Monthly Updates / Upcoming Deadlines

30 days prior to program end date as listed on your I-20 / DS-2019Program Extension Deadline Is your I-20 or DS-2019 expiring?
If you have not yet completed your degree requirements, you MUST apply for a Program Extension at least 30 days prior to the program end date on your current I-20 or DS-2019.
For more information on the required process and documentation for requesting a Program Extension, please view 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 review the Completion Date information on our Maintaining Status webpage to find out more about how USCIS defines completion date.
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
Fall 2021Office of Multicultural Affairs Fall ProgrammingPlease see OMA Programs & Events website for more information.
TimelineReminderAdditional Details
As of November 8, 2021Presidential Proclamation and CDC Order Impacting International Air Travel to the USPresidential Proclamation 10294 and a separate CDC order provided updated vaccine and testing requirements for entering the US by air.
Please note: the COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving situation and as such, these requirements are subject to change.
Be sure to monitor the CDC COVID-19 Travel webpage for updates.
As of November 29, 2021Additional Travel Restrictions in EffectTravel of noncitizens, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, travelling from, or who were present in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique or Malawi during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry in to the US is suspended.
December 24 - 31ISSO Offices ClosedThe ISSO offices will be closed December 24-31, along with many other University offices.
For emergency requests, students should email:
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.
Reminder as of December 2021Beware of Phone and Email ScamsUnfortunately, phone and email scams are common. Learn how to protect yourself from scammers.
Reminder as of December 2021Avoid Shipping Errors and Processing DelaysAfter submitting an OPT petition to USCIS, 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 EAD card.
Ensure that your name is clearly marked on the mailbox that you requested your EAD be sent to on your I-765 - your EAD will not be delivered if your name is not on the mailbox.
Reminder as of December 2021Driving in Massachusetts on a Foreign Driver's LicenseForeign licensed drivers from any country, that meet certain requirements, may be eligible to operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts.
Reminder as of December 2021Possession 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 2021U.S. Customs and Border Protection also checks electronic devices (pdf)Please check the ISSO Travel Page for more detailed travel information.