The Office of International Student Services (ISS) is located in 143 Tomlinson and open all year, Monday through Friday, except for university holidays.

ISS staff is available to students in-person and by phone only during Walk-In Hours.

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you need to make an appointment, please either call the office, stop by in person, or email

For more information about Walk-in Hours visit the Information for Students quicklink.

ISS Events

Newsletter Archive

Browse our newsletter archives for news, events and announcements you may have missed!

Promoting Intercultural Exchange at Case

The mission of the Office of International Student Services (ISS) is to enhance the international student experience and promote intercultural exchange at CWRU.

We can assist you with:

  • Immigration matters
  • Intercultural exchange opportunities
  • Leadership resources and programs
  • Understanding the social and academic culture at CWRU and in the US.

Read more about ISS and the services we provide.

[RSS] News + Announcements

Coming Soon: A redesigned I-20

The format for the Form I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status," will change on June 26. This redesigned Form I-20 is part of the larger Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Release 6.21.

Beginning June 26, 2015, any new Form I-20 that is produced will be in the new format. There is no mandate that students must have the new version of the form immediately; therefore, students will have time to obtain the updated version throughout the next year at the discretion of the ISS office. By July 1, 2016, F and M students and their dependents are required to have the redesigned Form I-20.

More information will be forthcoming.

African Dance and Drum Festival

See below for times
See below for locations

Come dance with us! Come drum with us! Come and celebrate our Cultural Connections! This year's event celebrates the life-long connections that are made to enhance the lives of family, self, and community while interlacing a theatrical infusion of dance, poetry, drumming and song from June 20 to June 21.

Saturday and Sunday features a community-wide African dance and drum conference with master teachers from Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Ivory Coast and the United States.

Saturday night features Connections - a Juneteenth Concert performance choreographed and produced by noted artist, choreographer and dancer Talise Campbell. Cleveland's own Djapo Cultural Arts Institute will join master teachers and area performers for a moving tribute in celebration of our continuing legacy, conceivable through our connections made through our rising journey.

Tickets for the concert are $25 in advance $30 day of show, and can be purchased online or from cast members. Don't delay: last year's concert sold out quickly. Tickets for the dance workshops are $12 per class for teens and adults and $8 for children. Email conference coordinator:

Dance/Drum Workshops: Phillis Wheatley Assoc. 4450 Cedar Avenue Cleve. OH. 44103. Classes are $12 adults/teens, $8 children

Saturday Night Concert Performance: Breen Center 1911 W. 30th Cleveland, Ohio 44113 at 8 p.m.. $25 in advance $30 day of show. *Reception immediately following the show

Saturday Schedule

10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Sabar Class with Diene Sagna *children 5 and up free
11:30 - 12:45 p.m. Djembe Drum with Assane Mbaye
11:45 -1:15 p.m. Serer Dance with Idy Ciss
1:30 -3 p.m. Kutiro Dance with Assane Konte
3:15 -5 p.m. Djembe Dance with Alseny Soumah

Sunday Schedule

10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Djembe Dance/Song with Mouminatou Camara
11:45 -1:15 p.m. Zumba with Afeni Mack
12:30 -1:45 p.m. Sabar Drum with Papa Dame Gueye
1:30 -3 p.m. Djembe Dance with Assane Konte
3:15 -4:45 p.m. Wangoo Dance with Idy Ciss
5:00 -6:30 p.m. Djembbe Dance with Alseny Soumah
7:00 -8:30 p.m. Sabarr Explosion with Diene Sagna

website quick link
Online OPT Training Announcement

ISS believes that it's essential for all students to be well-informed about the application process and their responsibilities while authorized for OPT, which is why every student must attend a workshop.

For any student graduating in Spring or Summer 2015 who was unable to attend one of the eight in-person OPT workshops offered, this is your opportunity to complete the required session through an online training presentation. The OPT Online Training will be available beginning Monday, June 22 through Friday, July 3 and accessible on the ISS homepage under the Quick Links heading. Only students graduating in Spring or Summer 2015 should be accessing this module. If you complete this module now, but do not apply for OPT until Fall 2015, you will be required to attend a workshop or complete the module at that later, more appropriate time.

As you go through the presentation, you will be asked to respond to questions based on the information provided about OPT. There will be questions about the application process, student eligibility, and your responsibilities as an F-1 student. These questions are being asked so that you can demonstrate your understanding of this complex application process and the rules and regulations that must be followed while on OPT. Your responses will be recorded and you must receive a passing score before ISS will process your application. Please be sure to read everything carefully and be prepared to sit through the entire presentation (on average 30-60 minutes) when you access it! Students have ONE opportunity to complete the training.

After you've completed the presentation and answered all questions, your information will be sent to ISS. Within 3-4 business days, an ISS advisor will contact you by email to notify you about next steps. The email message will indicate that you've either passed the training and how to proceed with applying for OPT or that you've not passed the training and how to complete additional training before ISS will accept your OPT application. It is essential that you follow all instructions provided in the email message that you receive.

Please do not contact ISS to inquiry about your results prior to receiving the email message. We are very aware of the time sensitive nature of the OPT application- having to respond to additional emails will only cause further delays. Please be patient and trust that we are working as quickly as we can to serve every student who is applying for OPT at this time.

Missed the Tax Filing Deadline?

Are your friends getting refund checks from the IRS? April 15 was the deadline to file your taxes however the IRS does allow for some returns to be filed past the deadline. Filing now, even if you're late, will help you avoid interest and penalties and it is your only opportunity to claim a refund (if applicable).

All individuals in the U.S. who have income must file a U.S. tax return and all individuals in F, J, M, and Q immigration (including spouse and young children) are required to file a Form 8843 – Statement for Exempt Individuals as long as they are considered non-resident aliens for tax purposes.

Information about filing your taxes is and has been available on our website:

Access to Glacier Tax Prep is still available on our website if you need assistance with filing your tax forms:

WOW - Wade Oval Wednesday

Since starting in 2007, this Wednesday-night fest at Wade Oval (June 17- August 26, 6-9 p.m.) has become one of the hottest summer events in town with thousands of picnickers enjoying the bucolic setting, live music, movies, and late-night hours at the area's cultural institutions. It's FREE to attend!

There will also be childrens activities, such as bounce houses and rides on the Euclid Beach Rocketship. Food vendors will be on site, but of course, many pack picnics and sit on a blanket during the festivities.

Join with over 5000 revelers per week and check out the excitement of Wade Oval Wednesdays.

The 2015 WOW schedule and other information is available here:

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I-94 Expiring?

In case you're worried about your I-94 expiring on 05/31/2015, don't be! The Expiration Date of 05/31/2015 that appears on the website when you access your electronic I-94 simply refers to the version of the form that the government is using. These dates frequently change as they create or recreate forms, like the I-94, and it has nothing to do with your visa status.

If you have questions or concerns, stop into ISS during walk-in hours.

summer hours
Summer Walk-In Hours Schedule

ISS will offer Walk-In Hours- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday throughout the summer. The university (and ISS) will be closed on Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day and Friday, July 3 in observance of Independence Day. Always call ISS prior to visiting if you have any doubts about our staff's availability.

ISS staff is available to students in-person and by phone only during Walk-In Hours otherwise an appointment is required.

If you need to make an appointment, please either call the office, stop by in person, or email

For more information about Walk-In Hours visit the Information for Students quicklink.

confused face
Forgot to Get a Travel Signature Before Leaving Campus?

If you forget to get a travel signature before leaving campus, don't panic! ISS will be available to help you year round, except when the university is closed. Check our website calendar for information about our availability.

To resolve this problem, first get in touch with ISS by email ( and explain that you've forgotten to get a travel signature. The ISS staff person that works with you will advise you to send your I-20 or DS-2019 to our office to get a travel signature. When we receive it, we'll sign it immediately and contact you by email to offer your mailing options. You may choose to have us return your I-20 or DS-2019 by either FedEx (this is a nonrefundable expense to you) or standard mail (free of charge but can take 4-6 weeks for delivery and the package is not traceable). We will not send your I-20 or DS-2019 until we receive a response from you.

If you're unable to send the I-20 or DS-2019 to our office for an updated signature, be prepared to receive an I-515A from the officer at US Customs. The I-515A is temporary admission to the US and you must comply with the requirements of the form in order to return to good standing. This is an extremely time sensitive process so you must work with ISS staff immediately upon your return to Cleveland to resolve this situation. Failure to handle this properly could result in the government terminating your student visa status.

If you have other questions or concerns, be sure to explain them to the advisor that you begin working with and continue to work only with that advisor until your issue is resolved.

And remember, ISS should be your first point of contact whenever you have questions or problems regarding your visa status. Never attempt to resolve a problem with your I-20 without first contacting our office as there may be very serious consequences for your actions. We're here to help!

How to Request a Cap-Gap I-20

If you've properly filed for a change of status to H-1B or been selected to receive an H-1B, you may be eligible for the cap-gap extension. To qualify for the H-1B cap-gap extension you must have:

  • timely filed your petition
  • requested an employment start date of October 1 of the current year
  • requested a change of status
  • ·not violated the terms or conditions of your current F-1 status

The cap-gap extension automatically extends a student's duration of status (time period during which an F-1 student is legally present) in the United States. If a student is on a period of valid post-completion OPT at the time the H-1B petition is filed, employment authorization is also extended. For students who complete their period of valid post-completion OPT and are on their 60 day grace period at the time the H-1B petition is timely filed, their duration of status will also be extended, but does not extend any kind of work authorization during that time.

ISS can help you obtain a cap-gap I-20 if you meet all of the above criteria. Below is some information about our policies for creating your cap-gap I-20.

Please be aware that ISS is not provided any advanced notification of an H-1B petition being selected. SEVIS only contains H-1B information once the USCIS system called CLAIMS properly updates it. ISS will not check a student's petition status in SEVIS until they've been provided with a receipt notice or receipt number. By that time, CLAIMS should have properly updated SEVIS and ISS can create the cap-gap I-20.

ISS' ability to generate a cap-gap I-20 is completely dependent on the SEVIS record being properly updated by USCIS' CLAIMS. Cap-gap functionality in SEVIS is directly linked to information being properly transferred from CLAIMS and a student's SEVIS record indicating that the petition is either pending or approved. When the transfer of information and functionality are working properly, a cap-gap I-20 can be provided within about 5 business days. To initiate the request for your cap-gap I-20:

  • Visit our homepage and click on the Quick Link called Report a Change in Visa Status. Please be very mindful of both your timing of this request and the timing that ISS requires to process the required paperwork for you!
  • Complete the electronic form and upload all of the necessary materials. ISS must have these items on file in order to process your request.
  • Wait to hear from ISS. This is an extremely busy time in our office and we appreciate your patience!

In cases where a student has received either receipt information or an approval notice for the H-1B petition but CLAIMS has not properly updated the SEVIS record, an I-20 cannot be generated by ISS since the option to create the I-20 is actually not available in the computer system. A manual update to fix the data must be requested by ISS. These data fixes can take several weeks, even months, before they're resolved and before ISS will initiate one, the student must discuss the process with an advisor.

Once ISS is able to prepare a student's cap-gap I-20, an advisor will send an email when it's ready. If ISS is unable to prepare the cap-gap I-20 for any reason, an advisor will contact the student via email to discuss next steps.

International Student Services

143 Tomlinson Hall

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Cleveland, Ohio 44106
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