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COVID-19: FAQs

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IP Town Hall for International Students, Oct. 19, 2020

 

TA/RA Assistantships

Teaching/Research Assistantships for International Graduate Students Abroad:
Information and WSU Contacts

 

Due to COVID-19, most international graduate students who returned home in the spring and summer or traveled outside the U.S. have not been able to re-enter the country for fall semester and new students are challenged to get to the U.S. Many international graduate students with a teaching or research assistantship (TA/RA) appointment want to continue their appointments for fall 2020 and beyond by working remotely from their home country or country of residence. New students may wish to start their TA/RA. This creates a series of issues relating to employment and taxation law and WSU’s respective obligations in these areas.

Here are answers to frequently asked questions on this topic as well as contact information should you need additional information:

Q. What are the immigration consequences of working as a TA/RA from outside the U.S.?

A. For international graduate students in F or J visa status, employment restrictions apply only when they are physically inside the U.S. If an individual is outside the U.S., there is no need to consider their immigration status unless/until they return to the U.S.

However, their immigration documents may have been created with an assistantship in mind. If an assistantship is removed or modified, the student must get their immigration documents updated and have an updated finance letter when applying for a new visa at the local U.S. embassy or consulate. If you have questions about documentation for students’ visa application interviews, please contact the Office of International Programs (IP)-International Student and Scholar Services at intlservices@wsu.edu.

Q. What are the financial and academic considerations of this situation?

A. For many new and returning international graduate students, the TA/RA is the only way they can afford to study in the U.S. Support from the assistantship is their means of obtaining a visa and starting or continuing their studies.

For students unable to enter the U.S., the loss or delay of an assistantship could prevent them from staying enrolled for that semester. At that point, a student has three options:

      1. Work with the department on facilitating a leave of absence for that semester;
      2. Enroll below their original full-time status and pay out of pocket if the department is unable to make other arrangements; and
      3. Withdraw.

If not opting to withdraw, the student will need to have their initial immigration status start delayed a semester or have their immigration status ended and ask for new, updated immigration documents for a future semester when they can return.

We recognize that funding for an assistantship could come from a variety of sources and there may not be a way to push, defer, or extend an assistantship. In this case, students who cannot arrive at WSU on time due to pandemic-related delays will lose the assistantship. If issues related to COVID-19 continue, we could see long-term consequences for student recruitment or retention. So, as preparation for future semesters commences, departments need to consider what flexibility they have regarding assistantships and funding.

We at IP-International Student and Scholar Services are happy to discuss delays in visa issuance and help give departments more information to make better-informed decisions. Please contact ip.intlservices@wsu.edu.

Q. What does this mean for tax compliance?

A. WSU is responsible for withholding and remitting employee and employer tax within the host country when employees work outside of the U.S. Specific to international graduate students on assistantships, to maintain tax compliance Payroll Services needs to run a tax analysis to determine the university’s tax exposure including statutory obligations. If a department is interested in continuing employment or starting employment for an international graduate student overseas, WSU will hire a third party to review each student’s case and WSU’s liability. This evaluation can cost several thousand dollars per case, paid by the department. In addition, there might be ongoing costs associated with the remittance of taxes, also paid for by the department.

Tax implications for tuition waivers must also be considered. In some countries these tuition waivers are taxable, meaning a student may also have their own tax obligation for the amount of the tuition waiver. Their tax liability can be in the 30%-40% range.

Payroll has the expertise to advise on this. Prior to offering employment to individuals outside of the country, contact Payroll Services at 509-335-9575 or payroll@wsu.edu.

Q. What does this mean in terms of employee registration or verification?

A. Generally, all employees including international graduate students on assistantships are required to present original documents that establish identity and employment authorization within 3 business days of hire. For continuing students who were already employed, their I-9 should have already been completed and would be valid. For those employees who are hired and working remotely out of county, the completed I-9 is not required until they arrive in the United States. If a department is paying an international graduate student on assistantship via their pre-departure method and that student is overseas, it could be in violation of the tax code and places WSU out of compliance. If an individual employee or a department is aware that a student is overseas, but fails to inform WSU of this change, WSU is considered as a whole to be out of compliance. For guidance, contact WSU HRS at 509-335-4521or hrs@wsu.edu.

Q. What impact does employment law have on this situation?

A. Employment law varies by country and hiring an international graduate student to work outside of the U.S. may require use of an Employer of Record within the country. If so, this involves ongoing additional cost to the hiring department. If you are considering employment outside of the U.S., please contact your HRS service team to discuss specific details. Also, contact Payroll Services to initiate a tax analysis at payroll@wsu.edu.

Q. What do I need to do if an international graduate student with an assistantship defers for a term or two?

A. An international graduate student must enroll and complete the first semester of study to which they were admitted to be considered a graduate student in active status. If the first semester of study is not completed for any reason (e.g., unable to enroll or attend because of visa issues, inability to use assistantship support), the student can defer (or update) their CollegeNet application up to 2 times to be reconsidered for admission by the department as well as any financial support that the department may be able to offer. However, admission is not guaranteed. Since there is a strict limit to the number of times that a student’s application can be updated, it is important that the student and department consider carefully whether the student will be able to attend WSU in the semester for which the application has been updated.

To request an update of their application, graduate students should contact their academic department no later than 30 calendar days into the semester for which they applied. The department can relay this information to the Graduate School. For additional guidance, please contact the Graduate School at gradschool@wsu.edu.

Returning to Class, Fall 2020

Washington State University International Programs Fall Semester 2020

With the rise in the number of COVID‑19 cases regionally and nationally, all undergraduate courses at WSU Pullman will be delivered at a distance and completed remotely, with extremely limited exceptions for in‑person instruction. For direct assistance with your immigration status, email ip.intlservices@wsu.edu

IP Town Hall for Undergraduate Students, July 31, 2020

 

Student statusCurrently in the USCurrently outside the US
Direct entry initial freshman and initial PathwayOPTION 1.
Start distance-delivered courses and maintain a full-time load of 12 credits.
OPTION 2.
Defer to a future term and leave the U.S. We will process your I-20 when you are ready to start.
OPTION 2.
Defer to a future term and obtain a new I-20 at that time.
OPTION 3.
Enroll part-time without an active SEVIS record.
Direct Entry initial transferOPTION 1.
Start distance-delivered classes from your current location and maintain a full-time load of 12 credits.
OPTION 2.
Defer to a future term and return home. Obtain a new I-20 when you begin a new term.
OPTION 2.
Defer to a future term and obtain a new I-20 when you begin a new term.
OPTION 3.
Enroll part-time without an active SEVIS record.
Direct Entry active SEVIS
-Freshman or transfer
OPTION 1.
Start distance-delivered classes from your current location and maintain a full-time load of 12 credits.
OPTION 2.
Defer to a future term. Your SEVIS record will not remain active, and you will need to depart the U.S. You will be issued a new, initial I-20 for a future term.
OPTION 2.
Defer to a future term. Your SEVIS record will not remain active. You will be issued a new, initial I-20 for a future term.
OPTION 3.
Enroll part-time without an active SEVIS record.
Continuing undergraduate, Academic English, and current PathwayOPTION 1.
Start distance-delivered classes from your current location and continue your education from where you are. Maintain a full-time class load.
OPTION 2.
Withdraw from the term and depart the U.S. You must contact ip.intlservices@wsu.edu.
OPTION 2.
Withdraw from the term. You must contact ip.intlservices@wsu.edu.
OPTION 3.
Enroll part-time without an active SEVIS record.
Pathway to degree-seekingOPTION 1.
Start distance-delivered classes from your current location and maintain a full-time course load.
OPTION 2.
Withdraw from the term and depart the U.S. You must contact ip.intlservices@wsu.edu.
OPTION 2.
Withdraw from the term. You must contact ip.intlservices@wsu.edu.
OPTION 3.
Enroll part-time without an active SEVIS record.
All graduate
  • 500 and 600-level courses and non-thesis master’s courses will be delivered at a distance with a limited number of exceptions allowed for “situations in which course goals and student learning outcomes cannot be successfully achieved remotely.”

  • Master’s and doctoral research credits (700 and 800 levels) will be offered in a hybrid format with an expectation that there will be face-to-face elements. We are making notations on these students’ I-20s indicating they will be enrolled in face-to-face courses.
  • New graduate

    OPTION 1.
    You may start coursework remotely if it is offered. You must be in Washington state to serve in an Assistantship.
    OPTION 1.
    You may start coursework remotely if it is offered. You will not be eligible to serve in an Assistantship. Your SEVIS record will not remain active, and you will be issued a new, initial I-20 for a future term. Contact ip.intlservices@wsu.edu.
    OPTION 2.
    If the coursework is not offered remotely, you may defer to a future term with the approval of the department and Graduate School. Check your specific coursework with your department advisor.
    Continuing graduate and graduate Pathway

    OPTION 1.
    Continue your education remotely if it is offered. Maintain a full load of 10 credits. You must be in Washington state to serve in an Assistantship.
    OPTION 1.
    Continue your education remotely if it is offered. Maintain a full load of 10 credits. You will not be eligible to serve in an Assistantship.
    OPTION 2.
    If the coursework is not offered remotely, you may defer to a future term with the approval of the department and Graduate School. Check your specific coursework with your department advisor.

    Employment

    Optional Practical Training and COVID-19

    If you plan on applying for OPT upon the completion of your program (graduation), please note:

    • You must have 2 semesters (fall and spring) of full-time enrollment prior to application, or have been approved for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) by our office
    • You must apply from within the U.S.

    More information about OPT and employment can be found here.

    Q – If I am on OPT and my position ends due to COVID-19, what are my options?

    A – The options will be specific to your situation and the position at your place of employment. In some cases, you may be able to reduce your hours; to remain valid under OPT we recommend you work at least 21 hours a week. Or you may be able to meet OPT requirements by volunteering, but you MUST meet volunteer requirements. If you think volunteering is an option for you or if you have additional questions, please schedule a consultation with a International Student and Scholar Services advisor as soon as possible to evaluate your case.

    Unemployment Eligibility

    Q – If I am working on OPT and am laid off due to COVID-19, do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

    A – Whether you qualify for unemployment will depend on the unemployment criteria for the state you are working in. Please consult with your employer’s human resources professionals regarding resources for unemployment information in your state. For more information regarding COVID-19-specific unemployment assistance, please see this Unemployment Help page provided by the U.S. government.

    Housing and Dining

    Housing and Quarantine Recommendations

    With the announcement last week that fall semester will be through remote instruction, we highly recommend that you remain at your current location for the semester. But if you are planning to return to the U.S. and to your campus, be advised that the state of Washington is recommending a 14-day quarantine for all travelers following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance, which WSU is following.

    As such, if you plan to live on campus at WSU Pullman and already have a housing agreement, please plan to arrive early so that you can quarantine in WSU housing before classes start on August 24, 2020. You can contact WSU Housing here: https://housing.wsu.edu/contact-us/.

    If you are planning to live off campus at any WSU location, please arrange your housing and arrival time so that you can self-quarantine before classes begin.

    Food assistance

    WSU continues to work to make vital resources available to all our students. Currently, in addition to the grocery assistance offered students by GPSA on the Pullman campus, the following food banks and resources at our other campuses should be of help:

    Everett
    https://www.foodpantries.org/ci/wa-everett

    Spokane
    http://www.servespokane.org/
    https://2-harvest.org

    Tri Cities
    https://2-harvest.org/
    http://bfcac.org/home-base/orgs/Golden+Age+Food+Share+Program

    Vancouver
    https://www.clarkcountyfoodbank.org/
    https://fishvancouver.org/

    For emergency funding requests, including Food assistance, use this form:

    https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?WashingtonStateUniv&layout_id=35

    Check for updates on what will be available on WSU’s COVID-19 webpage: https://wsu.edu/covid-19/.

    Travel and Immigration

    International Travel Advisory – Summer 2020

    We understand the desire of International Students to reunite with their families during this time, but if your F-1 of J-1 visa stamp is expired and you intend to return to the U.S. to resume your academic program this fall (through distance learning or in-person), we strongly recommend that you reconsider this plan and remain in the U.S. during the summer.

    Students in the situation above will need a valid visa to re-enter the United States, and for that, they must apply for a visa renewal at a U.S. consulate abroad. There are increased delays and restrictions on visa issuance due to the pandemic, even for visa renewals, so we urge that if you are in this situation (holding an expired visa, but planning to travel internationally) please speak with an international student advisor or your local DSO BEFORE traveling internationally.

    Q – My current H-1B status is expiring soon, and my department had already agreed to extend it. How will this affect my case?

    A – H-1B extension petitions will be filed prior to the expiration of current H-1B status. With that, foreign nationals will be able to remain in the U.S. and work up to 240 days after the expiration of their current H-1B. International Student and Scholar Services will contact faculty and departments to provide a copy of the USCIS Receipt Notice, which is needed for the proper I-9 employment update. Travel* outside the U.S. while the extension petition is pending will trigger it to be considered abandoned. Please notify International Student and Scholar Services immediately if you must make an emergency trip abroad.

    * The United States Department of State assigns levels of travel warnings to countries based on COVID-19 activity. A level 4 warning means “Do Not Travel.”  Stay up to date with warning levels here.

    Q – Is International Student and Scholar Services tracking cases, and will they notify departments and faculty impacted?

    A – The International Student and Scholar Services department has been closely monitoring H-1B cases they are currently working on and has contacted each foreign national and hiring department affected by this suspension. Although our office is physically closed, we are teleworking and doing Zoom meetings, so we are happy to answer any questions or concerns. Please contact ip.scholars@wsu.edu  or maria.cardieri@wsu.edu.

    Q – I am currently in the U.S. with a different immigration status, but WSU has agreed to sponsor an H-1B application on my behalf. How will this affect my case?

    A – H-1B Initial petitions will be filed prior to the expiration of current immigration status in the U.S. (e.g., J-1, F-1 OPT, etc.). With that, foreign nationals will be able to remain in the U.S. until the H-1B case is adjudicated, however, they cannot work until the H-1B is finally approved. International Student and Scholar Services will contact faculty and departments to provide a copy of the USCIS Receipt Notice so they can track the status of their case online. Please refer to the Check Case Processing Times page for information about USCIS current processing time of application. Travel* outside the U.S. while the petition is pending will trigger it to be considered abandoned. Please notify International Student and Scholar Services immediately if you must make an emergency trip abroad.

    It is uncertain when premium processing will be resumed at this time, but we can upgrade pending applications to premium processing as soon as it becomes available again. International Student and Scholar Services can hold on to the premium processing check at a department’s request to use in case the premium option becomes available again.

    Q – I am currently outside the U.S.,but have been offered a position to start at WSU in summer/fall 2020. Additionally, my WSU hiring department has agreed to sponsor an H-1B visa on my behalf. How will this affect my case?

    A – H-1B Initial petitions will be filed prior to the proposed start date of the appointment. However, foreign nationals need the WSU H-1B petition to be approved before they are able to apply for an H-1B visa at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate abroad, which is required prior to traveling to the U.S. Therefore, the start of appointments may be delayed depending on USCIS processing times of applications. Please refer to the Check Case Processing Times page for information about USCIS current processing time of applications. International Student and Scholar Services will contact faculty and departments to provide a copy of the USCIS Receipt Notice so they can track the status of their case online.

    It is uncertain when premium processing will be resumed at this time, but we can upgrade pending applications to premium processing as soon as it becomes available again. International Student and Scholar Services can hold on to the premium processing check at a department’s request to use in case the premium option becomes available again.

    Q – I am a department liaison with International Student and Scholar Services on an H-1B application. Should I hold off submitting a case, or will cases be processed as usual?

    A – International Student and Scholar Services, as the majority of other offices on campus, is teleworking. Requests can continue to be submitted in the myPassport system and will be processed until further notice. Departments are encouraged to contact International Student and Scholar Services at ip.scholars@wsu.edu or maria.cardieri@wsu.edu for advice about a specific individual situation and impacts of timely onboarding. This advice is also true for sponsorship of other types of employment-based visas.

    Campus Resources

    • The University remains open at this time, but classes and advising are online.
    • The International Student and Scholar Services office remains open and we are here to support you. Advising is available only by phone, email, and Zoom. Our open advising hours still take place from 1-3 p.m., Monday through Friday, but you will need to call (509) 335-4508 to speak with an advisor.
    • International Student and Scholar Services may set up individual advising sessions via Zoom, but advisors will schedule those meetings on an individual basis.
    • Other student support offices remain available for students to contact for questions and support.

    Immigration

    • Students can elect to take summer as a vacation term and stay in the U.S. if they had previously attended spring 2020 and are continuing in fall 2020. WSU advises against international travel during summer 2020.
    • Students eligible for vacation term can take online classes. Online Campus courses available for summer 2020 can be found here: https://learn365.wsu.edu/summer-session/summer-courses/

    Q – I am in F-1 status and my plan was to return to my home country. I would prefer to stay in the U.S. for now. What are my options?

    A – Every student’s situation is different. Speak with an international student advisor who can review your information and offer advice. International Student and Scholar Services has open advising hours Monday to Friday 1-3 p.m. by calling 509-335-4508 or emailing ip.intlservices@wsu.edu

    Q – I am in my home country but was planning to return to WSU for summer/fall classes. If I am unable to return to the U.S. due to coronavirus restrictions, what should I do?

    A – Each student’s situation is different. An international student advisor can speak to you directly about your options.

    • Options may include:
      • Continue to monitor the situation until we are closer to your expected start date.
      • Leave of Absence from WSU
      • Medical Reduced Course Load (if applicable)
      • Study Abroad credits/Independent Study/online courses
    •  International Student and Scholar Services has open advising hours Monday to Friday 1-3 p.m. You can call them at +1 509-335-4508 or email at ip.intlservices@wsu.edu

    Visiting Families

    Q – If my parents come from to visit, due to the policy of CDC, do they need to stay home for a period of 14 days from the time before arriving in the U.S.?

    A – Foreign nationals entering the U.S. are generally not placed into self-quarantine. Self-quarantine is for American citizens and permanent residents. Either the government will place them in a mandatory quarantine or more likely they will deny them entry to the U.S.

    • Foreign nationals who have visited China or Iran in the 14 days before travel to the U.S. may not enter the United States.
    • American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their families who have been in China or Iran in the 14 days prior to travel will be allowed to enter the United States, but will be redirected to one of 11 airports to undergo health screening. Depending on their health and travel history, they will have some level of restrictions on their movements for 14 days from the time they left China or Iran. For the most recent information, visit the CDC web page Travelers Prohibited from Entry into the United States.

    WSU has no discretion over who is admitted into the U.S. At this time, due to the evolving nature of COVID-19 we cannot advise on travel plans to visit. Students and their families can visit the WSU COVID-19 website for updates.

    Health and Safety

    International students who are enrolled in WSU’s health insurance plan through United Healthcare will not be required to pay any fees related to the testing of COVID-19, if testing is completed under CDC guidelines. However, you may be charged customary deductible and co-pay fees if you need treatment for COVID-19.

    To find information on WSU’s United Healthcare plan for international students and explanation of deductible and co-pay fees:

    • https://www.uhcsr.com/
    • Enter Washington State University for the school’s name
    • Scroll down and find Medical – International Plan on the right; click “Explore Policy”

    Up-to date-announcements from United Healthcare regarding COVID-19 can be found at https://www.uhcsr.com/news-main

    Local area hospitals and remote location

    Q – My family is telling me it is not safe to stay in Washington state. What should I do?
    A – People at the Pullman campus have access to 5 hospitals within a 45-minute drive of Pullman: in Washington, Pullman Regional Hospital in Pullman; Whitman Hospital and Medical Center in Colfax; and Tri-State Memorial Hospital in Clarkston; and in Idaho, Gritman Medical Center in Moscow; and St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. We also have health resources at Cougar Health Services located on the Pullman campus. Additionally, 3 large regional hospitals serve Spokane.

    Q – Will medical insurance cover testing and treatment?
    A – International students at WSU have the International Student Health Insurance Plan (iSHIP) and are encouraged to contact Cougar Health Services for information before undertaking any testing. You can find more information on iSHIP at this link:

    https://cougarhealth.wsu.edu/studentinsurance/international-students/.

    • If you are an international student and have a spouse or child, you have the option to sign them up for insurance using Dependent coverage. Enrollment for Dependents is open the first 2 weeks of spring and fall semesters; however, if you are newly married or your dependent has entered the U.S. in the last 30 days, you may have options for additional coverage for them. More information can be found here:

    https://cougarhealth.wsu.edu/studentinsurance/international-students/#dependentEnrollment

    Masks

    Q – Where can I find masks? Should I be wearing a mask?

    A – According to the World Health Organization, masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. The CDC now says everyone over 2 years of age who is able to remove it should wear a cloth face cover when out in public. You must also know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

    Safety and Security: A Message to the WSU Community

     

    March 7, 2020

    Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

    In light of continuing concerns and some misconceptions about the novel coronavirus (COVID‑19), we are reaching out to the WSU community. We recognize that this is a particularly stressful time, but as such it is even more important to pause before reacting in difficult situations.
    We are aware of multiple bias behaviors exhibited toward members of our international community, as well as our Asian American and Pacific Islander community, in recent days. As an example, cultures worldwide routinely wear face masks for protection during flu and cold season. People from the U.S. are not as familiar with that practice and may make assumptions and respond negatively. All community members, students, faculty, and staff deserve respect as well as a safe environment for learning, living, and working.
    Should you experience or witness discrimination or harassment based on race, color, or national or ethnic origin, you can report concerns to the Office of Civil Rights Compliance and Investigation (CRCI).
    Some examples of conduct that can be reported to CRCI include, but are not limited to:

    • Someone repeatedly tells you to leave a class, labs, or campus because of your race and/or ethnicity or connection to a specific country.
    • Someone excludes you from group activities because of your race and/or ethnicity or country of origin.
    • Someone approaches you on campus or in our community and makes a negative and/or discriminatory statement(s) about you, your race, or your country of origin.

    Even if you think an experience is “not enough” to contact the Office of Civil Rights Compliance and Investigation, we encourage you to do so. Sharing information will help you connect to university resources and will help WSU monitor our shared campus experiences. This will help us determine if additional education, actions, or safety measures are appropriate.
    Please also know, if you are ever in danger, immediately call 9‑1‑1 for emergency assistance.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Asif J. Chaudhry, U.S. Ambassador (Ret.)
    Vice President
    Office of International Programs

    Jaime Nolan
    Associate Vice President
    Community, Equity and Inclusive Excellence

    Academics

    The latest updates from WSU can be found on its COVID-19 website.

    More Academic Information:

    Q – Are there any opportunities for me to take part in international opportunities from within the U.S. this fall and winter?

    A – Several remote global learning and internship opportunities are available. Check this page for opportunities and deadlines or contact Global Learning at ip.globallearning@wsu.edu for more information.

    Though our physical office space is currently closed, we are still providing Global Cougs 101 information sessions and global learning advising appointments in distance-delivery formats. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us at ip.globallearning@wsu.edu!

    Go Global Cougs!

    General

    WSU is committed to the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and surrounding communities. You can find the latest updates to WSU’s COVID-19 response here:

    Coming together in an extraordinary time

     

    COVID -19 updates for the city of Pullman can be found here:

    City of Pullman COVID-19 Info

    Summer 2020 Session

    Information about WSU summer sessions at all campuses is available here.

    Summer Course Offerings

    • Current undergraduate or graduate students at WSU are eligible to enroll in summer classes. Courses during the summer term are condensed into 6-, 7- and 12-week sessions and are often more rigorous than semester-long courses due to the shortened term length. Visit https://learn365.wsu.edu/summer-session/about-summer/ to see available sessions, registration dates, and costs.
    • Graduate and undergraduate summer session courses that would have normally been taught face-to-face on the campuses in Pullman, Vancouver, Tri‑Cities, Everett, and Spokane will instead be taught by distance learning methods. (Note that some health professions programs may still offer clinically based courses face-to-face if they can do so safely.)
    • All students pay the in-state tuition rate during the summer.
    • Undergraduate Pathway or Academic English students could elect to extend their program if their study plan completes at the end of spring semester. Continuing students will enroll as usual for summer. Contact the INTO WSU staff at ialc@wsu.edu for assistance with extending or changing the current program.
    • For graduate Pathway students, graduate-level coursework is limited over the summer. Contact the INTO WSU staff or the INTO WSU Academics team to discuss options. Our teams will work to assist students in finding available classes or offer other options that may be available.
    • International Programs is currently reaching out to academic departments to encourage opening additional graduate-level coursework for summer 2020. It’s encouraged for students to double check with their Academic Departments as well on offerings for summer classes.
    • For students currently in level 5 and eligible to progress from AE to Graduate Pathway, they may elect to enroll in AE Level 6 for the summer term and progress to an Accelerated Graduate Pathway in the fall term.
    • Current students without a summer study plan could electively enroll in summer term of AE at a reduced rate ($1,000 discount).

    Stimulus Payments

    Please Note: The staff at WSU International Student and Scholar Services are not tax experts and we do not provide tax advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on exclusively, for tax advice. You should consult a qualified tax professional to discuss the specifics of your case.

    COVID-19 Stimulus Payments of $1,200

    Many students have contacted WSU International Programs because they received a payment from the government for COVID-19. This is a CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) payment. The CARES Act can be claimed only by U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and residents for tax purposes. A “resident for tax purposes” is an individual who can pass the Substantial Presence Test, who has a valid Social Security Number (SSN), and who has filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.

    The CARES Act is meant to address the economic fallout of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United States. It is a stimulus package that aims to support workers with a one-time payment of $1,200.

    Q – Can non-resident aliens receive the CARES payment?

    A – No. Nonresident aliens are not eligible to receive this stimulus payment.

    Q – How can I find out if I am a resident or nonresident alien for tax purposes in the U.S.?

    A – Complete the Substantial Presence Test with Sprintax.

    1. Go to WSU’s tax partner’s website sprintax.com and create an account if you do not already have one.
    2. Complete “Step 1 Residency” by answering the questions below.

    Step 1- Residency

    a. If after clicking submit you see the page below then you are a “Non-Resident for Tax Purposes.” You are not eligible for the CARES payment.

    Step 1 - Residency instructions

    b. If after clicking submit you see the page below, then you are a “Resident for Tax Purposes” and are eligible for the CARES payment. There is nothing else you need to do.

    Step 1-Residency instructions

    Q – I have received the CARES payment, but I am a nonresident alien. What should I do?

    A – First, if you previously used a tax software such as Turbo Tax and filed as a resident by mistake, all you need to do is file an amended tax return for each year that you filed incorrectly and pay any tax liability that you owe.

    WSU’s tax partner Sprintax has instructions on how to file an amendment. WSU has paid for access to Sprintax for WSU students and scholars. Please go to myPassport.wsu.edu and under Tax Software you can request an access code for Sprintax be emailed to your WSU email.

    Then continue to enter your tax information using the account you used to check your tax residency. The process of filing is relatively straightforward and is easy to do online with Sprintax. http://blog.sprintax.com/how-amend-tax-return-with-sprintax/#amend-re

    After you finish entering your information into Sprintax, you will get a PDF with instructions and forms you need to mail to the IRS. Please follow the instructions in that PDF and include a note to explain that you are returning the CARES payment.

    Q – I received a payment, but I am not qualified. How do I return the CARES payment?

    A – It is important to return the CARES payment if you believe that you received it in error. You should return the payment separately from your tax return above.

    If your refund was a direct deposit into your bank account please follow the steps below.

        1. Contact the Automated Clearing House (ACH) department of your bank have them return the refund to the IRS.
        2. Call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 (individual) to explain why the direct deposit is being returned.
        3. Please know that you can be charged interest on these funds. So return them as quickly as possible.

    If your refund was a physical Treasury check that was mailed to you, do not deposit it into your bank account.

        1. Write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
        2. Submit the check immediately, but no later than 21 days, to the appropriate IRS location listed below. The location is based on the city (possibly abbreviated) on the bottom text line in front of the words TAX REFUND on your refund check.
        3. Don’t staple, bend, or paper clip the check.
        4. Include a note stating “Return of erroneous refund check” and give a brief explanation of the reason for returning the refund check.

    If your refund was a physical Treasury check and has been deposited into your bank:

        1. Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately, but no later than 21 days, to the appropriate IRS location listed below. The location is based on the city (possibly abbreviated) on the bottom text line in front of the words TAX REFUND on your refund check. If you no longer have access to a copy of the check, call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 (individual) and explain to the assistor that you need information to repay a cashed refund check.
        2. Write on the check/money order: Payment of Erroneous Refund, the tax period for which the refund was issued, and your taxpayer identification number (social security number, employer identification number, or individual taxpayer identification number).
        3. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the refund.
        4. Cashing an erroneous refund check may result in interest due the IRS.

    IRS mailing addresses based on the city (possibly abbreviated) located on the bottom text line in front of the words TAX REFUND on your refund check:

        • ANDOVER – Internal Revenue Service, 310 Lowell Street, Andover MA 01810
        • ATLANTA – Internal Revenue Service, 4800 Buford Highway, Chamblee GA 30341
        • AUSTIN – Internal Revenue Service, 3651 South Interregional Highway 35, Austin TX 78741
        • BRKHAVN – Internal Revenue Service, 5000 Corporate Ct., Holtsville NY 11742
        • CNCNATI – Internal Revenue Service, 201 West Rivercenter Blvd., Covington KY 41011
        • FRESNO – Internal Revenue Service, 5045 East Butler Avenue, Fresno CA 93727
        • KANS CY – Internal Revenue Service, 333 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City MO 64108-4302
        • MEMPHIS – Internal Revenue Service, 5333 Getwell Road, Memphis TN 38118
        • OGDEN – Internal Revenue Service, 1973 Rulon White Blvd., Ogden UT 84201
        • PHILA – Internal Revenue Service, 2970 Market