May 2010



Office of International Students & Scholars
42 W. Warren
Suite 416, Welcome Center
Detroit, MI 48202

Phone: (313) 577-3422

Fax: (313) 577-2962

www.oiss.wayne.edu

Spring/Summer Office Hours
Effective May 17, 2010
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Health Insurance Contact
Carol Kassab
Phone: (313) 577-3422
Email: ckassab@wayne.edu


Congratulations to All 2010 Graduates!




WSU International Education Success Stories

OISS and the entire WSU community salute two of our international students who were part of the Wayne State LifeCode team in the eighth annual U.S. Imagine Cup finals, a premier student technology competition hosted by Microsoft Corp. Fahima Amin Bhuyan, from Bangladesh, is a graduate student in Computer Science and Kun Wang from China, is a graduate student in Computer Engineering. Fahima and Kun were teammates with two of our domestic students, Stephen Markovitch an undergraduate in Economics and Melissa Hui an undergraduate in Biological Sciences. This team effort demonstrates the importance of having an international campus that creates learning experiences that build greater global awareness. We thank the WSU Office of the Vice President of Research for sharing this information.



OISS Learning Community Update

Congratulations to our first year graduates of OISS' first learning community, "Introduction to the U.S. and Classroom Culture for International Students to Achieve Academic Success."

Our 12 member community comprised of first year students in Fall 2009, ended with a year-end celebration April 16. We have learned from this first year and will continue to enhance the community as we prepare for the incoming Fall 2010 students.





Spring/Summer Office Hours
Effective May 17, 2010


During the spring/summer, OISS will be open Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. There will be no extended hour from 5:00 to 6:00 PM. The walk-in advising hours will remain unchanged.



Change of Address

Remember, your non-immigrant status requires you to report any change in address within ten days to OISS. This helps us keep our records up-to-date and allows us to contact you successfully. You should update your address at BOTH www.oiss.wayne.edu and www.pipeline.wayne.edu.



Departure Form Requirements for Graduates

An F-1 student must fill out an OISS Departure/Completion/Withdrawal form if you have completed a degree program at Wayne State University and will not apply for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT). Please complete the departure form and make an appointment to see an advisor. This form will authorize OISS to complete your program in SEVIS.



Personal Safety

As the weather gets warmer, people tend to be outdoors more often and become more relaxed. Please remember to practice personal safety. Here are some tips:
  • Don't walk alone at night or in isolated areas.
  • Don't leave your properties (laptop computer, purse, books) without you or a friend watching them.
  • Report any suspicious activities to the University Police:
    • On-Campus or within a two-mile radius beyond the university, always call (313) 577-2222, or use the nearest blue light emergency toll-free telephone.
    • Off-campus and outside the two mile radius, call 911.
  • For more safety tips, please visit:
    www.police.wayne.edu/safetytips.html




Did You Drop a Class?

This is a reminder that if you withdrew from your class and/or will receive a "W" grade that will bring you below full time status, you need to make an appointment to see an OISS Advisor or visit OISS during walk-in advising hours. In order for you to be below full time status, you must first complete a Request for Exception to Full Time Enrollment, signed by your academic advisor, with final approval by an OISS Advisor.



Cultural Diversity Council

The Cultural Diversity Council (CDC) is a WSU student organization that plans social activities for international students. This is a great way to make new friends, learn about the campus and Detroit and have fun. This group can be contacted at cdc@wayne.edu

Join the Cultural Diversity Council (CDC) members for sports, music and snacks. The aim of their Sports-Socials is to better join together international students with the rest of the campus, and ease the transition from your home countries to Detroit. The CDC aims to provide an easy going atmosphere with sports, food, and music, that all can participate in, regardless of gender, nationality, athletic ability, or prior knowledge of a particular sport. The CDC is eager to meet you so make sure you contact them.



OISS TRIP Program

Do you want to go shopping and don't have a car? OISS can help! OISS is pleased to announce the Transportation and Recreation for International Participants (TRIP) Program. Each month, OISS provides a 15 passenger van for students or dependent(s) of students to go to a designated location such as the shopping mall, Meijer, or a fresh food market. The van will leave from parking lot #41 (located in front of structure #2) and return to DeRoy apartments. Interested students are required to sign-up on the OISS website in advance to hold their seat. This is a free service.

May's TRIP will be to Wal-Mart and Target on Saturday, May, 8th from 9:00 AM until Noon. Sign-ups are required at events.wayne.edu/oiss/2010/05/08/oiss-trip-23045/. This will be the last TRIP of the semester. TRIP will resume in September, 2010.



OISS Peer Ambassador Program

OISS is retooling our orientation and implementing new programs. As a continuing international student there are many opportunities for you to be involved. We are seeking students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to volunteer as peer ambassadors. Some activities/responsibilities include leading campus tours, assisting in any of the New Student Orientation activities, assisting in the Global Fashion Show and more.

Being a peer ambassador is an excellent opportunity to meet new people, develop your leadership skills, get involved in campus activities, and have valuable experiences to talk about on your resume and during job interviews. If you would like to become a peer ambassador and help assist new international students and/or interested in implementing programs for students, please attend our interest meeting:

Brown Bag Series:
Becoming a Peer Ambassador Interest Meeting
When: May 26, 2010
Where: OISS Conference Room
Time: 12:00pm-1:00pm
Click Here to Sign-up




Important Reminders

  • Purchase Spring Summer Health Insurance www.aetnastudenthealth.com
  • Before you drop a class come talk to an advisor - avoid SEVIS termination.
  • See an OISS advisor prior to traveling outside the U.S. The U.S. immigration regulations change constantly--so, please be prepared before leaving!
  • If you have completed at least one semester with WSU, you are considered a continuing student and are qualified to use the spring/summer term as your "annual vacation," and be enrolled less than full-time without OISS approval, if you plan to return in the fall term.




What You Need to Know about the New DOL Prevailing Wage Process

There are currently over 600 non-immigrant researchers and faculty at WSU conducting cutting edge research, and educating our students. OISS processes all of the paperwork for the scholars to contribute their intellectual capital. There are currently over 300 researchers and faculty in H-1B status. Because of changes in the prevailing wage determination (PWD) process from a 24-48 hour response to a 60 day response from the U.S. Department of Labor. . .





DOL Seeks Nearly $1.9 Million from a Computer Consulting Company for H-1B LCA Violations

The DOL recently cited a New Jersey computer consulting company for alleged violations of the Labor Condition Application (LCA) provisions of the H-1B program. The DOL cited the company more than $1.4 million in back wages due to 163 workers. The DOL also assessed Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs) of $439,000 and debarment from certain nonimmigrant visa and immigrant visa programs for two years.





USCIS Site Visits

As previously mentioned in our monthly OISS Scholar Newsletters, USCIS is conducting random site visits to employers that sponsor H-1Bs. We have had 3 visits from contractors working for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The purpose of these visits is to verify that information in the H-1B petition is correct. The DHS representative meets with OISS and separately with the H-1B WSU employee.





New Scholar Orientation

This is an important reminder that all scholars who are new hires in Wayne State University in H-1B, J-1, TN, O-1, E-3, and H1B1 visa categories are required to attend new scholar orientation held every Monday and Thursday at 2 p.m. in the OISS conference room. It is a requirement that you sign up for New Scholar Orientation at: http://oiss.wayne.edu/departments/orientation.php

Feel free to contact Rebecca Perez at ax9667@WSUOISS.wayne.edu should you have any questions.



OISS Scholar Programs

Are you interested in informative immigration workshops that are tailored to your specific needs or a specific topic that has been pre-determined by OISS? All of the workshops will include new and upcoming regulations that will impact your unit, and documentation needed for processing petition requests. Contact Chamu Gowrishankar at aw7910@wayne.edu or Carol Kassab ckassab@wayne.edu and let us know what information you need from us to help you with your foreign employment needs.



J-1 Intern Category

The Office of International Students and Scholars is pleased to announce that Wayne State University offers a J-1 Intern Program. This exciting program was launched in 2009, and allows departments to host/sponsor an undergraduate or graduate foreign student as an unpaid or paid J-1 Intern for up to 12 months. The internship must fulfill the educational objectives for his or her current degree or certificate program at his or her home institution in their home country. Several departments have taken advantage of this beneficial exchange program that is a pathway for future student enrollment at WSU. Please contact OISS at 313-577-3422 or send us an email at j1intern@wayne.edu if you need additional information.

This is a reminder to departments that sponsor J-1 Interns to use the title "J1 Intern" and not a WSU full-time employment title such as Research Associate or Research Assistant since these categories are used for full time employment purposes. The J-1 Intern category is strictly an internship and not an employment category although it can be a paid internship.



Health Insurance Contact

Please direct all AETNA insurance inquiries to Carol Kassab, at 313-577-3422 or ckassab@wayne.edu.



Important Visa Information

Please be advised that it is recommended that all scholars obtain their visa in their home country. Several non-Canadian scholars have been indefinitely delayed in Canada due to administrative background checks which can take up to several months. This lengthy delay can jeopardize the scholar's employment at WSU. U.S. consulates consider non-Canadians who apply for visas in Canada as "third country nationals." It is always recommended that the foreign national return to their place of citizenship or permanent residency to receive their visa rather than in Canada. Please contact OISS whenever a scholar plans on traveling abroad.



Please mark your calendar for the following 2010 workshops:

Here are some workshop dates for 2010. Please mark your calendar:

  • Ask the Immigration Pro
    Friday, May 28, 2010
    1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
    Open to any immigration, policy or process questions.

  • What You Need to Know About J-1 Processing
    Friday, June 25, 2010
    1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
    Workshop covering J-1 Processing






Important Permanent Residency (PR) Information

Please see the entire article for more information on:
  • Changing from EB-2 to EB-1
  • Sponsoring Permanent Residency (PR) for Faculty and Professors






DOS Releases April 2010 Visa Bulletin - Most Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Categories Continue to Advance

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently released its April 2010 Visa Bulletin. Similar to last month's Visa Bulletin, most employment-based preference categories advanced this month. Prior to last month's Visa Bulletin, there was very little (if any) advancement in the employment-based preference categories for many months.





DOL Commences Backlog Reduction Program in PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) Process

The PERM Process (Program Electronic Review Management System) is the U.S. Department of Labor's program for labor certification applications for the permanent employment of certain foreign workers in the U.S. The PERM process requires petitioning employers to "test the labor market," by conducting various forms of recruitment, to prove that there are no qualified U.S. workers for the position sought to be certified.





ICE Begins New Round of I-9 Audits

ICE recently commenced a third round of Form I-9 Audits as part of its efforts to enforce the country's immigration laws. This is the third major ICE Form I-9 Audit within the past year. In this Audit, ICE issued Notices of Inspection (NOIs) to 180 businesses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee. ICE stated that this is part of its comprehensive strategy to reduce the demand for illegal employment and to protect employment opportunities for the country's lawful workforce. After receiving the NOI, most businesses had three days in which to provide extensive documentation of their compliance with the immigration laws in their hiring practices.



DOS Proposes Increase in Passport Fees

The Department of State has proposed an increase in fees for passport application services:
  • From $100 to $135 for a first-time U.S. passport book for adults (age 16 and over)
  • From $75 to $110 for passport renewal (age 16 and over only)
  • From $85 to $105 for a passport for minors (under age 16)
The fee for expedited service will remain $60.

Over the last five years, the Department noted, demand for passports has increased to an average of 15 million per year. In fiscal year (FY) 2005, the Department issued 10.1 million passports; issuances peaked at 18.4 million in FY 2007.

The U.S. Passport Book and U.S. Passport Card for adults are valid for 10 years. Passports for minors under age 16 are valid for five years.

The proposed rule is available at
edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-2816.pdf.



F-1 Doctoral Students with GRA/GTA/GSA

This is a reminder for departments that if an F-1 student who is in their last semester and will be defending before the end of the semester and has not applied for post-completion OPT (Optional Practical Training) with a start date prior to the end of the last semester can continue with the assistantship until the end of the semester. But if the student has applied for post-completion OPT with a start date prior to the end of the last semester in which the student is defending cannot continue with the assistantship beyond the program end date provided by the student and department on the OPT Request Form. We recommend that the academic advisor or chair review the program completion date on the OPT recommendation form before approving the recommendation.



Online Non-Immigrant Visa Application DS-160

International Students and Scholars, if you are going to apply for a U.S. non-immigrant visa in the coming weeks, you will be filling out Form DS-160, the online non-immigrant visa application. This new electronic form became mandatory at all U.S. consulates, and applicants could see technical slowdowns and other problems as more people try to access the form around the deadline.





Question of the Month

QUESTION

I am planning to travel outside of the US for summer vacation. What documents will I need to reenter?

ANSWER
  1. Foreign passport, valid 6 months into the future.
  2. Valid I-20 with a travel signature less than a year old on the third page.
  3. Valid US visa.
  4. Current bank statement (verifying the amount on your I-20).
  5. A copy of your unofficial transcripts.