During the year, the International Student and Scholar Services Office (ISSS) sends out periodic emails to all international students at Rutgers - New Brunswick and RBHS. All international students in F-1 and J-1 status are signed up for our emails. There is no need to sign up again. If you work for Rutgers and want to be added to our email list so that you can stay aware of issues affecting international students, email email@example.com.
For older alerts and deadlines, please see our Deadlines and Alerts Archive.
MAY 6, 2019
- F-1 AND J-1 STUDENTS: OBTAIN A TRAVEL VALIDATION SIGNATURE ON AN I-20 OR DS-2019 BEFORE INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
- RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TRAVEL
If you are planning to travel internationally during the upcoming summer break, please exercise caution and follow the travel recommendations provided below. F-1 and J-1 students and scholars (and their F-2 and J-2 dependents) should not make trips abroad without first obtaining a travel signature on their I-20 or DS-2019 form. The signature is valid for 12 months and confirms that the I-20 or DS-2019 owner is in valid legal status and eligible to return to the United States to resume their programs.
STEP 1 – Make sure you need a new travel signature
Check your I-20 or DS-2019 to see when it was last signed for travel. If you have received a travel signature within 12 months of your expected travel and anticipated return to the United States, you do not need one at this time. For more details, visit the Travel Signature Request Procedure page on our website.
STEP 2 – Complete the Travel Signature Request Form on the RGlobal Portal
STEP 3 – Follow email instructions for getting the travel signature; pick-up or delivery of your I-20/DS-2019. You will be issued a new I-20/DS-2019 with a travel signature.
Your document will be ready within 5 business days. Be sure to keep all your previous I-20s/DS-2019s safely.
Please note: Travel signatures will not be provided on a walk-in basis. You must complete the process described above to get one. Make sure you plan to request the signature at least a week before your scheduled travel date to make sure you have it in time.
We would like to advise all our students to be careful and alert during any travel – domestic and international, and be prepared to face extra scrutiny at visa issuing posts and at ports of entry. As always, follow all rules and regulations to maintain your legal status in the US. Visit our Travel and Visa Information page for information and detailed recommendations for travel.
Traveling outside the US
When traveling outside the United States, F-1 and J-1 visa holders must have in their possession the following documentation to ensure their ability to re-enter the U.S. and resume their activities:
- Passport valid at least six months beyond re-entry date
- Valid U.S. visa in the appropriate classification, e.g., F-1, J-1
- Valid immigration document for the status being sought: I-20 or DS-2019 with travel signature from Rutgers Global - ISSS. The travel signature is valid for 12 months.
If you are on Rutgers’ visa sponsorship and you need an extension of your I-20 or DS-2019, please follow instructions on our website for an Extension of Program.
While not specifically required by regulations, the following additional documents are strongly recommended when traveling abroad. These documents provide information about your legal status, academic and immigration history in the U.S. They need not be presented unless asked.
- Your complete unofficial transcript and Enrollment Verification to prove good academic standing
- Current proof of funding
- All previously-issued I-20 or DS-2019 forms
- If needing to apply for a new F-1 or J-1 visa before returning to the U.S., a recently-updated I-20 or DS-2019 issued to you within the 6 months prior to your application for a new visa
- If your field of study or research is technology or science-related, we recommend you get a letter (on letterhead) from your supervisor, department chair, center director or graduate program director. The letter should explain as much about your program of study and research in simple terms.
Useful travel resources for international students:
- Study in the States, What to Expect when Entering the United States
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Know Before You Visit
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Travel Guidance
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Entering the U.S. - Documents required for Foreign Nationals (International Travelers)
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - I-94 Related Information
- NAFSA’s (Association of International Educators) 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Student Visa
Good luck on finals, and congratulations to all May graduates!
We know the end of the semester can be stressful for many. In addition to a good study strategy and self-care routine, we encourage students to take advantage of many programs and resources on-campus in the next few weeks. Take a break to de-stress, meet with friends, or drop-in for an informal chat with a counselor during a Let’s Talk session.
MAY 22, 2019
PLEASE NOTE OUR ALTERED OFFICE HOURS FOR THE NEXT 11 WEEKS – EFFECTIVE TUESDAY, MAY 28 TO FRIDAY, AUGUST 9
This will not impact any of our services or processing times.
We advise you to note the new hours and plan your business with ISSS accordingly.
We will resume our regular schedule from Monday, August 12. Always check our website for the most updated schedule of Advising Services at ISSS
Monday through Thursday, 8:30am – 5:00pm (EST)
CLOSED ON FRIDAYS
ISSS – New Brunswick - Monday through Thursday, 12:00pm – 4:00pm
ISSS – RBHS, Newark – Monday - 10:00am – 1:00pm; Thursday, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Insurance Coordinator – Thursday, 10:00am – 11:00am
Sponsored Students – Monday, 11:00am – 12:00pm; Thursday, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Short-Term Non-Degree Students – Tuesday, 11:00am – 12:00pm; Thursday, 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Friday - No Advising
UPCOMING OFFICE CLOSURES
Monday, May 27, 2019 – Memorial Day
Thursday, July 4 – Independence Day
WISHING YOU ALL A SAFE AND HAPPY SUMMER!! Safe travels to those traveling. Please remember to get a travel signature if you are traveling internationally and haven’t already got your I-20 endorsed by an international student adviser.
MARCH 11, 2019
BEWARE OF SCAMS
While you are at Rutgers, please use the available resources and take steps to protect yourself from scams targeting international students. Unfortunately, there has been an increase in the number of scams targeting unsuspecting international students in recent times. These scams can be very sophisticated, some-times with an apparently government phone number appearing on your caller ID, or the caller knowing a lot of your personal information. As you pursue your program of study in the U.S. and also search for valuable employment/internship opportunities, please be aware that these fraudulent activities exist and that you need to protect yourself from them. Exercise caution in your activities – such as paying your term bill, accepting any offer of employment, making payments over the phone, sharing your personal information, etc.
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:
- Call by phone from an individual claiming they are from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or local police department, indicating that the student did not pay all required taxes and had to pay right away or be deported (usually they ask the student to pay by gift cards – a good sign that it is a scam). Also, the IRS will not contact about tax issues by phone (and local police will never contact about tax issues).
- Call from an individual claiming to be from the Social Security Administration, and that due to suspicious activity their Social Security Number would be blocked and that they needed to provide some personal information over the phone.
- Scams targeting Chinese students, where the caller speaks in Mandarin and claims problems with the student’s visa and attempts to convince the student to wire money and give personal information.
- In many cases, the caller ID has been able to show a number that appears to be legitimate (Social Security Administration, Police Department). It is very easy to edit caller ID to say one thing and the actual number calling is actually not those offices.
- Amazon recently was the subject of a scam where an email indicates an “issue” with a recent order, and clicking on a link in the email takes individuals to a webpage that looks almost identical to the Amazon webpage. Individuals are advised not to click on emails but rather go directly to login to the official Amazon page and check on orders in that manner. Amazon also has a page on its website about how to identify legitimate contacts from Amazon via email.
Tips to Avoid Scams
- If the caller sounds suspicious - Hang up
- Don’t wire/pay any money on the phone. No government agency will ever call someone to ask for any form of payment over the phone
- Do not meet up with the person
- Do not share any personal or financial information
- If you feel unsafe, call the Rutgers University Police Department at 732-932-7211
- Monitor/Change information–bank account, credit card, online accounts, passwords, etc. depending on the nature of the call
- You can file a complaint about a scam to the Federal Trade Commission, Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line, and/or USCIS
- If you receive anything by mail that you are not sure of, bring it to Rutgers Global - ISSS and meet with an advisor
- If upset/anxious/need to talk to someone, walk-in to meet with a counselor during our Let’s Talk hours or contact Counseling, ADAP, and Psychological Services (CAPS)
- Always feel free to contact the Rutgers Global - ISSS at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to an International Student Adviser through our advising services
- Federal Trade Commission Information on Phone Scams
- Common Immigrant Scams
- File a Complaint Regarding a Scam
- Internal Revenue Service on Tax Scams / Consumer Alerts
- Study in the States: Tips to Avoid Scams
MESSAGE FROM THE OFFICE OF STUDENT LEGAL SERVICES
Beware of scams and consumer fraud. We have become aware of a large student involvement with auto dealers who are claiming to sell cars to our international students but fail to deliver title, registration or insurance in our students’ names. The cases may involve legal issues which could include failure to pay sales tax; no contract to prove ownership; possible theft of identity; driving while uninsured; driving without registration; and, insurance fraud. It is very important for our international students to deal only with reputable and licensed auto dealers. Do not sign a contract for purchase without having it reviewed by an attorney. Do not accept delivery of a vehicle without title and registration in your name. We recommend that you do not purchase or lease a car from an out-of-state dealer, which makes it more difficult to defend your rights. If you believe that you already have issues as a result of a car purchase or lease, see us right away.
We are happy to assist at the Office of Student Legal Services. Please contact us before buying or leasing a car in New Jersey. It is important that you also understand insurance protection when purchasing a policy. All consultations are free and strictly confidential.
- Beware of signing a lease, or any contract renting property, without first having that lease or contract reviewed. Please note that although a rental agreement can be oral, we strongly urge that any lease or rental agreement you sign be in writing. Any lease or rental agreement in New Jersey is a binding contract, however, a written lease affords you more protections. Landlords sometimes take advantage of our students, particularly our international students, who do not understand or have familiarity with landlord/tenant law, or contract law here in New Jersey. As a tenant you have many rights, however, you also have important obligations with regards to renting property you need to be aware of.
3. We recommend that all students purchase renter’s insurance. It is inexpensive and provides important coverage for you and your property. We cannot emphasize enough how important we think it is to purchase renter’s insurance.
4. Please familiarize yourself with the motor vehicle traffic laws in NJ if you are going to get a driver’s license. If you are involved in an accident, always call the police. Do not accept money or promises from other drivers involved, that they will pay your damages if you don’t call the police. It is imperative that you do not leave the scene of an accident and always get a police report regardless of fault. If you get a traffic summons, come to our office before your court date as there may be serious consequences to your driving record if you go to court without first obtaining legal advice. There also may be other less severe options available to you that you would not know without legal counsel.
Again, we are happy to assist at the Office of Student Legal Services. Please contact us with any legal question or problem you may have. All consultations are free and strictly confidential. To make an appointment, contact: Attorneys Donald C. Heilman and Tina Martins Cruz, or Administrative Assistant Lynn Mendez at Phone: 848-932-4529,. Email: email@example.com
Need to make an international payment? It’s fast, simple and easy. Simply go to https://paymybill.rutgers.edu to log into your student account with your NetID and password.
Select the semester for which you are making payment from the drop down bar, then select Pay by e-Check. Select the “If you want to make a payment using a foreign (non-US) bank account” option and follow the instructions to complete payment via FlyWire, our authorized vendor.
Please be aware that this is the only method authorized by Rutgers to facilitate international payments. For safety and security reasons, students should NOT attempt to make international payments through other third party vendors or via direct wire transfers to the University.
***Please note that if you are not enrolled for the semester, or do not have a balance due, your funds will be returned to their point of origin.
For more information and step-by-step instructions, please visit https://studentabc.rutgers.edu/international-payments
FEBRUARY 5, 2019
FREE TAX SOFTWARE NOW AVAILABLE
THE GLACIER TAX PREP SOFTWARE IS NOW AVAILABLE ON THE RUTGERS GLOBAL - INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND SCHOLAR SERVICES (ISSS) WEBSITE AT: https://global.rutgers.edu/glacier-tax-prep
If you were present in the U.S. at any time in the previous calendar year (2018), in F-1 or J-1 status you must file Form 8843 on or before April 15, even if you had no earned income. Form 8843 is not an income tax return. It is an informational statement for certain non-resident aliens (including spouses and dependents of non-resident aliens). For those international students and scholars who have earned income in the United States, Rutgers Global - International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is pleased to offer again this year FREE access to GLACIER Tax Prep -- a comprehensive nonresident tax software program.
If you a “nonresident” for U.S federal tax purposes, all you will need to do is answer the software’s questions, and the software will then complete your U.S. federal tax returns for you. You must then print the forms out and mail them to the address provided by the program—the program does NOT mail or e-mail the forms on your behalf. (Please also note that GLACIER Tax Prep does NOT prepare New Jersey state income tax forms for you—only U.S. federal income tax forms. Please read our website information on taxes at the URL provided below to learn more about New Jersey tax forms.)
STEP 1: READ OUR WEBSITE TAX INFORMATION AT https://global.rutgers.edu/taxes TO DETERMINE IF YOU ARE A “NON-RESIDENT” OR “RESIDENT” FOR FEDERAL TAX PURPOSES, AS THESE TERMS ARE NOT THE SAME AS “NONIMMIGRANT” AND “IMMIGRANT” FOR VISA PURPOSES. It is possible to be a nonimmigrant for visa purposes but a resident for tax purposes!
If you determine that you are a “RESIDENT” for federal tax purposes, PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE THE GLACIER TAX PREP PROGRAM, as we have been allocated access for limited number of users. Anyone who accesses the program but is a non-resident for tax purposes wastes one of our allocated accesses. The GLACIER Tax Prep program does NOT prepare taxes for “resident” taxpayers. “Residents” for federal tax purposes may wish to purchase a commercial tax software program such as “TurboTax” (turbotax.com) or you may wish to access other commercial products (some free, some low-cost) listed online at http://www.irs.gov/
STEP 2: If you determine that you are a “NONRESIDENT” for federal tax purposes, you may use the GLACIER Tax Prep system by following instructions via the Glacier Tax Prep link on our website. If you have any questions while in the Glacier Tax Prep program itself, contact the GLACIER TAX PREP help support directly. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. ISSS staff are not qualified nor certified to provide individualized tax advice.
Important Note for Students in Either of the Following Situations:
- You have a FELLOWSHIP FROM RUTGERS or
- You filed a TAX TREATY CLAIM form with Rutgers' Payroll Office
IF EITHER OR BOTH OF THE ABOVE APPLY TO YOU, YOU MUST WAIT TO RECEIVE YOUR FORM "1042S" FROM PAYROLL BEFORE YOU CAN COMPLETE YOUR TAX RETURN. The payroll office legally has until March to send out 1042S forms, but Rutgers' Payroll Office usually sends them out in mid-to-late February.
See our FAQs for more, or visit one of the following sites: