We are very pleased to welcome our newest OIS Team Member! Dominique Fair joined the OIS as an Administrative Coordinator – filling a critical operations role. In this position she will be the first point of contact for all visitors to the OIS. Dominique comes to the OIS from the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she served as a Clinical Customer Service Representative for more than a year. Dominique holds a Bachelor’s from Bridgewater College, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Health Administration.
Below is consolidated information regarding how various U.S. government agencies and applications may or may not be affected by the shutdown of the government.
Immigration and Visa Services. Most of these services are fee funded and thus are fully operational. Visa application processing is continuing worldwide. All USCIS service centers, which adjudicate applications, are operating as are all border inspection points. Notable exceptions to immigration and visa processing follow.
H-1B Applications. The Department of Labor Office of Foreign Labor Certification is not operating, and thus Labor Condition Applications (LCA) which are required for new and continuing H-1B application are not being processed. If the LCA was approved before the government shutdown, USCIS will accept the application for adjudication.
Permanent Resident Applications. Applications which require PERM processing are impacted by the shutdown as the Department of Labor is not accepting such applications. Applications which do not require PERM processing are unaffected at this time.
NAFTA Treaty (TN) Applications. Applications for NAFTA (TN) status are not being processed at Canadian ports of entry.
SEVIS. The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System is operating as normal.
Social Security Number Applications. No applications for new SSNs or replacement cards are being accepted.
Various other USCIS Applications. Currently, student applications for Optional Practical Training, J-2 work permission, and applications for a change of immigration status are being adjudicated.
The professional association NAFSA: Association of International Educators, has basic information on the impact of the government shutdown and links to specific agency information at: http://nafsa.org/Find_Resources/Supporting_International_Students_And_Scholars/ISS_Issues/Government_Shutdown_Status_2013/.
The Office of International Services is, when possible, notifying individuals and departments who may be impacted by agency shutdowns.
Please remember that the status of government agencies is subject to change and that this information, while the best available when published, may not be accurate. Contact the Office of International Services at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about your specific situation.
We’ve been made aware of a recent scam targeting international students and scholars. The caller claims to be from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security. The caller tells the student that the USCIS has caught an error in the student’s immigration record. The caller has a lot of information about the student, including name, date of birth, address, etc. and sometimes even the last digits of the I-94 number. The student is often told that he/she has to leave the U.S. immediately because a criminal case is pending again him/her. However, the caller says that he can help the student solve the issue if the student sends money quickly via a wiring service. There have been reports that at least one student panicked and sent over $1,600 to the scam artist.
We want to warn students and scholars about this specific scam, but also remind you that there are other scams that we see regularly. Particularly at tax time, students receive calls and email messages from someone claiming to be an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax agent asking for confirmation of birthdates and Social Security Numbers. IRS will never call for such information. Some of these scammers are sophisticated enough that a telephone caller ID will falsely indicate that the call or email is from the federal agency.
If you receive a call from a government agency that asks for private information or that threatens you with legal action, you should assume it is a scam. Ask for a name and telephone number to call back—and if you are not given this information take this as a warning. Do not allow the caller to intimidate or threaten you—a legitimate government agency will not do this. And under no circumstances send money or give out personal information such as your Social Security Number, birthdate, or immigration details.
If you have been a victim of this telephone scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/, or report it to an appropriate state authority. (Visit www.uscis.gov/avoidscams for information on where to report scams in your state.)
Please help us by reporting any scam phone calls or emails, even if you did not provide information to the person who contacted you.
Attention new JHMI* students: Please join us for a Welcome Reception on Thursday, September 5.
No RSVP needed.
*JHMI includes the School of Medicine, School of Public Health and School of Nursing.
The Office of International Services (OIS) will be closed Thursday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day. On Friday, July 5 the OIS will be closed to the public as usual. Please plan accordingly if you need to contact an advisor.
Walk-in Advising hours for F-1 students and J-1 students and scholars will be Monday and Wednesday from 1-4 pm.