News & Events

File Your US Federal Income Tax

It is time to file your 2016 US Federal Taxes.

For more information, go to: www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/

  1. Who Must File

Filing IS required by nonresident alien students and scholars who have:

  1. A taxable scholarship or fellowship, as described in Chapter 1 of Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education;
  2. Income partially or totally exempt from tax under the terms of a tax treaty; and/or
  3. Any other income, which is taxable under the Internal Revenue Code.

Filing IS NOT required by nonresident alien students and scholars who have income ONLY from:

  1. Foreign sources;
  2. Interest Income from:
    1. U.S. bank
    2. a U.S. savings & loan institution
    3. a U.S. credit union
    4. a U.S. insurance company
  3. An investment, which generates Portfolio Interest (Described in Chapter 3 “Exclusions From Gross Income” – “Interest Income” – “Portfolio interest” of Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens);
  4. A scholarship or fellowship, which is entirely a Tax Free Scholarship or Fellowship as described in Chapter 1 of Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education; and/or
  5. Any other income, which is nontaxable under the Internal Revenue Code. However, income, which is not taxable because of an income tax treaty must be reported on a U.S. income tax return even though no income tax is due on the U.S. income tax return.

If you were employed anytime during 2016, you should receive a W-2 form from your employer. You will use the information on this form to file the IRS form 1040NR. For assistance filing, please see the information stated below about the Foreign National Tax Resource.

ALL international students present in the United States at any time in 2016 must file Form 8843 whether you were employed or not.

You may find these forms and more at the Internal Revenue Service Website: http://www.irs.gov

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The Foreign National Tax Resource (FNTR), from Thomson-Reuters, provides easy-to-use federal tax preparation software along with extensive, searchable content to help you understand your tax obligations.

With the FNTR you can:

  • Determine your tax residency status (resident/nonresident or dual status)
  • Prepare either your 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ
  • Find out about tax treaty benefits
  • Get answers to frequently asked questions and understand the various rules, forms, and procedures

The FNTR is funded by the Student Government Association for enrolled FIU international students.  To acquire access you must create a user account at: https://trr.thomsonreuters.com

You must provide your FIU e-mail address as part of the registration.  Once you have registered, use the access code listed below to access the application. 

Foreign National Tax Resource Access Code:  XVYHUFBDT33D

DisclaimerBy using this tax assistance program, you acknowledge that FIU and ISSS are  not liable for any errors and incidental or consequential damages in connection with furnishing, performance or use of these on-line systems, on-line HELP and/or examples contained therein.  The information on this webpage and the FNTR are provided as a service only to enrolled international students at FIU. The information does not constitute tax advice and ISSS staff cannot assist with the preparation or completion of individual tax return forms.


Special Student Relief to Students from Nepal

Employment authorization for Nepali F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the April 25, 2015 earthquake in Nepal has been posted in the Federal Register.

For a link to the notice and more information please go to http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-11-09/pdf/2015-28360.pdf


Enrollment of F-1/M2 Dependents

Effective May 29, 2015, an F-2 and M-2 spouses or F-2 children may enroll in less than a full course of study, as defined in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(A)-(D) and 8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(i)-(iv), in any course of study described in paragraphs (f)(6)(i)(A) through (D) or (m)(9)(i) through (iv) of this section at an SEVP-certified school.

F-2/M-2 spouses and children will be allowed to enroll in less than a “full course of study” at an SEVP-certified school without violating their status, even if that part-time study eventually leads to a degree or certificate.

The DSOs at the school that issued the F-2’s/M-2’s I-20 controls the record and will be responsible for maintaining personal information but will not be responsible for maintaining information on part time enrollment.

For more information click here.


I-901 Fraud Alert

Recently, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) became aware that scammers are targeting students in the Chicago area in an attempt to solicit funds on behalf of the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee. Scammers are requesting those targeted to send up to $4,000 to avoid deportation. The scammers are using the ‘Location Services’ app on students’ cellular devices to find the students’ location and threaten them with continued pursuit if they do not receive the money. The incidents are currently under investigation by the Chicago Police Department and SEVP intends to cooperate fully and will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Coincidentally, these fraud incidents began after SEVP sent out the first batch of I-901 Non Payment letters in mid-April. The I-901 Non-Payment letters request that students in active status, with no I-901 payment on their record, pay the I-901 Fee. The letter also states that failure to remit the payment within the time allotted will result in the termination of the student’s SEVIS record and/or possible deportation.

Students should disregard any phone call from a person attempting to collect an I-901 Fee on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and SEVP. The process that SEVP has in place for the collections of unpaid I-901 Fees does not involve contacting students via phone to threaten or request money.

Additionally, scammers are reportedly requesting up to $4,000 in I 901 Fees; an I-901 Fee is $200 at the most. The only time the requested Fee will be more is if a student has a returned check. The additional amount would be limited to small, related service charges for bank processing.

What to do if you receive receives this type of phone call?

You should not give any information to the person on the phone, nor should you send any funds to the scammers. If you are targeted you need to immediately call your local Police Department and contact ISSS to report the incident to SEVP.

The safety and well-being of all program participants is of the utmost importance to SEVP. SEVP is working diligently with law enforcement to eradicate this issue and find those responsible.


OPT

Spring graduates should apply for OPT now! If you complete your program in Spring 2017, the last day to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) is June 21, 2017 as long as you have not left the U.S. after completion of your program of study. If you leave the U.S. after completing your program of study, your F-1 status ends and you will not be eligible to apply for OPT. Appointments for ISSS OPT application reviews start January 29. USCIS OPT application processing may take at least 90 days for processing so please plan accordingly.

Summer A 2017 graduates may apply for OPT on or after March 23. If you complete you program at the end of the Summer (B/C), the first day to apply for OPT is May 10, 2017.

Remember to apply for graduation.


Message from USCIS Concerning Telephone Scam

In recent weeks, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) learned of a new telephone scam targeting USCIS applicants and petitioners. Scammers are using a technique called “Caller ID spoofing” to display a misleading or inaccurate phone number in a recipient’s Caller ID. The scammer poses as a USCIS official and requests personal information (such as Social Security number, passport number, or A-number), identifies supposed issues in the recipient’s immigration records, and asks for payment to correct these records.

If you receive a call like that, USCIS urges you to say “No, thank you” and hang up immediately.

USCIS never asks for any form of payment or personal information over the phone. Do not give payment or personal information over the phone to anyone who claims to be a USCIS official. In general, we encourage you to protect your personal information and not to provide details about your immigration application in any public area.

If you have been a victim of this telephone scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov, or report it to an appropriate state authority. (Visit http://www.uscis.gov/avoidscams for information on where to report scams in your state.)

If you have a question about your immigration record, please call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283, or make an InfoPass appointment by visiting our website at http://infopass.uscis.gov/.


Info for Employers Hiring International Students

The International Career Opportunities Network (ICON) has updated a document, “What Employers Should Know About Hiring International Students,” that has been used by NAFSA: Association of International Educators to help educate potential employers of international students. To download this handout in pdf form, click here. ICON is a volunteer resource-sharing group that creates tomorrow’s global leadership through international career development opportunities and shared best practices from international student and study abroad advisors, career counselors, experiential educators, and employers seeking to build a global workforce.


Get involved!  Meet other students!  Join the International Student Club!

Learn more about the International Student Club at FIU by visiting the following link.

You can join International Student Club and many other FIU student organizations through Orgsync:

  • Log on to www.Orgsync.com.
  • Click the Register tab on the top right corner.
  • Find Florida International University and click on the Register tab.
  • Fill out the information fields and click the Create button.Continue and fill out additional fields and customize your profile settings. Be sure to include your Panther ID.
  • Click on the green Save button to save your settings. [This will create your account.]
  • Log on to www.orgsync.com and click the Add An Org tab from your Portal (homepage).
  • Click on Organizations next to Florida International University.
  • Locate the student group you are interested in and click JOIN.