Immigration Issues

One of the most important ways that the OISA supports international students and exchange visitors is to teach you about the benefits and limitations of your non-immigrant status.

We manage international student compliance throughout the F-1 lifecycle: from the visa application and initial entry; throughout your enrollment; and for up to three years following your graduation (if you use Practical Training benefits to work in the U.S.). 

The OISA also facilitates Grinnell’s Exchange Visitor Program (hosting J-1 professors, researchers, short-term scholars, and students) in collaboration with the Institute for Global Engagement.

OISA staff are fluent in the regulatory issues facing international students and scholars. We maintain relevant professional networks, and we retain expert specialized legal counsel via Ware Immigration and Dentons Davis Brown.

OISA Advising Materials

The OISA’s advising materials are located on GrinnellShare (login required).

The site includes handouts, videos, forms, and referrals on a broad range of topics listed below. Prospective students and Grinnell College parents can email us to request more information.

Our advising handouts include:

  • "Academic Decisions and F-1 Status" 
  • "Arrests and Immigration Status"
  • "Culture in the Classroom"
  • "Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for Internships"
  • "Employer FAQ"
  • "Extending an F-1 Program"
  • "F-1 Compliance Statement"
  • "Grey Areas of Employment"
  • "H-1B & Other Post F-1 Options"
  • "Handshake Tips for F-1 Students"
  • "I-9 Employment Verification"
  • "Keeping Documents Safe / Avoiding Scams"
  • "Leaves and Suspensions"
  • "Non-Resident Tax Returns"
  • "Optional Practical Training (OPT)"
  • "Preparing for Off-Campus Study"
  • "Reduced Course Load Request"
  • "Real ID (State ID or Driver’s Permit or License)"
  • "Selective Service Registration"
  • "SEVIS Release/Transfer"
  • "STEM OPT"

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