Winter 2020: Week 9
Hello International Triton,

Greetings from the International Students & Programs Office (ISPO)! Stay up to date by reading our iStudents Newsletter for the latest of immigration updates, deadlines, reminders, and fun programs and events for international students at UC San Diego!
COVID-19 Update
On February 29, 2020 the executive branch expanded the earlier presidential proclamation suspending entry of immigrants and non-immigrants present in China for the fourteen days immediately prior to attempted entry to the U.S. to include immigrants and non-immigrants present in Iran for the fourteen days immediately prior to attempted entry to the U.S. In addition, as Spring Break approaches, we understand that many students are planning to take personal-related trips. We encourage our students to refrain from non-essential travel. However, if you must travel, consult the website of the country you are visiting to see what policies or travel warnings are in place. Also, be prepared for visa application and travel delays during your trip.

Please continue to monitor ISPO's Frequently Asks Questions & Answers related to COVID-19. The information includes useful tips for staying healthy, latest travel advisory notices, questions about travel and re-entry, and campus resources.
MASTERS AND PHD STUDENTS: LAST DAY TO DROP WITH A
"W" (WITHDRAW) IS FRIDAY, MARCH 6
The deadline for GRADUATE STUDENTS to drop a class with a "W" on your transcript is Friday, March 6.
F-1 and J-1 regulations require all student to enroll in at least 12 units every Fall, Winter and Spring Quarter at UC San Diego. Students must apply and receive a reduced course load authorization form from ISPO before dropping to less than 12 units.
ARE YOU GRADUATING AT THE END OF THIS TERM?
Congratulations to students expecting to graduate at the end of the Winter 2020 term! As an international student who has successfully completed their program of study, remember that your I-20 or DS-2019 program end date will be  automatically shortened   to the last date of your graduating term. From that date, you have options for a "grace period" to prepare to depart the U.S., apply for work authorization, transfer your SEVIS record to another institution, or update your degree level (if you've been accepted to a higher degree level at UCSD). Learn more about your options after graduation and review the timeline to request updates to your -20 or DS-2019!  
CHECK YOUR PROGRAM END DATE ON YOUR FORM I-20 OR DS-2019
Always be mindful of your current program end date listed on your Form I-20 and DS-2019. If you need more time to complete the academic program, you must apply for an extension in iPortal PRIOR to the end date listed. Failure to extend your I-20 or DS-2019 in a timely manner may cause immigration issues so please act accordingly!

If your I-20 or DS-2019 has already expired, please see an International Student Advisor as soon as possible as immediate action may be required.
Weekly Webinar Series: March 3, 12PM
The iStudents Weekly Webinars is a series of webinars to update and inform F-1 and J-1 students on topics that may impact their visa status while they are in the U.S. Visit iWebinars.ucsd.edu to learn more about the upcoming webinar: OPT Stage 1 Information Session.

Tax Season Resources for International Students
To understand international student/scholar state and federal tax filing obligations for Tax Year 2019, please read the information on our tax resources website at: 

FORM 8843 FOR ALL NONRESIDENT ALIENS FOR TAX PURPOSES: 
All Internationals who are Nonresident Aliens for Tax Purposes and were present in the U.S. for at least one calendar day in 2019 in F or J status must at least file the federal Form 8843. If you only need to file this one form to meet your federal tax filing obligations, see internationaltaxhelp.ucsd.edu for quick instructions. 
 
FEDERAL AND STATE TAX FILING: 
If you had any income from a U.S. source, you are responsible for reviewing tax filing requirements. The workshops below may be helpful to you if you are required to file. Glacier Tax Prep, a tax filing software solution for federal tax filing obligations for Nonresident Aliens for Tax Purposes, will be available on approximately March 15th. Federal and State Tax Workshops are scheduled for the following dates and locations: 
 
RSVP to one of our Tax Workshops!
3/16/20 -  Federal Tax Workshop  
3/19/20 -  State Tax Workshop   
Important:  These workshops are sequential. You will need to have completed your federal tax return in order to begin your state tax return. 
COFFEE HOURS AT ISPO
Join us Tuesday mornings from 9:30-11AM at ISPO Coffee Hours!   
  • Meet ISPO Staff & Other Students!  
  • Enjoy Free Coffee & Tea  
  • Pick up AWESOME ISPO Swag such as bags, SAVR Cups, Stickers, and more!  

Learn more at iprograms.ucsd.edu
INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCIL (IGSAC) MEETING
ISPO and GSA have been working towards reviving an International Graduate Student Advisory Council (IGSAC) which will help effectively identify and advocate for solutions to international graduate student issues at UC San Diego. The council will also be helpful in steering both ISPO and GSA towards creating a thriving international graduate student community on campus.  
Please join us for an opportunity to meet with the representatives of ISPO and some of your peers from other departments. ALL STUDENTS ARE WELCOME!  

Date:  Friday, March 6 2020 
Time:  5:00PM – 6:30PM    
Location:  Large Conference Room, Student Center B (International Students & Programs Office) 
Writing Discussion Groups for ESL/EAL Graduate Students
The Writing Hub has a new pilot program for graduate students who identify as “EAL” (English as an Additional Language) and want to develop their skills in written academic English. Writing Discussion Groups meet once per week (Weeks 4-9) to share their writing and get peer feedback on drafts in progress. Each group is facilitated by a Graduate Writing Consultant from the Writing Hub, and each meeting creates space for two group members to share their writing and get positive, constructive feedback. Groups prioritize clarity and coherence over “correctness.” Together, participants support each other in the writing process while also gaining confidence with academic writing. 

Participation in a Writing Discussion Group does not require any reading or work outside of the regular weekly meeting time. 

To learn more about Writing Discussion groups, please visit The Writing Hub  information page.

To sign up for a group,   fill out the group sign-up form .  

CONTACT ISPO
Visit our website at iStudents.ucsd.edu or send us a message through our Online Contact Form
FOLLOW ISPO ON SOCIAL MEDIA
WHY AM I RECEIVING THIS NEWSLETTER? All international students studying at UC San Diego are automatically subscribed to the iStudents Newsletter to ensure they receive proper immigration updates from our office. The information sent in this Newsletter is available on ISPO's website, iStudents.ucsd.edu, or may direct students to other external resources. You have the right to unsubscribe from receiving updates from our office at anytime. You can do this by emailing istudents@ucsd.edu . Note, all international students at UC San Diego are responsible for staying up to date with immigration regulations that may affect them. To learn more, visit our website at iStudents.ucsd.edu