Immigration Advice and Resources
Cornell offers many resources to support our international community. On this page, you'll find answers, advice, and allies for your immigration-related concerns, including campus resources for internationals, immigration emergency aid, university statements of support, and more.
Learn more about how the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs advocates for Cornell's international community. Find answers about university plans, travel and visa status, and employment rules on International Services' COVID-19 FAQ pages for international students and faculty, and staff.
Monthly Immigration Update
Updated May 16, 2022
If you’re an F/J student graduating and leaving the U.S. or going to another school, here are some tips to help you get organized!
Are you a J-1, H-1B, or other Cornell-sponsored employee planning to leave Cornell? J-1 faculty, researchers, and short-term scholars are required to report departures that occur more than 30 days before the anticipated program end date on the DS-2019 form. Sponsored employees on J-1, H-1B, and other visas must complete the Leaving Cornellform so that Cornell can meet the federal requirement to notify the government of your departure.
F-1 students graduating in May: If you have not applied for Optional Practical Training (OPT), there’s still time! As a reminder, you must be in the U.S. when you file your application. Find out more about F-1 OPT.
Do you have a summer internship opportunity? Be aware that authorization is required for off-campus work, and the process takes time! Start by checking out our page on F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT) to see if you are eligible.
Remember: All off-campus employment must be approved on your I-20 before you begin employment. If you’re on the Ithaca campus, work with the Office of Global Learning International Services. Tech students should seek authorization from Cornell Tech Student and Academic Affairs.
Summer Jobs On Campus
Did you know that you can work full-time on campus during the summer if you are not registered for the summer term? You can start your full-time job on May 31, the first day of the summer term. If you are registered for summer, you may only work 20 hours per week.
F-1 students do not need special authorization to work on campus. You can work at any type of job on campus. J-1 students must obtain a J-1 student on-campus employment authorization letter from International Services before starting work. Visit On-Campus Work to find out more.
Summer Travel for Scholars
International travel plans this summer? You may need to apply for a new visa stamp if you have recently changed your status or if your current visa stamp is expired. Be sure to carry all necessary travel documents with you. If you are in J-1 or J-2 status, you’ll need a valid travel signature on your DS-2019 in order to reenter the U.S. If you have an H-1B or O-1 petition pending with USCIS, please email us to make sure your travel plans won't disrupt your pending petition.
Got a New Place? Update Your Address
If you’re an active F-1 or J-1 student or scholar: SEVIS needs your current U.S. address within 10 days. This time frame is a legal requirement. F-1 students should use the F-1 Student Address Update form, and J-1s should use the J-1 SEVIS Address Update form. You must also notify the Office of Global Learning within 10 days of any change to your phone number or email address. Report your change of address in the MyStatus portal.
For Continuing and New Students: Visa Appointment Delays
Visa appointment waits are getting longer. It is best to take the earliest available appointment time—even if the appointment is after your planned arrival date in the fall—so that you can apply for an expedited visa request. You need to have a scheduled appointment before you ask to have the appointment expedited! Read the alert.
International Services FAQ
Find more answers to questions about student travel rules, including National Interest Exceptions and travel bans. Faculty and staff, please visit the scholar FAQ.
Support at Cornell
Cornell’s Office of Global Learning International Services is here to help students and scholars from around the world thrive at Cornell. Talk with International Services staff about general immigration information including visas and jobs, finding your niche in Ithaca, campus resources, and more. Get advice from International Services.
If you are a current student, faculty, or staff member experiencing an immigration-related emergency, find out how to get the help you need at any hour on International Services' Stopped at the Border page.
Cornell Law School Clinical Programs provide free immigration legal advice and/or referrals for Cornell students on specific issues such as asylum and naturalization. Income guidelines may apply. Reach out to the clinical faculty team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the clinic at +1-607-255-4196.
Cornell Law’s immigration clinic handles immigration cases for the Cornell community. Contact Jaclyn Kelley-Widmer, associate clinical professor of law, by email to discuss your case. In addition, the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School publishes free online law materials to help people understand the law.
Resources for undocumented and DACA student support can be found on the Student and Campus Life website.
University Statements of Support (select)
- Statement on the shooting in Buffalo by a white supremacist, President Martha Pollack (May 15, 2022)
- Standing against hatred and bias, President Martha Pollack (May 26, 2021)
- Statement on Anti-Asian violence, President Martha Pollack (March 17, 2021)
- Condemning the events at U.S. Capitol, President Martha Pollack (Jan. 6, 2021)
- Update on racial justice initiatives at Cornell, President Martha Pollack and Vice Provost Avery August (Sept. 4, 2020)
- Additional actions to create a more just and equitable Cornell, President Martha Pollack (July 16, 2020)
Explore the complete archive of university statements.
Guidance and Counseling
- Part of Cornell Health, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) includes the Let’s Talk program. Talk confidentially with a trained healthcare professional and find support for stress, loneliness, anxiety, depression, adjustment challenges, relationship difficulties, questions about identity, managing an existing mental health condition, or other issues. Call CAPS at +1-607-255-5155 to speak with a staff member.
- Cornell's Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives offers general advising on personal and academic support, as well as planning for academic and professional aims and referrals for undocumented students as part of the trailblazers program.
- Cornell's Office of Graduate Student Life serves the Cornell community in many capacities: discussing student concerns, providing available resources and services, and sharing options for handling difficult academic and personal situations. Contact Janna Lamey to identify appropriate resources.
- The staff in the Dean of Students office is available for support, advice, and guidance in navigating various circumstances. Contact the office by email or call +1-607-255-1115.
- Cornell's Faculty and Staff Assistance Program offers free, confidential guidance and support to benefits-eligible employees and their partners to address issues that may be affecting their personal lives and job satisfaction or performance. This resource is part of Cornell's broad commitment to foster and support the mental health and well-being of the campus community.
Housing in Ithaca
- If you're an international student concerned that visa issues will limit your ability to travel to your home abroad during university breaks, on-campus housing may be an option. Send an email in confidence to find out more.
- International Services provides general housing information on its website. Visit Your First Week and Student Resources.
Support from Off-Campus
Hotline to Combat Coronavirus Hate Crimes and Xenophobic Rhetoric
New York's Attorney General Letitia James created a hotline to report hate crimes and bias-based incidents. The hotline comes in the wake of rising reports of harassment and assaults, as well as rhetoric against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The attorney general urges those experiencing hate crimes and bias report an incident by email or by calling +1-800-771-7755. Learn more about the initiative.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides updates on official government policies related to immigration into the United States.
- Informed Immigrant offers important resources for immigrants and allies.
- American Civil Liberties Union provides information and resources to help defend the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.
- Miller Mayer, an Ithaca-based immigration law firm, provides immigration policy news and free webinars on legal topics.
- Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition is a network for immigrant community empowerment.