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, and Friday- 11 a.m. to 3 p.m..
  • No Walk-In hours on Wednesday.

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

Fill out a Survey, Get CaseCash.

A random sample of students will be invited to participate in the CWRU Student Experience Survey (CWRUSES). The feedback will be used to make improvements to programs and services for current and future students at CWRU.

Look for an invitation e-mail in the coming days from Lynn Singer, Deputy Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Participants will receive a $2 credit to their CaseCash after March 4, the close of the survey.

ESL Conversation Club with International Friendship

The ESL Conversation Club is an informal group meeting to practice English on basic conversation topics like holidays, shopping, small talk, sports, etc. It is hosted by volunteers from International Friendship.

It is recommended that attendees have at least a middle to high intermediate English level. Undergrads, grads, postdocs, scholars and spouses are welcome. The group will meet for 5 weeks and there is no charge.

Meetings begin 2/13 at 10 a.m. in Guilford 301 on campus.

Please contact Eric Benson with questions and to sign up.

zika letter
Zika Virus

On behalf of the Center for International Affairs, please take a moment to become better informed about the Zika virus, which is spreading quickly throughout South and Central America, and CWRU's plans.

For more information, please visit Center for Disease Control's website and the Department of State travel advisories.

We hope you'll find this information helpful in making travel decisions that are best for you.

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Graduating in Spring or Summer? Time to Attend an OPT Workshop

Graduating at the end of the Spring or Summer* semesters? Time to start thinking about OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING!

ISS will be offering Optional Practical Training (OPT) Workshops to go over the application process, student responsibilities, and other considerations in detail. A complete OPT Workshop schedule is listed on Orgsync. Be sure to either register to attend your preferred session or access the online training module while it is available. Completing a workshop (in one of the formats- ISS highly recommends the in-person sessions!) is required as part of the application process.

Being well informed about OPT before you apply is a must. ISS feels very strongly about this, which is why we require all students to complete a workshop. ISS will not accept OPT applications from students who have not completed a workshop.

All in-person workshops (registration is required) are scheduled for 90 minutes. Please plan on arriving early and staying for the entire 90 minutes. If you do not stay for the entire workshop or arrive more than 5 minutes late, your attendance will not be counted. Be sure to bring your CWRU ID card to the session to complete the registration process and receive credit for having attended the session. If you see a blank calendar when trying to register for a session from our website, that means you need to log in (using your CWRU network ID and password) to OrgSync. Once logged in, click on My Memberships and select International Student Services. All international students should already have ISS listed there, but if you don't, do a search and ISS will pop right up. Click on Events to see all OPT Workshops, choose the session for which you wish to register, and finally click "yes".

Students who are unable to attend an in-person workshop will have the opportunity to complete an online training module. Students are only permitted to access this presentation and its materials once and will be required to respond to questions based on the information provided about OPT- the application process, student eligibility, and their responsibilities as an F-1 student. These questions are being asked so that students can demonstrate their understanding of this complex application process and the rules and regulations that must be followed while on OPT. Responses will be recorded and students must receive a passing score before ISS will process their application. Students who require more assistance will be required to attend one of the scheduled in-person workshops to complete the training requirement.

Please note that waiting until later in the semester to complete your OPT workshop might not provide enough time for processing; make every effort to complete a workshop as early as possible. You do not need to have a job offer or any definitive employment plans to complete a workshop or apply for OPT!

Again, keep in mind that ISS will only accept complete applications from students who have completed a workshop (either in-person or online). Be sure to read all of the application information carefully and prepare everything that's required for processing.

If you're not planning to graduate until after Summer, future workshops will be scheduled and advertised through the website, ISSNews, and From the Director's Desk. If you complete a workshop now, but don't actually graduate by Summer, you will have to complete a workshop at a more appropriate time in the future.

If you have questions, stop by ISS during walk-in hours. Remember, only ISS staff can advise you about the procedures for OPT!

*Summer graduates are welcome to attend a session now; however, keep in mind that:

  • sessions will be held in the summer, if you're not certain of your plans and
  • you should speak with an ISS advisor, after attending a workshop, if you have questions about the appropriate time to submit your paperwork to ISS.
Tax Deadline April 18: Forms & Glacier Tax Prep is Available

It's time to file your 2015 income taxes and ISS can help make the process a little easier.

ALL individuals in F and J status must file taxes, including spouses, young children, and even if you haven't earned any income!

Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) is a tax-return-preparation software program designed primarily for international students and other educational visaholders. It can help you prepare your U.S. federal income tax return and assist you in preparing Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ.

You may access GTP and begin preparing your federal return by visiting myServices and logging in using your Case network ID and password. The service is provided as a convenience to CWRU international students. Students who used GTP in 2014 received a refund of $837.39 on average!

It's a good idea to wait to access GTP until you have all of your necessary and relevant tax forms. This will ensure that you're providing the most accurate information about your income during the 2015 tax year.

Please keep in mind that the US citizen codes in SIS are what prompt the generation of the 1098-T by CWRU's Financial Services Office. 1098Ts are generated for US citizens and Permanent Residents automatically. 1098Ts are not automatically generated for international students; the university is only required to provide 1098Ts to international students (nonresident aliens) upon their request per guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For more information regarding the 1098-T, please visit Financial Services website.

If you are the recipient of a 1098-T, it's not likely that you're eligible to use GTP. GTP is intended for nonresident aliens and if you're issued a 1098-T, it's possible that you've been in the US long enough to be considered a resident alien for tax-purposes only. That means you're able to file your taxes more similarly to the way a US citizen does and could utilize other tax preparation software.

1042-S forms will be prepared by March 15 and sent to students by Payroll. Please contact Payroll if you have questions about the issuance of your 1042-S.

For more information, visit our Information on Filing Taxes page.

Lunar New Year Events on Campus and Community

Lunar New Year is a time for friends and CWRU family to get together and celebrate. Don't forget to join campus events celebrating the Lunar New Year.

CWRU Events/Organizations
  • Lunar New Year Red Envelope/Calligraphy Parties: February 2 and February 8
  • CSSA New Year Festival: February 7
  • Lunar New Year Fireworks and Celebration: February 8
  • ESS Dumpling Making Event: February 9
  • Weatherhead Multicultural Festival-Year of the Monkey (Weatherhead students only)
  • ESS Fu Door Sign (printable)

**for fliers, please visit

Community Events/Organizations
Heiskell award
CWRU Receives Prestigious Andrew Heiskell Award

Case Western Reserve University has been selected to receive the Andrew Heiskell Award for Internationalizing the Campus. Created in 2001 by the Institute of International Education, the annual Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education recognize the most outstanding initiatives in international higher education among all 1,400 member campuses.

dhs logo
UPDATE: DHS Submits Proposed OPT STEM Rule for Review

If you're following the Washtech (Washington Alliance of Technology Workers) case and considering the future of the OPT STEM extension, then you know that a judge has ruled that the STEM extension would be eliminated unless DHS implements new regulations by February 12, 2016.

DHS completed its review of the comments received on the proposed STEM OPT rule, and on February 5, 2016, they sent the final STEM OPT rule to OMB review, which is the last step before the rule is published in the Federal Register. DHS had previously announced an intention to have an effective date 60 days after the Federal Register publication date. Assuming a 60-day effective date, the final rule would have to be published in the Federal Register by about March 10, 2016 to accommodate the May 10, 2016 vacatur date of the current rule. We will monitor progress of the rule and update NAFSA's STEM OPT rule page ( with news as we receive it.

Interested in tracking the final STEM OPT rule yourself? Here's how:

  • To monitor the rule's progress at OMB, go to the EO 12866 Regulatory Review page at
  • Right now, under "Regulations under EO 12866 Review," you'll find reference to the STEM OPT rule under the Department of Homeland Security, and see that it was received on February 5, 2016.
  • When OMB finishes its review, reference to the rule will be moved to the "Regulatory Review Completed in Last 30 Days" box, again under the Department of Homeland Security.
  • After OMB completes its review, the rule will be sent back to DHS so it can submit it to the Office of the Federal Register for publication.
  • One day before it is published in the Federal Register, a public inspection copy will be available on the Federal Register's Public Inspection page at
  • On the following day of publication, the rule will be available in its final form on the Federal Register's Current Issue page at

As more information becomes available, ISS will certainly continue providing updates. In the meantime, ISS wants to continue to reassure you that this next step has no immediate impact on OPT and STEM OPT. If you are currently on OPT or STEM OPT, you should continue working and continue to maintain status by promptly reporting employment and address changes to our office through the Quick Links system. ISS will continue to process new OPT and STEM OPT applications as usual.


When does this decision go into effect?

The court decision is effective May 10, 2016. Until that time or until a new regulation is issued, the current regulation is in effect. ISS will continue to accept and process applications for OPT and STEM OPT as usual.

What will happen after May 10, 2016?

We don't know at this time. We are waiting for DHS' response and will continue to watch the situation closely. Updates will be provided publicly to all students through our website and newsletters as soon as we have information to share.

I am currently working on OPT. What does this mean for me?

You should continue working and continue to maintain status by promptly reporting employment and address changes to our office through the Quick Links system on our website.

I am currently working on STEM OPT extension. How does this affect me?

You should continue working and continue to maintain status by promptly reporting employment and address changes to our office through the Quick Links system on our website.

My application for OPT or STEM OPT extension is pending. How does this decision affect my application?

OPT and STEM OPT applications are being reviewed and processed as usual by USCIS.

My 12 month OPT time is ending soon, and I was planning to apply for the STEM OPT extension. Can I still apply?

Yes, ISS will continue to process new STEM OPT I-20s for your STEM Extension applications just as the USCIS will continue to receive and authorize the applications of eligible students.

I am a current student who will be graduating soon. What does this ruling mean for me?

ISS will continue to process new OPT I-20s as usual. Be sure that you attend the mandatory OPT workshop and apply within the proper time frame. More information about ISS' policies regarding OPT is available on our website.

For more information:

IMPORTANT: Working as an International Student

Found a job on campus? Thinking about gaining experience off-campus? Wondering what to do now?

ISS wants to remind all international students that you must be properly authorized to work by our office before you begin any kind of work!

Completing the required steps with our office is critical! The process is very simple:

  • Visit ISS during walk-in hours and consult with an advisor about your opportunity
  • Submit required, completed paperwork to ISS
  • Return to ISS promptly to gather any necessary work authorization documentation
  • NEVER WORK until you've finalized all processes with ISS

It is very important that you follow these steps and do so in a timely manner. Failure to complete the required paperwork can result in you not being paid for work you've done, loss of work permission privileges, or even the termination of your visa status!

If you have questions about working on campus, be sure to consult with an ISS advisor! Only ISS can advise you about employment and the impact it can have on your immigration status.