Skip to Main Content

Monthly Updates

For recent immigration updates please visit our Immigration Alerts Webpage.

Visit the Maintaining Status Webpage for information on how to maintain your legal F-1 or J-1 status.

Please be aware of UMass Lowell's NEW Resources for English Language Learners.

NOTE: During the university's winter intersession, residence halls will be open with limited services from December 21 to January 19. Students will need to apply to stay on campus for winter intersession. This application will be available through Residence Life's Online Housing Portal. For any questions, please contact Residence Life.

Monthly Updates/Upcoming Deadlines


February 14, 2020Chancellor's Medal Application DeadlineStudents who have completed their degree in December 2019 or who expect to receive their degree in May 2020 are encouraged to apply for the Chancellor's Medal.
At least 30 days prior to the program end date on your current I-20 or DS-2019Extension of Program DeadlineIf your visa document (Form I-20 or Form DS-2019) is expiring, and you have not yet completed your degree requirements,
you will need to apply for a program extension at least 30 days prior to the program end date on your current Form I-20 or Form DS-2019.
For eligibility requirements and how to apply, please visit our Visa Document Extension webpage.
OPT Filing TimelineOptional Practical Training Applications Accepted NowStudents can apply for Post-OPT up to 90 days prior to the program completion date and no later than 60 days after the completion date.
Please note that while we will accept OPT applications prior to the 90-day filing timeline, we cannot process your OPT I-20 request any earlier than 90 days from your anticipated completion date.
Completion date does not necessarily mean degree conferral.
Please visit our Completion Date webpage to find out more about how USCIS defines completion date.
You can also read further on our OPT Guide. The OPT Guide and application can be found on the "Forms & Guides" page on our website.
The ISSO requires 5-7 business days for processing OPT applications.
If applying for Post-OPT, please check the International Student section of the Career & Co-Op Center's website.


DateEventLocation & Information
December 6, 2019ISSO & GSSP End of Semester Celebration!SAAB ETIC Building, 3 p.m.
Fall 2019Office of Multicultural Affairs EventsOMA Events Schedule


TimelineReminderAdditional Details
December 21, 2019 - January 20, 2020Winter RecessResidence halls will be open with limited services from December 21 to January 19.
To apply to stay on campus for winter intersession, please see instructions at the top of this page or contact Residence Life.
December 24 at 1 p.m. - January 1, 2020University ClosedThe ISSO will be closed from 1 p.m. on December 24 - January 1, 2020. Normal hours will resume on January 2, 2020.
Advising Hours will be held on MONDAY, December 23 from 2-4 p.m.
There will be NO Advising Hours on Tuesday, December 24.
Address Change TimelineYou must update your U.S. address within 10 days of changing your address.For more information on how to update your address, visit our Maintaining Status page.
As of April 22, 2019ISSO Has a New CPT Application Process!The new application is completely paperless for international students and their CPT advisors.
Because we have moved to this electronic application system, there are now three different e-form applications depending on the type of CPT you are requesting.
Students should be sure to fill out the CORRECT CPT Application. Accidentally completing the wrong application, will result in denial.
This may cause a delay in start dates, so please be careful when selecting the right e-form request for you.

Important Reminders

Reminder as of December 2019Important OPT UpdatesPre & Post OPT Petitions are taking 90+ days to process, please plan accordingly.
Check out the Forms & Guides section of our website for more information.
All STEM employment changes must be reported through the ISSO e-forms.
All Post-OPT employment must be reported through the SEVP Portal.
Reminder as of December 2019Driving in Massachusetts on a Foreign Driver's LicenseForeign licensed drivers from any country, that meet certain requirements, may operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts.
Reminder as of December 2019Possession of Marijuana is a Federal OffenseImmigration law treats all marijuana or other illegal substance activity as a crime. Possession, use, and/or admission of marijuana use (legal or illegal) or any other illegal substance by persons who are not U.S. Citizens can result in harsh immigration consequences. Illegal substances, including marijuana, are also prohibited on the UMass Lowell campus. Customs routinely checks for marijuana and other illegal substances at the Port of Entry or during any air travel within the U.S.
Reminder as of December 2019U.S. Customs and Border Protection also checks electronic devicesPlease check the ISSO Travel Page for more detailed travel information.

Beware of Phone and Email Scams

Avoid Shipping Errors or Processing Delays

  • Do not reach out to USCIS to inquire on the status of your application prior to the listed processing time.
    • This may further delay the processing of your card.
  • Ensure that your name is clearly marked on the mailbox that you requested your EAC be sent to on your I-765.
    • A delivery from USCIS is government mail and will NOT be delivered if your name is not clearly marked.