ISSS-BU NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, 01 FEBRUARY 2017


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Contents

  1. Special Announcement Regarding President Trump's Executive Order Impacting Immigration
  2. Spring 2017 Job and Internship Fair on Thursday, February 2
  3. Next International Coffee Hour: Friday, February 3
  4. Together: International Student Support Group
  5. Availability of International Health Insurance ID Cards
  6. Deadline for Request of International Insurance Waiver is February 15, 2017
  7. International Student Grant-in-Aid Application Spring 2017
  8. International Spouse Program ESL Classes
  9. Education Abroad for International Students
  10. Don’t Become a Victim of a Phone Scam!

 

1. Special Announcement Regarding President Trump's Executive Order Impacting Immigration

As many of you know, President Trump issued an Executive Order on Friday, January 27, 2017 entitled "Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals". This Executive Order limits entry to the US for citizens of certain countries, suspends the refugee program, and requires visa interviews for all applicants, among other provisions. ​This is one of several executive orders recently published.  This is an ever-changing political landscape, so please be aware that we are monitoring the news and intend to circulate updates, as appropriate. That said, the information below was current as of 1/30/2017.  Please be aware that this is meant as a summery, but in no way constitutes legal advice.

Please note that this is not a summary or interpretation of the full executive order.  Rather, we just wanted to make specific components more easily understandable. More detailed information will be circulated as the situation develops. Above all, please know that we are here to support you.

1. Entry restrictions for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Entry to the US is banned for 90 days for non-immigrants (i.e. visa holders such as B2, F1, etc) and immigrants (green card holders)** who are citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. 
   *​The Executive Order does not require citizens of these countries who are already here to leave the US.
   *If you are a citizen of one of the countries listed above and were planning to travel internationally in the next 3 months, please be aware that you will not likely be able to reenter until at least April 27, 2017.
   *Persons traveling on A, G, and NATO visas are not subject to the ban.
   *Please contact our office if you are a citizen of one of the countries above and are considering international travel (including spring and summer break travel, study abroad, study away, or internships/service learning abroad).

**Update: The White House announced on Sunday (1/29) that the ban would no longer apply to permanent residents (green card holders) who are citizens of these countries. However, the White House also added that Customs and Border Protection may put persons entering the US under additional scrutiny and questioning if they had traveled to any of the above named countries.

Note: According to the Executive Order, additional countries can be added to this list if their governments fail to provide the Departments of State and Homeland Security the requested information for visa adjudicaton within 60 days of the request from the Department. We will update you if there are changes to this list.

2. All visa applications will now require a visa interview. Regardless of your country of citizenship, you will now need to get a visa interview as part of the visa application process. In the past, one could often get a waiver of the visa interview (e.g. if you were renewing a visa). That is no longer true.
   *​If you are planning to travel internationally and need a new visa, you must plan for extra wait time. You might also see consulates limiting or prioritizing visa interviews for citizens and residents of that country.

3. Refugee Program suspended for 120 days: The refugee program will be reviewed for security measures.
   *​​If you have family or friends who were in the process of applying for refugee status, that will be delayed by at least 120 days. We can direct you to a qualified immigration attorney if you need assistance with this.

4. Syrian Refugee Program suspended indefinitely
   *​If you have family or friends who were in the process of applying for refugee status, that will be delayed indefinitely. We can direct you to a qualified immigration attorney if you need assistance with this.

We are here to support you. If you have questions, concerns, or need anything, please do not hesitate to contact us.

2. Spring 2017 Job and Internship Fair on Thursday, February 2

The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development is pleased to announce that representatives from over 100 for-profit, government, non-profit organizations will be available to speak with students regarding both full-time employment and internship opportunities at the Spring 2017 Job and Internship Fair. The fair will be held in the Events Center on Thursday, February 2 from 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.  Students of all majors and years are encouraged to attend. Students are encouraged to review the list of registered employers in advance, and conduct research on those employers they’re interested in.

3. Next International Coffee Hour: Friday, February 3

Good company! Complementary refreshments! Relax by coming to this month's International Coffee Hour from 3:30-5 p.m. Friday, February 3, in Old Union Hall. This month's sponsor is the University Counseling Center, specifically M-HOPE and the 20:1 Bystander Intervention Program.  February Coffee Hour participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the sponsor while mingling with both international and domestic students.

International Coffee Hour strives to be a space where the entire Binghamton University community, including international students, U.S. students, faculty/staff and community members are welcome. The coffee hours are informal and provide an opportunity to meet and learn more about each other in a relaxed atmosphere. They are usually held from 3:30-5 p.m. on the first Friday of every month during the academic year. All are welcome!

If you have any questions about International Coffee Hour, contact Linda Torricelli, ISSS programming coordinator.

4. Together: International Student Support Group

Discussion facilitator: Dr. Sangmoon Kim, staff psychologist at University Counseling Center
When: Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00p.m.
Where: University Union, visit B-Engaged for the full schedule of locations

Hello international students at Binghamton University! You are warmly invited to the Together: International Student Support Group. You will meet fellow international students. Together aims to promote international students’ social interaction and sense of belonging as well as academic success. You can practice and enhance your English skills. We will meet most Tuesdays; our next meeting is Tuesday, February 7 in UU 121 (University Union, Room 121). Weekly attendance is not required but recommended. If you have any question about the Together, please email Dr. Sangmoon Kim.

5. Availability of International Health Insurance ID Cards

The week of January 30th, the ISSS Office will be working with GeoBlue International Health Insurance have the Spring 2017 insurance ID cards available on their website. Once this occurs, students currently waiting for notification of their international health insurance enrollment will receive a welcome Email from GeoBlue (customerservice@geo-blue.com).  The email will advise you to sign on to their website, www.geobluestudents.com where you can access their services, including the printing of your insurance ID card. We do not have a firm date as to when this process will be complete, so please wait until Monday, February 6 before making general inquiries to the ISSS Office regarding the availability of your insurance ID card.

6. Deadline for Request of International Insurance Waiver is February 15, 2017

Students who meet the guidelines for a waiver of the international health insurance fee due to insurance coverage under an alternative qualified health insurance plan have until February 15th to submit your request. Requests are required per semester. If you have been approved for a waiver of the fee in the past you must still submit a request at the beginning of each semester. If you do not meet the guidelines found here, please do not submit a request. This creates an administrative backlogs and delays in processing for qualified students. The E-form for filing the request is located here.

7. International Student Grant-in-Aid Application Spring 2017

Each semester a small number of financial awards (up to $500) are available to international students who have experienced a severe and unexpected financial need. To be eligible, students must be in F-1 or J-1 status, registered in a full-time program of study, have been in attendance at Binghamton University for at least one continuous year, and must be able to substantially document the events that have taken place which resulted in their unanticipated financial hardship (For example: Extreme unexpected loss in income, unexpected increase in expenditures beyond that which all students are facing, or both, due to circumstances beyond the student’s control).

Applicants are strongly advised to carefully document their financial situation when submitting the application form, being sure to include all supporting documents with their Grant in Aid application upon submission.  Incomplete applications will not be eligible for review.

Students with outstanding balances in their student account at the University should note that, based on Binghamton University policy, any monetary award will first be applied toward the balance on their student bill. Applications are available now online and must be submitted no later than 4:30pm on Friday, February 17 2017.  Please click here to access the application.  Please note that paper applications will not be accepted.

8. International Spouse Program ESL Classes

The International Spouse Program (ISP) is for spouses of Binghamton University international students. The ISP offers its members free, weekly ESL instruction. The ISP provides an excellent opportunity to practice English, to learn about day-to-day living in the U.S, to become involved in community activities, to socialize with other spouses, and to learn from each other’s experiences.  Please contact Myriam Stanton or view attached document for additional information.

9. Education Abroad for International Students

Education abroad opportunities are open to all Binghamton students, including international students! It may be a surprising fact that you, an international student, can participate in an education abroad program. There are more than 1,000 education abroad programs offered by the SUNY system - you can spend an academic year at London School of Economics, ranked one of the world's top universities in the field of economics and business, earn STEM credits over the summer in Germany, or become a Chinese language teacher's assistant at Fudan University, one of the top three universities in China! Come learn about these exciting programs at the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives at Old Champlain Room 240, and speak to an education abroad advisor or an education abroad student ambassador about your education abroad plans! You may certainly reach out to the education abroad team at iegi@binghamton.edu, or explore education abroad opportunities by clicking here.

10. Don’t Become a Victim of a Phone Scam!

Recently we became aware that Binghamton University international students have received phone calls from someone claiming to be from the IRS or from U.S. Immigration.  The students were told that there was a criminal issue against their social security number, or a visa status issue, or that laws had been violated, and then they were asked for personal information and/or payment.  Please beware and DO NOT FALL VICTIM TO THIS SCAM!

If contacted via phone, you should immediately be suspicious.  Ask for the person's full name, agency, and reporting office, and for a government telephone number to call the person back.   They will probably tell you that your only opportunity is at the time of the call and that you have to take action now.  Don’t believe them.  Never release personal information over the phone, and be aware that a government agency would never go about any formal proceedings with a phone call.  Should you ever get any requests in print, please bring them to ISSS immediately and we will review them and advise accordingly.

USCIS and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) want to stop scams about income tax payments or immigration violations. You will not get in any trouble for reporting a scam.  Additional information about common scams and about how to report such scams can be found on the USCIS Website and on the IRS website (common scams link and the reporting scams link).

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Last Updated: 2/1/17