, April 1.
Optional Practical Training for graduating students: F-1 students who will be graduating in May 2011 and plan to apply for post-completion optional practical training are reminded that they should schedule an appointment with an OISS advisor as soon as possible to complete their OPT application.
F-1 students who have not yet begun the practical training application process are urged to do so soon so that you will have the best possible opportunity to obtain your employment authorization card in a timely manner. Currently, it is taking the USCIS Texas Service Center approximately three months to process OPT employment authorization applications. Employment cannot begin unless you have the card "in hand."
This Month's Travel Question: If my F-1 or J-1 student visa stamp is expiring, do I need to go home?
OISS is frequently asked this question. In many countries, the visa stamp inside the passport controls not only your ability to enter the country, but also the length of your stay. But, in the United States, the rules are different. An F-1 or J-1 student visa stamp can expire, but students may legally remain in the United States as long as they have an unexpired passport, unexpired I-20 or DS-2019 and are registered full time at the school they are authorized to attend, or on authorized post-completion Optional Practical Training (F-1) or Academic Training (J-1). A new visa is required only if you will travel outside the United States and plan to return.
Here is the actual U.S. government regulation as written by the U.S. Department of State. “CFR” stands for Code of Federal Regulations:
(a) Significance of period of validity of visa. The period of validity of a nonimmigrant visa is the period during which the alien may use it in making application for admission. The period of visa validity has no relation to the period of time the immigration authorities at a port of entry may authorize the alien to stay in the United States.
So, you do not need to worry about your visa stamp expiring as long as you are in the United States.
Income Tax Information —International students are not exempt from filing income tax forms – even if the U.S. has a tax treaty with the country of origin. If you are an international student who needs help filling out your tax forms, come to one of the volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) sessions. There are two more VITA sessions scheduled before the tax filing deadline: Wednesday, April 6, and Wednesday, April 13 at 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. in Kirschman Hall Room 224. For more information on the tax sessions, please check: http://oiss.uno.edu/tax.cfm . Please remember the deadline for filing taxes is Monday, April 18, 2011.
Holi—Festival of Colors is being presented by the Chakra Indian Student Association (CISA), Nepalese Student Association of New Orleans (NSANO) and Student Activities Council (SAC), this Saturday, April 2 from 12 p.m.—4 p.m. at the UNO Amphitheater. Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Traditionally, during the festival Hindu devotees chase each other through the streets, splashing colorful paint, powder and water on each other. Admission is free for students with UNO ID and includes colors for throwing and splashing. Admission for the general public is $5 and includes colors. UNO's Holi Festival will include dance performances, henna artists, international food, live music and a fun, messy experience!
Nepal Night will be presented by the Nepalese Student Association of New Orleans (NSANO) on Monday, April 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Alumni Center Ballroom. Admission is free. NSANO will be showing the culture of Nepal to the UNO community through Nepalese food, dance, song and presentations.
Jazz Fest 2011— The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is a highlight of New Orleans' unique culture and musical heritage. The first weekend of Jazz Fest 2011 begins on Thursday, April 29 through Sunday May 1. Check the music lineup and information on tickets for the 2011 festival at http://www.nojazzfest.com/ .
Spring Semester Campus Events— For a calendar of events taking place on campus this month, check out UNO's Event Calendar at: http://events.uno.edu/public/index.cfm?action=month&month=4&year=2011 .
Spring Semester 2011 University Calendar— To view the official university calendar for Spring 2011, please go to the following link: http://registrar.uno.edu/bulletin/importantdates/#spring11 .
April 7: Final date for dropping courses or resigning from the University*
* You must consult with an advisor from OISS before dropping any classes
April 22: Easter Holiday, University closed
April 30: Last day of Saturday classes
OISS Spring 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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