Welcome to the Fall 2021 Semester!

Welcome back to all of our returning international students and welcome to all of our new international students, joining us for fall 2021! We hope that you are as excited as we are to have you as part of our Global Spartan family. You represent over 100 countries from around the world and you continue to broaden our perspectives as a campus. You are such a valued member of our campus community and all of us in International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) are here to support you and to help you succeed. Continue Reading…

ISSS End of the Year Message

Dear International Students,

Congratulations on reaching the end of an extraordinary academic year. There have been many challenges this past year. However, you have all risen to the occasion and responded with determination. All of us in ISSS are so proud of each and every one of you. Your tenacity and commitment are admirable. Your continued resilience is noteworthy. We are so proud of you, our Global Spartans.

With the end of the academic year in sight, I do want to reflect and highlight some of the positives this past semester. ISSS has been able to award our international students with multiple scholarships (Global Spartan scholarship, Louie Barozzi scholarship) this past spring and for the new academic year. Three of our students were awarded the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Emergency Student Fund. We have highlighted some of these students and will highlight others in future blogs. We continue to find ways to support you through our virtual advising, workshops and co-curricular programming. Our Global Leaders and peer mentors continue to provide peer to peer support. The ISSS team members are constantly looking at ways to engage you and to ensure your success.

Some of you may plan to travel over the summer, while others will stay here. At this time, ISSS would recommend that you refrain from traveling abroad, if possible. If you do travel abroad, please make sure to review this information carefully. We also recommend reviewing the information on this page and to consult with ISSS by emailing us at international-office@sjsu.edu if you have any questions.

Please also keep in mind that for fall 2021, as currently matriculated students in F-1 status, you may enroll in all online classes from abroad or here in the U.S. and continue to maintain your F-1 status. You can read more by going here. In addition, we will message you in the summer, as we learn more about CSU vaccination requirements. We are awaiting further guidance from the Chancellor’s Office. The ISSS team will start a gradual return to campus this fall, with a few team members on campus daily. We will share more information, as our plans solidify. 

As you enter the final stretch of this semester-long marathon, stay strong and focused. We know you will not only make it to the finish line but you will do so with much success. We hope that you take time to pause, reflect and rejuvenate over the summer months. Please know that all of us will be available to you over the summer and beyond. We look forward to reconnecting with some of you in person in the fall.

Warm regards,

Parinaz Zartoshty, Director of ISSS

Free Access to Sprintax Tax Preparation!

Dear International Students,

It’s important to be aware that, as a non-resident student in the US, you’re legally required to file a tax return if you received US income during 2020.  And even if you didn’t work or receive income in the US, you’re still obliged to file a Form 8843 with the IRS.

San Jose State University has arranged free access to Sprintax Tax Preparation for you! Sprintax will guide you through the tax preparation process, arrange the necessary documents and check if you’re due a tax refund.

Sprintax was used by over 324,116 international students and scholars last year, and the average Federal refund received by eligible students was over $1,126.

All you need to do is:

1. Register and follow the simple instructions
2. Complete the online questionnaire
3. Enter your unique code: SpR20SJSU601F in the box on the ‘Review your order’ page
4. Sprintax will prepare your tax return

Finally, once you complete the preparation process in the Sprintax software, you must print, sign and mail your documents to the IRS.

If you have any questions, the Sprintax team will be happy to help via their 24/7 live chat facility. You can also join a Sprintax webinar for SJSU students on March 3, 2021 from 1:00-2:00 pm (PT).



USCIS Receipt Notice Delays

USCIS recently announced that it will take approximately 6 to 8 weeks for applicants to receive a filing receipt for their I-765 OPT Applications. This delay began in November 2020, which subsequently affected thousands of international students who have since applied for Post-Completion OPT or STEM-Extension OPT. 

You are asked to please be patient while USCIS continues to clear its substantial backlog.  After 60 days, you may contact USCIS for assistance if you still have not received a filing receipt (I-797). The OPT Application Form I-765 is your personal application for employment and only you can speak with a USCIS Representative regarding any topics pertaining to your I-765.  For more information about the USCIS receipt notice delay, please go here: https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-lockbox-updates.

For specific information as to how the receipt notification delays may affect the automatic 180-day extensions for requested STEM-Extension OPT (I-765) applications, please schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor



ISSS Staff

ISSS Immigration Reminders for the Spring 2021 Term

Welcome to the spring 2021 academic semester at SJSU! We wanted to share immigration information with you as we start the spring semester.

If you are currently in the US studying at SJSU, please keep in mind the following:

Advising Appointments: Have questions regarding your F-1 status? Then please schedule an appointment to meet with an ISSS Advisor. 

Academic Advisor vs. International Student Advisor: Please remember that ISSS Advisors cannot advise on course enrollment queries or department-specific eligibility requirements for certain courses. An Academic/Major Advisor should be able to address these questions. However, International Student Advisors can discuss the specific rules that pertain to F-1 students’ immigration status in terms of full-time course enrollment, online vs. in-person vs. hybrid courses, and concurrent enrollment/RCL possibilities.

Employment: You are eligible to work on-campus for SJSU in F-1 status without ISSS authorization. Make plans to attend the F-1 Employment Options Workshop on February 3rd to learn more about employment options for F-1 students (on-campus, CPT, OPT). ISSS Webpage for Calendar

Completing your program at the end of Spring 2021: Review the OPT tutorial and make plans to attend a Spring 2021 Post OPT workshop. F-1 Employment Workshops

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for International Students:

*FAQs for Continuing Students

*FAQs for New/Initial Students (Spring 2021)

First Semester at SJSU: If you are in the US, then complete the required immigration document upload. Information regarding this should have been emailed to your SJSU email address.

Full-time enrollment: You are required to be enrolled full-time: 12 credits for undergraduate students and 9 credits for graduate students. The last day to add a class is February 15th.

I-94 Record: Did you travel outside the US recently? Check your I-94 to see if your record shows your most recent entrance into the US, as well as the correct visa class (F-1) and an admit until date of “D/S,” (Duration of Status). If there are any issues, email ISSS at international-office@sjsu.edu

Know your I-20 end date: We recommend that you schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor approximately 1 or 2 semesters before you plan on completing your degree to discuss options after graduation.

Travel Signatures: This can be found on page 2 of your I-20. Travel endorsements are valid for one calendar year. Starting February 15th, we will start to accept travel signature requests. Please submit the Travel Signature Request form.


Students Who Have Graduated from SJSU and are now on post-completion OPT: 

*Know your reporting requirements and update your SEVP portal within 10 days of any changes in physical address, and/or employment.

*Travel signatures are valid for 6 months. Please submit the Travel Signature Request form.


Students Who Have Graduated from SJSU and are now on STEM OPT: 

*Know your reporting requirements of updating ISSS via the Employment Update Report within 10 days of a change in physical address, and/or employment, in addition to the required 6-month validation reports. 

*Travel signatures are valid for 6 months. Please submit the Travel Signature Request form.