There are recent reports of new scams targeting international students: 1) scammers posing as an officer from their home country Consulate or police through social media or phone; 2) Calls to Chinese students claiming to be Chinese Government officials; 3) scammers posing as package courier companies by phone; 4) Caller ID of scam using legitimate government agency phone numbers.
The ISO continues to monitor F-1 Optional Practical Training processing times as approval timelines have been delayed as compared to previous years. These processing delays are affecting all OPT applications processed around the U.S.
We are sending this update to provide additional context and information. If you have any questions that are not answered, feel free to contact your ISO Advisor.
On May 23, 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule to adjust fees charged by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to international students, exchange visitors and SEVP-certified schools. The final rule is available on the Federal Register and will take effect June 24, 2019.
Our Federal tax filing resources are now available. All MIT ISO tax resources, including Q&A, can be found here: http://iso.mit.edu/students/taxes.shtml
The US DHS SEVIS system is currently experiencing significant technical difficulties which are resulting in long delays for the issuance of the Form I-20 and the Form DS-2019. Your requests for documents will be processed as soon as SEVIS is operational. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
In light of the change in Massachusetts State Law, MIT updated its drug policy to provide clarification on questions concerning the use and possession of marijuana, and we strongly advise you to review the MIT policy. Even with these changes to Massachusetts State Law and MIT policy, international students should be warned of the severe consequences on your immigration status for possession or use of marijuana.
BEWARE OF SCAMS
The ISO wanted to remind all members of the MIT community to beware of being a target of a scam, whether by email, phone, or by postal mail. The holidays are a common period given that we may be buying items more frequently – and scammers take advantage of this time.
In recent weeks, we have heard from students and colleagues who have been contacted by a few common scams, so we wanted to provide a warning to you about the following scam scenarios:
Below are the General Statistics for the International Student body for the 2018-2019 academic year. Please click here for more comprehensive statistics.
The Supreme Court of the United States Upholds Travel Ban -- In a June 26th decision, the US Supreme Court upheld the most recent version of the “Travel Ban” imposed in September 2017, and modified in 2018 to include nationals of seven countries (Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen).
On Friday, March 23, 2018 at 8:00 pm EDT, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will begin the national rollout of the SEVP Portal, a website that allows F-1 visa status students on post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM OPT to review and update data pertaining to student OPT information. Using the SEVP Portal is optional and not required by federal regulations. The MIT International Students Office strongly recommends that MIT students and alumni continue to use iMIT.mit.edu to complete OPT/STEM OPT reporting requirements at this time.