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 about how the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs advocates for Cornell's international community.
Monthly Immigration Update
Updated November 14, 2022
Traveling Internationally on Break?
If you’re leaving the United States during break, it’s time to start preparing your documents for travel and reentry. See Travel Documents for Students if you’re a continuing student, or Travel Documents for Scholars if you’re on a J-1, H-1B, O-1, or other faculty/staff visa. For those on OPT/STEM OPT, visit Travel on OPT.
Be aware that the destination may have additional entry and COVID-19 requirements that you should check before you travel. Want to learn more in person? Join us on Monday, November 14, at 4:30 for a coffee hour on Traveling as an International Student.
Plan Ahead for Summer Internships
It’s important to plan well in advance of your anticipated start date, because the authorization process takes time! Start by checking out our page on F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT) to see if you are eligible for off-campus work authorization.
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. Cornell Tech students should seek authorization from Cornell Tech Student and Academic Affairs.
I’m on OPT/STEM OPT. Do I have to report my change of status to H-1B?
F-1 students completing or ending their first 12 months of OPT are not required to contact International Services. If you’re on STEM OPT, you do have a final reporting requirement! If you’ve changed to H-1B status from STEM OPT, don’t forget to submit your final I-983 evaluation. You must submit your OPT report form within 10 days of your change-of-status approval.
Scammers are targeting international students, faculty, and staff. Read our Avoiding Scams page and find out how to recognize a scam, what you can do to protect yourself, and how to get help.
International Services FAQ
Find more answers to questions about student travel, visa status, employment rules, and more, including National Interest Exceptions. 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 email@example.com 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)
Our Core Value as a Community of Belonging, President Martha Pollack (Sept. 15, 2022)
- 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.