February Break Announcements, ISSO Holiday Hours, and Tax Information Session Wed. 2/15, 2-4pm
Feb. 14, 2012
1 - Announcements
ISSO Holiday Hours: The ISSO will be open 9am-5pm, Tuesday-Friday of February break (Tues. 2/21-Fri. 2/24) but will be closed on Monday 2/20 for President's Day.
Reminder: If you are traveling outside of the U.S. this semester, double check to make sure you have a valid travel signature (less than 6 months old when you return) on your I-20 or DS-2019. If you need an updated signature, leave at least a day to drop off your I-20/DS-2019 at the ISSO. If you have a DS-2019 and Brandeis is not your sponsor, contact your sponsor for a travel signature (Ford Foundation, Fulbright, etc). For more information, visit the Travel Information section of ISSO's website. Safe travels!
OPT Drop Off Hours
Graduating in May and Planning to Apply for OPT? Apply Beginning February 21st!
Are you finishing your degree in May and planning to apply for OPT? If so, we encourage you to file later this month! OPT applications are typically taking 2 1/2 to 3 months before you get the OPT card. Please see our web site for information on how to apply (http://www.brandeis.edu/acserv/isso/current/employment/opt/index.html). See below for OPT Drop-Off Times and click on the following link for the Check List for OPT Drop-Offs: http://www.brandeis.edu/acserv/isso/current/employment/opt/opt_app_checklist_oct2011.pdf. If you have not attended an employment workshop, we would encourage you to join us for one. See the schedule below for this week's employment workshop.
OPT Drop Off Times
2 – Upcoming ISSO Events: Tax Information Session Wed. 2/15, 2-4pm
Tax Information Session with Windstar Technologies Demonstration: Wed. 2/15, 2-4pm
Alumni Lounge in Usdan
Read ISSO's full tax email here: http://www.brandeis.edu/acserv/isso/news/january2012/taxes.html
Check out ISSO's Tax Information page here: http://www.brandeis.edu/acserv/isso/tax/index.html
Purchasing Windstar Tax Software
Access codes can be requested at the ISSO beginning on Thursday, February 16 in the ISSO after 10:00am OR at the Tax Information Session on Wednesday, February 15 at 2PM in Alumni Lounge of the Usdan Student Center. In order to obtain an access code, you need to come by the ISSO in person to fill out a waiver form and pay $5.00. It would be very helpful if you can bring the exact amount in cash (we are unable to accept personal checks or credit cards). Once you complete the waiver form, within an hour the ISSO will send an email to with your Windstar access code and instructions on logging on to Windstar. This information will also be covered at the Tax Information Session.
What is Windstar?
You can use Windstar if you are on an F-1 or J-1 visa, and have been enrolled as a student in the U.S. for less than five calendar years, or working in J-1 Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar, or Professor categories in the U.S. for no more than two calendar years. The ISSO has purchased 500 licenses with individual access codes for Brandeis international students and scholars to access the software.
How Much Does Windstar Cost?
The cost to you is only $5.00. (Purchasing tax filing software programs on your own can be costly, averaging $35 and up). You can use Windstar if you are a non-resident for tax purposes, but not if you are a resident for tax purposes. This information will also be covered at the Tax Information Session.
3 - ISSO Open Mic
February 2012: What was your first impression of Brandeis/the U.S.?
Submissions due by 2/29/12
Email firstname.lastname@example.org by end of the month with your submissions.
Feel free to include a photo!
In your email, indicate if you would like your submission to be anonymous or not!
Past submissions: http://www.brandeis.edu/acserv/isso/openmic/index.html
4-Workshops: Employment Workshop This Week
Thursday, February 16
CPT (for F-1 Visa holders): 3-3:30PM
OPT (for F-1 Visa holders): 3:30-4:30PM
Academic Training (for J-1 Visa holders): 4:30-5PM
Location: Kutz 215