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International Center Virtual Office

[Updated June 5, 2020]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, effective March 17, the International Center has temporarily transitioned to virtual operation. All physical office locations are closed and staff and services are not available on an in-person basis. We will reopen our office locations once we have been approved to do so by the University. The Center will remain open for advising and services by phone, email, and online Zoom appointments.

Updates

  • Review our Summer 2020 Hours and Schedule
  • Please check updates to our temporary document delivery policy that applies during the temporary COVID-19 crisis (see below)
  • Online appointment scheduling with International Center student and scholar advisors will be coming soon!

Please bear with us during this difficult period as we collectively respond to the current pandemic. The International Center remains committed to continuing our services for you and will restore operations at our physical locations once it is feasible to do so. Our primary interest is ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of our students, scholars, employees, and staff.

Key Service Areas

Until further notice, International Center staff and advisors will be available only through e-mail or by phone appointments. If desired or recommended, a WebEx or Zoom video conference can be arranged. Appointments require at least one business day of advance notice to schedule.

Appointments with an international student and scholar advisor can now be scheduled online. Go to https://icenter.tufts.edu/contact/appointments to schedule your appointment.

[Updated July 1, 2020]

If you used the International Center as the mailing address for your Optional Practical Training (OPT) application, please read the following information below:

  • Mail delivery at International Center locations is still limited. The International Center at 20 Sawyer Avenue is the only office currently receiving US Postal Mail. If you are expecting your EAD card to be delivered to 20 Sawyer Avenue, it may take well over one week before the mail is actually delivered to Tufts and forwarded to the International Center.
  • If your EAD card is received by the International Center, you will receive an email notification that it is available with options for delivery. The International Center checks mail delivery 1-2 times a week. Our email will serve as confirmation that we have received your card.
  • If your OPT application is still pending with USCIS, and you have an alternate US address that you can use to receive mail, you can submit a Change of Address request by going to the USCIS Case Status page and clicking on the "Change of Address" box for instructions

Delivery Options

  • At this time, in-person pick up at 20 Sawyer Avenue or other International Center locations is not available.
  • For any documents received on or after July 1, you will be notified by the International Center if a document has been received and is ready for re-delivery
    • EAD card delivery to a US address
      • you can e-mail the International Center a pre-paid US Postal Service label created through USPS Click-n-Ship; upon receiving the label the International Center will arrange for delivery
      • if you prefer delivery by Federal Express or UPS, you can request domestic express mail using e-Ship Global.
    • EAD card delivery to an international address:
  • If you also applied for a Social Security Number (SSN) at the same time you applied for your EAD, we recommend waiting at least one to two weeks to allow the EAD and SSN to be shipped together, as SSN cards often arrive after the EAD is produced and delivered
  • Other documents such as copies of approval notices will be delivered along with the EAD at the time the EAD is delivered to you

Updated May 27, 2020

  • In-person Document Pick-Up On Hold: Until further notice, it is not possible to pick up any documents in person from our International Center locations at 20 Sawyer Avenue, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the Boston Health Sciences campus. Once the University allows in-person operations to resume, the International Center will announce hours to allow persons to pick up documents at one of our office locations.
  • Electronic I-20s / DS-2019s: Unless required for immediate travel or visa application purposes, the International Center is sending signed, electronic copies of Form I-20 and Form DS-2019. In most cases, electronic I-20 / DS-2019 copies are sufficient to document your status while in the US in F-1 or J-1 status. Electronic copies of Form I-20 / DS-2019 may also be printed by students who need to apply for OPT or STEM OPT benefits.
  • International Document Delivery: In most cases, original documents that are being sent to an international destination require submission of an e-ship Global request. Once the International Center receives the e-Ship Global request, we will print out a delivery voucher and express mail the requested document to you internationally.

Optional Practical Training

The International Center has resumed Optional Practical Training (including post-completion OPT and STEM Extension OPT) workshops by Zoom. Check our Events calendar at https://icenter.tufts.edu/about/calendar for details about dates and times.

J-1 Scholar Orientation

J-1 Scholar Orientations will be conducted through individual online advising appointments. For J-1 Scholar Orientations at the Boston Health Sciences campus will be completed by online advising appointments (see "Scheduling an Advising Appointment"). J-1 Scholar Orientations at Medford will be arranged directly with the arriving scholar.

[Updated May 27, 2020]

Curricular Practical Training

Students may submit CPT requests through our online International Center Portal for internships and practicums for the Summer 2020 semester. However, given the current disruptions to both on-campus operations and off-campus employment, your International Center advisor may temporarily delay or defer processing of any CPT requests.

Optional Practical Training / STEM Extension of OPT

Students who are applying for post-completion Optional Practical Training or the STEM Extension of OPT should start the process through our online International Center Portal. The International Center is making every effort to prioritize processing of OPT / STEM Extension requests even as our physical locations are closed. Please plan extra time for us to arrange for delivery of our OPT documents to you, which we will coordinate on a case-by-case basis depending on your immediate circumstances.

Electronic Delivery of Documents

In most cases, once the International Center has processed an updated I-20 for either OPT or CPT, we will send you an electronic copy to you by email. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has confirmed that schools are authorized to send electronic copies of signed I-20s to students who need to demonstrate approval for CPT or who are in the process of applying for OPT.

The US and Massachusetts state tax filing deadlines has been extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020, allowing more time for tax filing obligations to be met. Please check back soon for more details. However, students and scholars expecting a tax refund are encouraged to apply earlier.

Tufts has arranged with Sprintax to provide tax filing services to nonresident students and scholars. For information about how to use Sprintax, and to access a free Sprintax tax webinar, go to our Tax Filing Requirements information page.

[Updated May 27, 2020]

The International Center will continue to receive and process online requests for J-1 scholars. However, please be advised that current conditions stemming from COVID-19 may require delaying the arrival of new scholars to August 2020 or later. Please contact your designated J-1 scholar advisor for more details about specific situations.

Departments seeking to extend the authorization of current H-1B employees should contact their designated H-1B advisor. At present, we are prioritizing H-1B extensions for current employees, and new H-1B employment to begin by Summer 2020. Departments that are interested in hiring H-1B employees with start dates prior to June 2020 should consult with your H-1B advisor regarding current immigration and travel conditions.

For fire, police, or medical emergencies contact Tufts University Police Department at 617-627-6911 or call 911 if you are off-campus.

For non-emergencies taking place outside of normal business hours, contact the Tufts University Police Department at the following contact numbers.

For other immigration (non-medical / police / fire) emergencies, call (617) 627-2478 and leave a voice mail, and someone will respond to you as quickly as possible.