Office of International Students and Scholars
New OISS Operating Hours Update, March 20, 2020
OISS Operating Hours during COVID-19
OISS will not longer be open to the public starting on Monday, March 23 until further notice. Please understand this precautious measure is for your health and safety, as well as the health and safety of the OISS staff. However, the office will continue to respond to questions and process applications in the same timely fashion.
Advisors will no longer schedule in-person advising appointments or keep regular walk-in advising hours. Instead, we will transition all advising appointments to phone calls or online video calls with Skype. Please call or email the office to schedule an appointment with an advisor. OISS remains committed to fully supporting BC international students and scholars during this challenging time.
You can continue to communicate with us and get applications processed by doing the following:
1) If you have a question you can continue to call us at 617-552-8005 or email us at email@example.com during normal working hours, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. This is not changing.
2) If you are traveling outside the US and need a signature on your I-20 (Signatures on page 2 are valid for one year, except for Canadians which require every six months.) please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have waived the necessity to show updated financial certification at this time. We will no longer be signing I-20s in person for your safety and ours. We will be mailing you a new I-20 for travel. If you are not returning until the fall, these I-20s will not be mailed until May or June. If you are planning to return earlier, and are not part of a current travel ban, please just let us know and we will mail you the I-20 earlier. Please be sure to include your mailing address in your email. Please note that most if not all visa operations at US consulates have been suspended temporarily so you currently can not apply for a new visa if you need one to reenter the US. Note: You may have heard that scanned I-20s are accepted by the government. Since this information has not been confirmed by other agencies such as the Department of State (visa issuance) or Customs and Border Control, we will continue to send originals and will not be scanning I-20s.
3) If you are waiting to receive a completed OPT application which you already submitted, we will now be mailing them to you at the address you provide on the I-765. If you would like to review the checklist with an adviser you can contact us to set up an appointment by phone or skype.
4) If you need to apply for CPT or OPT please just scan your documents and email them to email@example.com. We will continue to process OPT applications as soon as possible as they need to go to the immigration service to be approved. CPT applications for the summer will wait for now, as we can process them very quickly, and it is only March. Your academic adviser can send their approval to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They do not need to sign the form.
5) Please note that the tax deadline has been extended until July 15, 2020 for Federal Taxes. At this time the State filing deadline remains April 15th.
If you want to schedule an appointment with an adviser for any reason, either by phone or by Skype, you can call the front desk or email us.
We want to emphasize that we are still here to fully support you. We will just be doing it a bit differently for the next few weeks. We just feel the necessity to take these actions given the recent guidelines of the President, the CDC, and the Governor of Massachusetts.
6) For questions regarding COVID-19, please click HERE
Please continue to take care of yourself and your fellow students during this challenging time.
The mission of the Office of International Students and Scholars is to work with the larger BC community to help ensure the academic and personal success of international students and scholars, and their families, at Boston College. The OISS provides information, support, and services so that international students and scholars can achieve their goals both in and outside of the classroom. The OISS aims to increase awareness of international student and scholar needs, promote intercultural competency across campus, and advocate for greater support for the international community of Boston College.
The OISS must be knowledgeable and updated on all immigration regulations, policies and procedures pertaining to international students and scholars and communicate them to both the international population, as well as relevant faculty and administrators, in a timely and effective manner. The OISS ensures that Boston College is in compliance with all federal government requirements for this population by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The OISS strongly believes it is the responsibility of the entire institution to adequately support its international community. The OISS therefore collaborates with both academic and student affairs partners throughout the university to provide resources, services, and programs to international students and scholars to help them successfully integrate to the Boston College campus. The OISS also offers opportunities for international students and scholars, and members of the BC community, to engage in meaningful dialogues and interactions which lead to increased cross-cultural curiosity and understanding.
Our professional organization, the National Association of International Educators (NAFSA), believes and OISS affirms that: “International education advances learning and scholarship, fosters understanding and respect among people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, is essential for developing globally competent individuals, and builds leadership for the global community. We believe that international education lies at the core of an interconnected world characterized by peace, security, and well-being for all.”
The mission of the OISS therefore aligns directly with the 2017 Boston College strategic plan, specifically strategic direction IV which states:
“Increase the University’s presence and impact in the City of Boston, the United States, and around the globe.”
By helping to provide a positive and enriching experience for international students and scholars, who then return to their home countries and share these with family, friends, universities, governments, organizations, etc., the OISS is significantly expanding and improving the presence, reputation, and impact of BC around the world.
OISS NEWS & UPDATES
NEW BC OPT FEES
Beginning August 26, 2019, Boston College will charge a $50 fee for POST-Optional Practical Training (OPT) applications and $200 fee for STEM OPT applications. These are in addition to the application fees required by the government. The OISS and BC are committed to providing the best support and advising to our international students and alumni. As OPT immigration procedures, advising and reporting have become increasingly time-consuming and complex, these fees will provide the OISS with the additional resources and staff to assist soon-to-be alumni and alumni with their OPT applications, well beyond their time as enrolled students. Post-completion OPT requires on-going OISS services after graduation such as advising, updating SEVIS records with address and employer information, issuing new I-20s for new employers and H1B cap-gap applications, and signing immigration forms for travel. STEM OPT reporting and advising is more complicated and requires processing an extension application, frequent validation reports to the government, advising students and employers on the required Training Plan, and then reviewing these documents, for up to three years after students have completed their degree. In both of these scenarios, the student is no longer at BC, and therefore not paying any tuition or student activities fees which would otherwise help financially support these continued services by the university. We look forward to continuing to provide you with this high level of assistance as you depart BC and embark on your professional careers. PAY HERE
Please Note: There are NO fees for Pre-Completion OPT or Curricular Practical Training.
ADVISING WALK-IN HOURS
Please read our walk-in hours policy. During walk-in hours you can speak to the on-call advisor on a first come, first serve basis. Appointments with advisors can also be made by calling (617) 552-8005.
Thea Bowman House
(Behind Lyons and Stokes)
72 College Road
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467