Welcome and thanks for visiting. On this page you will find the most frequently asked questions that we have received. We have also included links to important information directly from SEVP and USCIS- with more answers and information.
Check this page periodically as information gets continuously updated.
These are the most frequently asked questions that we have received. If you do not find the answer to your concern here, please visit our Virtual Office or send us an Email.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes has issued an Emergency Order extending certain expiring Florida driver licenses.
The Executive Order, among other things, authorizes the following:
- Extends the effective period of driver licenses and identification cards with expiration dates on or after March 16, 2020, through April 15, 2020, for 60 days.
For more information visit Visit https://www.flhsmv.gov/COVID-19/
If you are worried about your international student status if you happen to opt for the Pass/NO Credit Earned choice, USCIS has established that
“…full course of study requirements can be waived as a direct result of the impact from COVID-19” (March 26 Update)
So, although our would highly advise you to remain within the regular grading option, if you have a circumstance related to the COVID-19 situation and you have discussed the possibility with your academic advisor, you may opt for the new P or NC alternative. Also, please be reminded that ISSS only responds to immigration-related questions, all academic/GPA inquiries should be directed to your academic advisor.
Once you have discussed your decision with your academic advisor, if you still If have questions about how this may impact your visa status ALWAYS ask ISSS! And ALWAYS read our immigration updates, because this policy may change in the future.
More information https://onestop.fiu.edu/classes/grades/
As an international student you are considered a non-resident for tax purposes, therefore the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) states that you do not qualify for a stimulus check. Visit the Economic Impact Payment Information Center for more information.
You can also visit https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/determining-alien-tax-status to determine if you are considered a non-resident for tax purposes. Important: Most international students are considered non-residents for tax purposes.
Important: If you received a stimulus check in error, please visit https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc161 for instructions; and if you are still unsure, please contact a tax accountant or attorney. Tax policies are very complex, and please keep in mind that the ISSS staff is not qualified to give you advice on tax related issues.
A41. You should return the payment as described below.
If the payment was a paper check:
- Write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
- Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
- Don’t staple, bend, or paper clip the check.
- Include a note stating the reason for returning the check.
If the payment was a paper check and you have cashed it, or if the payment was a direct deposit:
- Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
- Write on the check/money order made payable to “U.S. Treasury” and write 2020EIP, and the taxpayer identification number (social security number, or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient of the check.
- Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the EIP.
For your paper check, here are the IRS mailing addresses to use based on the state
The International Students offices around the country are waiting for an answer to this question. Unfortunately there is no specific extension being announced as of yet for our F-1 students and dependents. However, if you are in this situation, please see the link above on Extension or Change of Status. For the time being, this would be one solution that you can seek.
Remember, for all these processes, it is highly advisable that you seek the help/counsel of an immigration attorney.
For additional USCIS In formation you can access COVID-19 Delays in Extension/Change of Status Filings
For all job-related activities, you will need to have a Social Security Number/Social Security Card (SSN). Unfortunately at the moment, all Social Security Offices are closed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our office has no way of anticipating when these offices will reopen.
Please keep in mind that you cannot start any work-related activity on or off campus without a SSN. It is important that you keep this in mind, because in the future, if you happen to have worked without the proper paperwork, your immigration status will be negatively impacted.
Keep checking with the Social Security Office for future re-openings- our office will keep you informed too.
You must realize that the COVID 19 crisis continues to be a fluid and rapidly changing event, therefore, there are scenarios that may arise that are unpredictable and the consequences of which are unknown. Travel and returning home will carry inherent and perhaps unknown risks. If you decide you want to leave the country and go home you must
- ensure that your F-1 visa will be valid at the time you intend to return.
- ensure your passport is valid.
- have a valid travel signature on page two of your I-20 (this is valid for 12 months from date of the first signature)
If you already left the US and still require a signature, you may submit an ISSS Document Request form via email three weeks before you are planning to return to the United States and we will send a signed I-20 to your home country via email.
Important: If you renewed any of your immigration documents (passport or visa) and haven’t provided a copy to our office, please do so with your document request. Your Travel Signature will be delayed if we do not have your updated information
Due to the temporary closure of FIU because of the COVID 19 crisis, it may be difficult to meet your needs immediately. If you are a student who has already departed the US or one who intends to leave shortly and are unable to get your I-20 travel signature, please be advised that when you come back to the United States, if your I-20 does not have a current signature or if you do not have your I-20 with you, the US Custom and Border Protection (USCBP) Officer who you see when you arrive typically issues students lacking a proper I-20 a form called I-515A at the port of entry.
If CBP issues you a Form I-515A, tell your designated school official (DSO)/International Student Advisor that you have been given this form. He or she can help you submit the right information to complete this form.
What is the “I‐515A” Form? The I‐515A is a form issued to international students/scholars/dependents by a United States Port of Entry (POE) when the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer is not satisfied with the admission documentation that a student/scholar/dependent provides. For example, the border patrol may issue an I‐515A if the I‐20 or DS‐2019 is missing a valid travel signature. The I‐515A Form allows temporary entry into the United States of no more than 30 days.
This information will be updated as we receive more guidance from USCIS. Please follow up with ISSS two weeks before you are coming back to the US.
Yes, you can schedule a phone/virtual appointment accessing the ISSS Virtual Appointment Request Form. Once our system received this form, you will receive an email with your appointment date and time.
CPT (Curricular Practical Training), OPT (Optional Practical Training), or STEM OPT extension applications are also available by appointment. Once you have scheduled the appointment, an advisor will contact you via email with further instructions.
In order to apply for OPT you need to be present in the United States. Once you are ready to start the process (you should be starting it as soon as possible)
- Make an appointment with ISSS (see instructions above)
- Visit the Optional Practical Training (OPT) section on our website and follow all the instructions.
If you abide by enrollment requirements (full time enrollment) you will be considered in status.
Students’ status will remain current As long as they remain enrolled in their classes maintaining full time status.