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ISSO Guidelines

Please refer to the following guidelines when working with the ISSO. 

APPOINTMENTS (scheduling, changing and coming to appointments)

Meetings with International Advisors (David Archbold or Petra Knoche)

  • For a meeting regarding a Change of Visa Status (COS), please bring the following documents:
    1.       Passport with visa (if no visa, bring “USCIS Status Sheet”)
    2.       I-797 (H visa holders)
    4.       OU Admission Letter or current SAIL registration (for change from H to F-1)
    5.       I-20 (F-1 students)
    6.       DS-2019 (J-1 students & scholars)
    7.       Optional:  Michigan Driver’s License (if you have one)
    8.       Optional:  Social Security Card (if you have one)
  • For a meeting regarding Curricular Practical Training (CPT) (otherwise known as "Jobs during studies"):
    1.       No morning appointments for CPT scheduled during first two weeks of any semester (only 1:30-4 p.m.)
    2.       Proof of insurance must be provided before or at the CPT appointment. Please bring required documents.
  • For a meeting regarding ESL concerns (English as a Second Language), please see Petra. Meeting will be 30 minutes long. 
  • For a meeting regarding Emergency Document Replacement (I-20, DS-2019, I-94), please come during Wednesday walk-in hours or make a 30-minute appointment with David or Petra
  • For a meeting regarding an Extension of Stay (I-20 or DS-2019), please come during Wednesday Walk-In or make a 30-minute appointment with David or Petra. Bring the following documents:
    1.       ISSO Form:  “Extension of Stay” signed by academic adviser
    2.       DS-2019 (J-1 students & scholars)
    3.       I-20 (F-1 students)
    4.       Current SAIL registration (all students:  F-1 & J-1)

  • For a meeting regarding F-2 and J-2 Dependents Immigration Application, please bring the following documents:
    1.       Completed ISSO form
    2.       Copy of official bank statement showing funds of $5,950 per dependent
    3.       Copy of original marriage certificate and English translation

  • For a meeting regarding Financial Documentation, please make a 1-hour appointment with Petra and David

  • For a meeting regarding Health Insurance, no appointment is necessary. Stop by between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (avoid 1:-1:30 p.m.) and see Allison

  • For a meeting regarding J-1 Concerns, please make a 30-45 minute appointment with Petra or David

  • For a meeting regarding New Arrivals (Mid-Year J-1 Scholars or Students), please attend a one-hour personal orientation with Petra or David. Bring the following documents:
    1.       Passport with visa
    2.       DS-2019 (J-1 Scholars & Students only)
    4.       I-20 (F-1 Students only)

  • For a meeting regarding OPT & OPT STEM (Optional Practical Training: Jobs after graduation), please make a one-hour appointment with Petra or David. Remember:
    1.       No appointments for OPT or OPT STEM scheduled during the first two weeks of any semester.
    2.       Insurance proof must be shown before or at the first OPT application appointment. Please bring required documents
  • 3.       OPT has to be approved in person.
  • For a meeting regarding Tax ID/Tax Concerns, please make a 30-45 minute appointment with David. Remember:
    1.       No tax appointments scheduled during the first two weeks of any semester (except emergencies).
    2.       If employed or receiving scholarships or other U.S. income, “tax returns” are due on April 15 every year.

Phone appointments and calls
Please remember that an ISSO receptionist or student worker receives all calls. An ISSO Advisor will return calls/messages or an ISSO staff/student worker will return calls to schedule appointments. Questions are handled only by e-mail or by appointment. Phone appointments are NOT available for currently enrolled students, but are available ONLY for long-distance (out-of-state) OPT STEM and prospective students/scholars.
  • When making a phone call, please:
    1.       Make your own appointments
    2.       Pronounce your name slowly and clearly; if asked, spell your name or give your G#
    3.       Give your phone number every time for any follow-up
    4.       For I-20 questions: ask for GAYLE
    5.       For health insurance questions: ask for ALLISON

Every question does not require an appointment or walk-in visit. First, check your Orientation folder and the ISSO website. Remember that general questions may be e-mailed to the ISSO at Other things to keep in mind:
  • There will be no "same day" appointments (except for new students during first two weeks of school, with half-hour advance notice)

  • Schedule your appointment as early as possible; appointment times fill up quickly

  • Cancel appointments at least 24 hours in advance

  • Prepare yourself before making an appointment. Obtain any necessary signatures from your academic advisers; bring a copy of your current list of registered classes for any processing request; and complete and bring all necessary documents

  • Arrive at your appointment on time and with all documents completed to avoid rescheduling and delayed processing

  • Sign in at the ISSO Reception Desk Log every time you arrive for an appointment or come with questions 

Walk-in hours
Unless otherwise noted by e-mail, walk-in hours are every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon (arrive by 11:45 a.m. to be seen before noon). Walk-in hours will last 30 minutes or less, and are for general questions only. There will be no processing of paperwork (except I-20 Extension of Stay).

REQUESTS (letters and signatures)
Please submit requests one business day in advance. You can pick-up your documents any time after 4 p.m. on the next business day. All requests must be submitted with a copy of your current registration schedule (from SAIL or the Office of the Registrar). 
  • For travel signatures (I-20 or DS-2019):
    1. No appointment is necessary. Leave your DS-2019 (J-1) or I-20 (F-1) for pick-up after 4 p.m. the next business day
    2. Submit a copy of your current SAIL registration schedule

  • For letters (for each request, submit the ISSO Letter Request Form along with your current list of registered classes)
    1. Visitation Letter for the visa application of your family or friends to visit you for any reason
    2. Secretary of State Second Address Verification Letter (for driver’s license or Michigan ID card application).
    Note: The necessary Social Security “Ineligibility Letters” for Secretary of State applications are available ONLY at the Social Security Administration Pontiac Branch Office (not at the ISSO)
    3. Social Security Eligibility Letter (only with Employment Offer Letter for Social Security Card application)

RESOURCES (self-help information)

Please check your OU e-mail daily! 

  • ISSO e-mail notices
    1. Only for ISSO business and university announcements
    2. Not for personal or non-university services, employment requests or job openings
  • ISSO website (
  • ISSO on Facebook (for information-sharing among international students/scholars. For example, roommates needed, apartments available, cars or furniture for sale, transportation services, events, etc.)
  • Talk with other OU international students, but confirm immigration and university requirements with the ISSO