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

ESS Spoken English Seminar

The ESS Spoken English Seminar is a non-credit course for graduate and professional students who would like to enhance their spoken English skills.

Now open to Research Scholars and Fellows.

(There is a fee for this course)

10 classes (5 weeks)

Pronunciation Diagnostic Assessment Included.

Topics covered:

  • Pronunciation
  • Fluency
  • Conversation Skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Vocabulary and Idioms

We will work with you to plan classes that fit your schedule.

Summer 2015: Classes begin the week of June 22, 2015

To register, please stop by Sears 470 by June 19, 2015 or contact:

Sarah Dellinger

Assistant Director of Spoken English Programs

Sears 466


Phone: 216.368.3059

online training OPT
Online OPT Training

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, there is one final opportunity to complete the required workshop through the online training presentation. The OPT Online Training will be available at the end of June, for a limited time, and accessible on the ISS homepage under the Quick Links heading. The exact availability dates will be announced at the beginning of June via ISSNews and the ISS website. 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 45-60 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.

Congratulations Graduates!

ISS would like to congratulate all of the May 2015 graduates! You should be extremely proud of all that you've accomplished- We are proud of you!- and we wish you well as you start your next adventure.

i-94 image
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.

Nepal Fundraiser Update

Sponsored by Graduate Student Senate (GSS), Case Nepali Student Organization (CNSO) hosted a successful fundraiser on May 13 to support the most disadvantaged population (e.g., lower class and caste) affected by two earthquakes that struck Nepal on April 25 and May 12. Over one hundred people came to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in this unimaginable tragedy. This event attended by students, faculty, staffs, and community members included impassioned speeches about the plight of the people whose lives and livelihood have been severely affected by this disaster, and musical performance and dances. The earthquake has taken away lives of over 8,000 people and has injured more than 17,000 people. It has caused extensive property damage with 600,000 houses damaged or destroyed. Affecting more than 8 million people, this natural disaster has been more disastrous for the disadvantaged groups in Nepal. In some poor communities, 90 percent houses are destroyed. Case Nepali Student Organization will continue raising funds to support those groups with immediate relief (food and shelter) and longer term rebuilding (education and health care).

If you are interested in sending a donation through a check, you can make their check payable to: Case Western Reserve University, with memo "CNSO/Nepal Earthquake Fundraiser", and send it to the following address:

Case Nepali Student Organization

C/O International Student Services

10900 Euclid Avenue

Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7038

If you are interested in donating online: and through "Make a gift" or

Scroll it down to others (in the "Special Instructions" box, please enter "CNSO/Nepal Earthquake Fundraiser")

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. Summer hours will resume on Tuesday, May 26. 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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