New Biometrics Requirements for Updated I-539 Application

Starting on March 11, 2019, USCIS will only accept the new version of the I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status with an edition date of 02/04/2019.  Additionally, there are a few significant changes to the entire I-539 application process:

1. Every applicant and co-applicant must pay an $85.00 biometrics fee 
2. Every applicant and co-applicant must attend a biometrics services appointment at the closest ASC (Application Support Center) to the applicant's address. The applicant and co-applicant will receive the appointment notice regardless of age.
3. Every co-applicant (e.g., dependent) on the primary applicant's form I-539 must submit and sign a separate form I-539A upon applying. 

Please visit the USCIS website  for more information. 

Change of Status Tutorial Now Available Online

We recently published our new  change of status (COS) tutorial on our website. Prior to visiting the ISSS office with queries regarding change of status, please view the tutorial first and then we recommend to schedule an appointment with an advisor. 

New Appointment & Walk-In Advising Schedule

On January 28, 2019, ISSS began offering the opportunity for students to schedule appointments with advisors in addition to our walk-in advising schedule. For more detailed information on how to schedule an appointment; which advising scenarios are appropriate for appointments; and duration of appointments, please review the following handout.  

Weekly Appointment Schedule:

 Students must schedule an appointment in order to meet with an advisor. 

Appointments should be limited to a duration of 20 minutes or less per session.

Monday  Tuesday    Wednesday  Thursday   Friday 

9-11 am   9-11 am      9-11 am         9-11 am    No Appointments

New Walk-In Advising Schedule:

No appointment necessary. 

Students will be seen by an advisor on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Walk-in advising should be limited to a duration of 10 minutes per session. 

Monday   Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday   Friday 

  2-4 pm     2-4 pm        2-4 pm          2-4 pm     2-4 pm

                                          F-1 Employment Updates

ISSS Begins Accepting OPT Applications

ISSS began accepting OPT applications on February 11. Students may apply as early as 100 days before their program end date (May 22 for students graduating in spring 2019), or 60 days after their program end date, or July 21.  ISSS does NOT recommend that you wait until the end of your grace period to submit your OPT application, as USCIS must RECEIVE your application by July 21 for it to be considered at all. The earlier you apply, the better to avoid possible processing delays, RFEs (requests for evidence), and potential time deductions from your 12 months of OPT. Please view our OPT tutorial (below) for more detailed information. 

OPT Packet Review Workshop on March 8 (See Infographic Below)

ISSS will begin offering OPT packet review workshops starting on March 8. Please see the inforgraphic below for more information and to RSVP. 

F-1 Employment Tutorials Available Online

In an effort to provide more convenient options for our burgeoning international student community, ISSS now offers online CPT, post-completion OPT, & STEM-OPT tutorials. Students MUST view the employment tutorials prior to submitting their CPT/OPT applications to ISSS. 

Previously, ISSS offered weekly in-person F-1 Employment Info Sessions. Please click on the following links to access the tutorials:

CPT Application Submission Deadline is March 15

If you plan on engaging in curricular practical training (CPT) during the spring 2019 semester, you need to submit the CPT application by the  March 15 deadline. Summer CPT application submissions will begin once enrollment opens up for summer 2019. 

Informed Delivery & Certified Mail Receipt

Recently, we have noticed that several students have been losing their EAD cards in the mail. Please ensure that you provided an accurate address on your I-765, or if you are intending on having the EAD card sent to an "in care of" (another person's) address, make sure they are still residing at this particular address. Moreover, you need to ensure that your name or in care of recipient's name is listed clearly on the mailbox. 

A great way to obtain confirmation that your EAD card is arriving soon is to sign up for the Post Office's  Informed Delivery service. This is a free service and will enable you to receive a gray-scale image of your letter containing your EAD card along with the anticipated delivery date prior to receiving it.

Please also make sure you are provided with a Certified Mail Receipt upon shipping your OPT application via USPS to ensure you have proof of shipping and to receive an electronic verification that your application was delivered or a delivery attempt was made. 

Case Status Online Account

Once you receive a receipt number, which will be assigned to you when you receive the electronic notification and the paper I-797 receipt notice in the mail for your OPT application, we recommend to set up your case status online account with USCIS to keep track of the OPT application processing timeline. USCIS should update your  case status online account with the latest changes to your OPT application processing. 

If you also want to submit an inquiry about your application based on a typographical error on your I-797 receipt/approval notice (e.g., incorrect name or birth date), non-delivery of EAD card, address change, or an OPT application that has gone beyond the standard 5 month timeline, please fill out the  case inquiry form. 

USCIS will not accept inquiries based on "case outside normal processing time" until 5 months have elapsed. 

                         DO NOT start work until you receive your EAD card.  


                               OPT PACKET REVIEW WORKSHOPS

                                                        Please RSVP here.

ISSS will be offering additional OPT packet review workshops after March 8, so please keep up with your emails and check our website periodically. 


Dear International Students,

As an international student in the US, it's important that you understand the tax requirements of your visa. You're legally required to file a tax return, if you worked in the US or received a stipend, grant or allowance.

Even if you didn't work or receive income in the US, you're still legally obliged to file Form 8843 with the IRS.

San Jose State University has arranged free access to the first 500 students to Sprintax to guide you through the process, prepare the necessary tax documents and even check if you're due a refund.

All you need to do is:
  1. Register and follow the simple instructions
  2. Complete the online questionnaire
  3. Enter your unique code Spx2018SANJOSE500 in the box on the 'Review your order' page
  4. Sprintax will prepare your tax return.
As a reminder, you must print, sign and mail your documents once you complete the preparation process in the Sprintax software.

If you have any questions, please use the live chat function in Sprintax and the team will be happy to help.


Best Regards,
International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)

                                           TAX WORKSHOP

                                 LOUIE BAROZZI SCHOLARSHIP

        Login to your SJSU Academic Works  account to start the application process!


                                                      SIGN UP HERE




  • MAR 4: Fun & Games
  • MAR 11: Exploring Culture
  • MAR 18: Slang Around the World (lunch provided)
  • MAR 25: Wellness Day--Meditation

                                    Women in Leadership League

                                                    Please register here



Research on university students shows that as few as 4  biofeedback  sessions can  reduce levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.  More than five sessions have been found to  increase students' attention  and reduce test anxiety .   

How a Biofeedback Lab works:

  1.  A sensor is placed lightly on the participant's ear lobe.
  2.  Participants visually discover how their heart rate instantly changes under stress and   calm conditions.
  3.  Participants learn simple mindfulness and breathing practices that cause immediate   positive changes towards increased biological efficiency and harmony.
  4.  Participants will use breathing and mindfulness practices to "play" video games that   help the mind/body to become more synchronous and coherent.

What Is Biofeedback? Center for Brain Training's, Mike Cohen, Discusses Types of Biofeedback
What Is Biofeedback? Center for Brain Training's, Mike Cohen, Discusses Types of Biofeedback

                                      HAPPY NOROOZ!

On March 21, we will be celebrating the Persian New Year, or  Norooz. Norooz marks the first day of spring or the vernal equinox, which for Persians and a few other countries, represents the dawning of the new year. Norooz means "New Day", and is celebrated with family feasts, bonfires, special adornments and attire, and colorful rituals. Norooz is also celebrated in other countries such as Azerbaijan. 

Before Norooz commences, families excitedly prepare for the new year by meticulously cleaning their houses (i.e, spring cleaning); adorning their households with decorations;  and donning special ceremonial attire. A major facet of preparing for the new year involves setting the Haft-Sin, or putting together a smorgasbord of seven different food items that have ancient symbolism. All of the items begin with the letter "Sin" in the Persian alphabet and have the following meanings: Seeb (apple), Sabze (green grass), Serke (vinegar), S onbol (hyacinth), Senjed (Persian olives), Sir (garlic) ,and Somaq (sumac). 

Oftentimes Sabze (green grass) is grown in a flat dish prior to Norooz which symbolizes creation and is decorated by colorful ribbons, mirrors, and candles to represent fire. Norooz is closely entwined with the ancient faiths of Zoroastrianism and Mithraism. 
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Contact Us

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)

Student Union West

Tel: (408) 924-5920

Fax: (408) 924-5976



ISSS Office Hours & Employment Tutorials

Office Hours 

Monday - Friday 
9 am - 4 pm 
  • Answers to general inquiries
  • Submit service requests
  • Document drop-off/pick-up.

Walk-In Advising

MONDAY-FRIDAY : 2 - 4 pm

  • One-on-one advising on basic/general inquires
  • No appointment necessary     
  • First-come, first-served
  • Limited to 10 minutes per session                              
Advising Appointments (New)

  • One-on-one advising for more complex advising matters
  • Advising sessions are limited to 20 minutes or less
  • Please call or email us to reserve an appointment
  • Contact ISSS 24 hours in advance for cancellations
  • View instructions here about how to schedule an appointment

F-1 Employment & Change of Status Tutorials

F-1 Employment Tutorials

Change of Status Tutorial



None in March