For older alerts and deadlines, please see our Deadlines and Alerts Archive.
AUGUST 31, 2018
NEW PREMIUM PROCESSING FEE EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2018
In a final rule published on August 31, 2018 without the opportunity to comment, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is increasing the Form I-907 Premium processing fee charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The adjustment increases the fee from $1,225 to $1,410, effective October 1, 2018. Applications postmarked on or after that date must include the new fee. Please keep in mind that premium processing fee is optional.
Premium processing allows filers to request 15-day processing of certain employment-based immigration benefit requests if they pay an extra amount. The fee is paid in addition to the base filing fee and any other applicable fees. Premium processing is currently authorized for certain petitioners filing a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker on Form I–129 or an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I–140 ) seeking certain employment-based classifications.
At Rutgers University, the fee increase will affect the following employment-based classifications - H-1B, O-1 and permanent residence/green card. Applications that are currently pending with USCIS are eligible for an upgrade to premium processing at the current fee of $1225 until September 30, 2018. Please contact us if your department wishes to upgrade a pending petition. In that case, our office must receive the check at least five (5) business days prior to October 1 in order to give us enough time to process the request and mail it to USCIS in a timely manner. Please also notify us immediately if your department wishes to utilize premium-processing fee for a new petition – Ruimin Zhang (email@example.com) for H-1B petitions and Asenath Dande (firstname.lastname@example.org) for other petitions.
AUGUST 15, 2018
NEW INSURANCE RATES FOR INTERNATIONAL SCHOLAR PROGRAM
We have just been given new information for the insurance program that many host departments purchase to meet federal and university J-1 insurance requirements. The coverage will continue to be provided by United Healthcare. Effective August 15, 2018, the rates for J-1 scholars and their J-2 dependents will be changing. The updated policy details will be available shortly through the University Health Plans website.
Please be advised that the rates for the University's monthly international scholar insurance plan will be changing effective 8/15/2018
Existing Rate New Rate Effective 8/15/2018
J-1 Visitor $5.75 per day plus $6.00 per day
Health Services $1.86 per weekday (Health Services Fee) $1.87 per weekday
J-2 Spouse $5.75 per day $6.00 per day
J-2 Child $5.75 per day $6.00 per day
2 or more children $11.50 per day $12.00 per day
Spouse plus 2 or more children $17.25 per day $18.00 per day
*Please also note that in addition to the daily $6.00 insurance premium, J-1 scholars will also be assessed a $1.87 Health Services Fee that allows access to the health centers on campus. This fee will be assessed for any weekday covered by a DS-2019 request but will exclude weekends and Rutgers holidays. Please note this fee will not be assessed for J-2 dependents. In previous years this fee was included with the total health insurance premium due calculation but effective 8/15/2018 this fee will now be charged separately and will need to credit Health Services directly. The online DS2019 request system will be updated shortly with the new rates and GL strings to credit.
Effective immediately, any new DS-2019 requests received by our Center will be required to include payment based on these new rates for periods covering 8/15/2018 and beyond in cases where the University's monthly plan is being purchased. Departments that have already submitted DS-2019 requests to us, or that are currently hosting J-1 visitors who are already enrolled in the plan purchased through our Center, will need to inform their visitors of the new rates for continuing on the monthly plan beyond 8/15/2018.
Should visitors choose to find alternate coverage that meets the University’s insurance requirements they will need to provide documentation of that alternate coverage through the end of their current DS-2019. The current list of the University’s minimum insurance coverage requirements can be found on our website here.
**If any scholars in your department chooses to pursue alternate coverage instead of remaining on the University plan, they must provide documentation of their alternate coverage by Friday, August 17th.
**Otherwise please provide a list of all scholars in your department who wish to remain on the visiting scholar coverage by Friday, August 24th. We will then evaluate for any difference in premiums or refund that may be due back to you.
AUGUST 15, 2018
TO ALL NEW STUDENTS: Welcome to Rutgers! We look forward to meeting you during the 2018 International Student Orientation program beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, August 27, 2018, at the Rutgers College Avenue Gym. To get to the College Avenue Gym on Monday, August 27, 2018, take the A/EE/F/H/LX bus to the College Avenue Student Office and walk next door to the gym—you'll see many of your fellow students outside, so you can't miss it!
Please be advised of the following resources to help you get started:
Schedule for the International Student Orientation week
- Undergraduate Student Orientation Schedule
- Graduate Student Orientation Schedule
- RBHS Student Orientation Schedule
TO ALL CONTINUING STUDENTS: The ISSS staff has a special request for you. During the week of Aug 27 to August 31, our office will be busy welcoming and assisting 1,500 new international students to Rutgers. If it is possible for you to save any business you need to do with us until AFTER orientation, we would appreciate it very much. We hope to be able to give most of our attention to new students all week and will resume our regular operations from Tuesday, September 4.
We will do our best to reply to emails within 48 hours, but please be patient while waiting for a response. In order to accommodate our new students, international student advisers will not have walk-in hours during this time. If you have an emergency, we will always be ready to help! In case you do need urgent assistance, the easiest way to reach us will be to email the ISSS at email@example.com and mark “URGENT” in the subject line. Someone from our office will respond to you as soon as possible. Please also note that all university units will be closed on Monday, September 3, 2018, in observance of Labor Day.
CHANGES IN STUDENT SERVICES – NEW WALK-IN HOURS, ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION OF FORMS AND STAFF CHANGES
We have made several changes to our advising services in an effort to provide you with more efficient and effective assistance on immigration, personal, social, and cultural matters. We have an expert staff available to answer any questions, and/or to connect you with appropriate resources around the community. Some of the highlights of the changes this year include:
- New Walk-In Hours for Advising and Travel Signatures: Walk-in hours will be from 10:00am to 4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. We are closed on Wednesday. Find out more details about walk-in hours and our other advising services here.
Some student groups have specific advisers and their walk-in hours remain the same as before.
- Electronic Submission of ALL Applications to ISSS via the RGlobal Portal: The RGlobal Student Services online portal enables international students to complete the essential steps to maintain their legal status, request work authorizations, signatures, and more. All ISSS student services forms can be completed or uploaded through the RGlobal portal. You are strongly encouraged to start using the portal to submit all forms immediately, however, in case you have submitted or are in the process of submitting a paper/email form/application to our office, we will continue to accept them until Friday, August 31. From September 4, we will only accept forms through the portal. Please follow detailed instructions on our website for the new process to submit requests and applications to ISSS.
- Staff Changes: We are sad to announce that Martha Baillargeon (international student adviser) will be leaving Rutgers to pursue a new opportunity. Martha has been an excellent student adviser and will be greatly missed. We wish her the very best!
Two of our very capable international student coordinators – Erica Sewell and Melaina Fraboni have been promoted to international student adviser positions and have already been advising students in this role for a few months now. We are also pleased to announce the joining of Audrey Nguyen and Jacqueline Huang as our international student coordinators.
IMPORTANT DEADLINES AND REMINDERS
STUDENTS WITH A TA/GA APPOINTMENT
Students with full TA/GA appointments who are enrolled in benefits through University Human Resources no longer need to contact our office to request a waiver of the student health insurance premium. You need to submit your enrollment paperwork only through Human Resources and do not need to submit waiver documentation to our office. Once Human Resources processes your insurance enrollment paperwork we will receive your coverage information and we will process your waiver.
ALL OTHER F-1 AND J-1 STUDENTS MUST EITHER ENROLL OR WAIVE:
STEPS TO COMPLETE HEALTH INSURANCE ENROLLMENT - DEADLINE IS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2018:
- Register for classes. Wait three business days after registering for classes to complete the enrollment form at universityhealthplans.com
- Change your International address to a U.S. mailing address; visit my.rutgers.edu/portal. You may do this once you are registered for classes. You do not need to wait.
- Add your email address; visit my.rutgers.edu/portal. You may do this once you are registered. You do not need to wait
- Three days after registering for classes, go to universityhealthplans.com to complete the enrollment form. You will receive a confirmation number on the screen and to your Rutgers email, once you have successfully submitted the enrollment form
- Wait four days after receiving your enrollment confirmation number, go to University Health Plans, Inc. On the left navigation bar, select “Log into my account." You may then create an account, log in, and print your card
STEPS TO WAIVE THE STUDENT HEALTH INSURANCE FOR STUDENTS IN F-1 or J-1 VISA STATUS - DEADLINE IS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2018
F-1 and J-1 students on a Rutgers sponsorship who have insurance coverage other than the student insurance plan that is charged on their term bills need to request a waiver of that insurance premium by following the following exemption request process outlined below. Please note that students cannot waive the student insurance plan through the United Healthcare website; it must be done through the Rutgers Global – International Student and Scholar Services. The deadline for submitting the waiver is Friday, September 14th, 2018.
Please complete the following steps to request the waiver:
- Review supporting documents you will need to provide or address in order to complete the exemption, all supporting documents must confirm that your coverage meets every one of the University’s health insurance requirements. Please note that the list of coverage requirements has been revised for the 2018-2019 academic year, please be sure that your policy meets each of those current requirements before submitting your request.
- Apply for the insurance exemption by completing the form available through our new RGlobal Student Services Portal on the ISSS website.
- Submit the form and any supporting documents to the ISSS by Friday, September 14, 2018, to opt out of the university’s student insurance plan and have the premium removed from the term.
**Important Note for Students on Another Visa Sponsorship who are registered for a full time course load and hold coverage other than the student insurance plan will need to waive their student insurance premium by following the online waiver instructions.
The Reduced Credit/Course Load Form is now online and can be accessed through the RGlobal student services portal.
To maintain legal status, all F-1 and J-1 students must “pursue a full course of study" at all times. This means being registered for a full credit load (12 credits for undergraduates and 9 credits for graduate students). There are cases, however, in which regulations consider a student to be pursuing a full course of study even though he or she NOT actually registered for a full credit load. For example, undergraduates who only need 1 or 2 classes to complete their program, or graduate students who have completed all coursework but are still conducting thesis or dissertation research might be considered to be pursuing a full course of study even though not registered for 9 credits.
IF YOU WILL BE REGISTERED FOR LESS THAN A FULL-TIME CREDIT LOAD IN FALL 2018, you MUST submit a "Reduced Credit/Course Load" form to our office. You need approval from our office for less than full-time enrollment in any semester. The form can be completed using the RGlobal Student Services Portal. The deadline for submitting the form is Friday, September 28, 2018.
Bear in mind that it takes a few days to process the form after receipt and we cannot guarantee timely processing of forms received after the deadline. This could mean loss of legal status and you will need to leave the country or apply for a re-instatement process with the government.
REMEMBER…the “Reduced Credit/Course Load” form can be submitted at any time before the deadline, even before the semester starts.
The International Friendship Program (IFP) has a great line-up of programs and events planned for you this semester. Sign up for IFP at http://go.rutgers.edu/p7jzd9ul
IFP Fall Welcome(Back) Party and Speed Friending Event
Thursday, September 13, 2018 | 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM | Busch Student Office Multipurpose Room
Follow us on Facebook. Come to our Fall Welcome (Back) Party and Speed Friending Event hosted by IFP, Rutgers Global – Study Abroad, and International Students Association (ISA). This will be a great opportunity for both IFP members and study abroad students to get involved through a fast-paced speed friending activity. We encourage your participation to represent IFP and to introduce our program to the new members. It would be a fun way to share cultural experiences and meet people from around the world! Please RSVP on our Facebook events page.
Conversation Partners Program “Match” Party
Friday, October 5th 2018 | 5:00 - 6:30 pm | College Avenue Student Office, Red Lion Cafe
Want to practice a foreign language? Ready to become more engaged with RU international community and make new friends?
Sign up to be “matched” with a conversation partner at: http://go.rutgers.edu/u760ogdu