Welcome back to campus! We want to remind new and returning international students and scholars that they should always contact the HIO directly for any immigration-related questions or concerns during your time at Harvard.
For travel signatures or quick immigration questions, you can stop by the HIO during our regular office hours, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on Tuesday, to speak with an Advisor On Call (AOC).
Several advisors also hold office hours in various locations around the University, including the Longwood Medical area, HBS, and HLS. For a schedule of on-site office hours, please click here.
If you are finishing your coursework this fall, and have an I-20 or DS-2019 with an end date in December 2019, it is time to start thinking about U.S. work permission. After your I-20 or DS-2019 completion date, you will need OPT (for F-1 students) or Academic Training (for J-1 students) to remain in the U.S. to work. If you have an F-1 visa click here for instructions to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). If you are a J-1 student click here for instructions to apply for Academic Training (AT).
The HIO has received multiple reports of international students and scholars receiving scam phone calls from individuals representing themselves as employees with “U.S. Immigration” or other government entities. They alter caller ID systems to make it appear that the call is coming from a governmental number. The scammers obtain or verify personally identifiable information from their victims through various tactics, including by telling individuals that they are the victims of identity theft. The scammers also pose as law enforcement or immigration officials and threaten victims with arrest unless they make payments to the scammers using a variety of methods.
If you receive a call from anyone claiming to be a governmental entity, please ask for their contact information and callback number and contact your HIO Advisor immediately. Individuals receiving phone calls from these numbers should not provide any personal information. You can find more information on the HUPD website.
I have found it easier and quicker to learn about anything, whether academic or nonacademic, by asking the people around me about it rather than looking up the information online or in books. Therefore my advice to new international students would be to really utilize people around them as resources.