What's New

December 10, 2019

If you will travel over holidays and/or winter break, you must take the proper documents with you for your return to the United States (U.S.). Please review International Travel for more information.

The travel signature on your Form I-20 or DS-2019 cannot be more than 12 months old at the time of your reentry to the U.S. If you need a new travel signature, come to the HIO on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm, or Tuesday: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm with your Form I-20 or DS-2019 and passport. No appointment is needed for a travel signature.

November 8, 2019

The Harvard International Office (HIO) will be undergoing a space renovation over the 2019 Winter Break.  In order to complete the renovation by Thursday, January 2, 2020, the office will be closed to walk-in advising starting at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, December 20, 2019 through January 1, 2020.  The office will open at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

On Monday and Tuesday, December 23rd-24th, all HIO employees will be working from home.  This means some HIO services will be limited or unavailable.  We will be unable to meet with students and scholars in our offices or produce/sign immigration documents.  However, we will be answering emails and telephone calls made directly to advisors or staff.  Our main telephone number (617-495-2789) will not be in service during this time.  Our website is an excellent resource for any questions you may have.  ISD will be available to administrators during this time.

October 30, 2019

Beginning on December 2, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is adjusting the fee to request premium processing for certain employment-based petitions.

The premium processing fee will increase to $1,440 from the current fee of $1,410 for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.

September 19, 2019

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.

September 18, 2019

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).

You can also contact your HIO Advisor directly for information, or to book an appointment to meet.

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.

September 18, 2019

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).

September 4, 2019

Harvard President Lawrence Bacow issued a welcome letter to incoming and returning students, particularly addressing the obstacles and sacrifices many international students and scholars face in obtaining visas and entering the United States.  You may read his entire message to the Harvard community here.

August 27, 2019

With the beginning of the new school year upon us, Mayor of Boston Martin Walsh has issued a letter welcoming international students who have chosen Boston to be their new home in the United States. You may read his welcome letter here.

July 17, 2019

President Larry Bacow traveled to Washington, DC this week to meet with members of Congress to discuss a range of University priorities and concerns, including the uncertainties federal immigration policy has created for faculty and students at Harvard and at universities across the nation. Read more

In a related move, Bacow also sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan last week calling on them to expedite the visa and immigration process for foreign students and researchers.

June 24, 2019

F-1 students who applied for OPT are facing unprecedented delays in receiving their EADs (employment authorization documents). These delays not only affect our recent graduates and HU hiring departments, but those across the U.S. Without EADs, students have no income and are not permitted to begin working until they get their EADs. They cannot travel outside the U.S. and reenter the U.S. without the EAD. In previous years, OPT applications have taken 60-100 days to be processed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), but the processing time this year is much longer than previous years.  Recent estimates are that OPT processing could take as long as 5.5 months. These delays are part of a bigger problem within USCIS. The General Accountability Office (GAO) will undertake a study in the fall at the urging of Congress to investigate USCIS processing times which have increased by up to 46 percent since Fiscal Year 2016.  We are working with various offices across the University and professional organizations to advocate for our students.  Please feel free to contact your HIO advisor if you have any questions.

May 8, 2019

If you plan to work off-campus in the U.S. this summer, you must apply for U.S. work permission. If you have an F-1 visa click here for instructions to apply for pre-completion or post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).  If you are a J-1 student click here for instructions to apply for pre-completion or post-completion Academic Training (AT).

March 6, 2019