Skip To Content

Student Portal in SEVIS for OPT Students--Reporting your Employment

Email sent March 27, 2018 to all students in pending and approved OPT status:

Dear Students on Approved OPT (and those still awaiting your approval):

Please note that the SEVIS Student Portal is now up and running. This portal requires approved students on post-completion OPT to register an account where you will be able to—and required to by law—update your own OPT employment and U.S. address information within 10 days of changes.  This allows for more engagement for F-1 student visa holders’ in maintaining their status. Other certain information such as name change and change of visa status are still reported in writing with documentation to me via email.

All of you who have been approved should have received an email from SEVP with a link and instructions on how to do this. ALL EMAILS ARE SENT TO THE ADDRESS ON FILE IN SEVIS which is the email where I am reaching you now. Please check your spam boxes, etc. for this email.  If you can’t find it, please email me to request a re-send.


SEVP will send you messages from time to time to your email address in SEVIS. These messages will be reminders, updates to regulatory information and notes regarding technical outages of the SEVIS system.

Please see the PDF attached for information about setting up  your account, keeping your SEVIS portal account active, and an overview.  Please note that CIIS students are not eligible for STEM OPT.

This link for an overview video about this new SEVIS Student Portal:  “DSO” is Designated School Official. DSOs are listed in the MyCIIS International Students, Contact Section.

Updates about the Student Portal will be made on MyCIIS and  documents therein for your future reference.

Take care,



UPDATE 7/9/2018

To-date, there have been multiple glitches with SEVP communication to students regarding their Student Portal Account. Until you receive an email, please report your OPT employment via the online MyCIIS OPT Update Form  The DSO will send you an updated I-20 to the address on file in SEVIS-- be sure to confirm your address on the OPT Update Form!


CIIS in Canada, October 11-12, 2018

CIIS is a major sponsor of the Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum in beautiful Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, Oct 11 - 14, 2018. The two-day Forum is followed by two days of workshops. We are looking forward to connecting with you in Canada.

Join us in Victoria along with the organizers Integral Counselling BC to learn, converse and connect about the healing potentials of psychedelic medicines. This year's keynote speaker is Robin Carhart-Harris, PhD, Head of Psychedelic Research, Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Division of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London. CIIS Center for Psychadelic Therapy and Research Director Janis Phelps, PhD will also present.

Share the news with your friends!

Writing Services

Editing Services at the Center for Writing and Scholarship (CWS)

As part of writing support services for the international student community, ESL students and L2 learners, the CWS provides technical and grammatical editing on papers and assignments at the final stages of the writing process. Distinct from CWS’ tutoring services (which focus on one-on-one collaboration), the Editing Service focuses on sentence-level edits utilizing Word’s Track Changes function. Along with a marked-up document, the ESM will provide students with general feedback, encouragement, and suggestions for overall writing improvement. The Editing service will launch in September; visit CWS' MyCIIS page (under the Academics tab) to learn more.



You must log in to check your admission number each time you re-enter the U.S. to confirm that your entry to the U.S. was recorded properly. Please keep all copies of all I-94 print outs.

This number shows proof of your being admitted to the U.S. in a legal status and is used for many purposes such as applying for a SSN, dealings at the DMV, and applications for OPT among other things.
To retrieve this number electronically, visit:  

If you have trouble retrieving your number, please make an appointment with Jody so we can get it for you.  Please note that often it is the name field that causes issues so if you have more than one last name please try a variety of combinations.


Student Visa Information

Please refer to information provided in the International Student Handbook and in documents on the MyCIIS International Students section. As well, you can review information on the U.S. Department of State website at


New International Student Orientation

Fall 2018
Friday, August 17, 12-3PM, Room 210 (may not take the entire time, please arrive at 3PM). Lunch will be offered.

We will discuss you immigration rights and responsibilities, services offered at CIIS, and any questions that you may have.
Participation in the international student orientation is required. We ask you to prioritize this Orientation. If there is a conflict with your program retreat, please let us know.
Please bring the following copies to the orientation:
  • Visa stamp
  • I-94 Admission Number
  • Proof of Health insurance in English (CIIS will offer a student insurance plan in 2017-18 which we will discuss at the meeting, so you may choose to wait on this)


Please also bring your SEVIS I-20 form and passport.


This orientation is required for all F-1 visa holders. Please prioritize your attendance for this orientation.  More information will be communicated to incoming international students over the winter months.

If requirements for your degree program interferes with the date please contact Jody. A 'make-up' orientation will be held at the start of the semester for the group who cannot attend on January 19.


Contact: Jody O'Connor:

 Uploaded image


F-1 Student Visa holders on Optional Practical Training (OPT) are required to report within 10 days:

  1. changes employment information including name and address of employer, dates of employment, job title/duties, and loss of or change in employment.
  2. changes to their U.S. residence address
The Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) implemented the SEVIS Student Portal in Spring 2018. All students on approved post-completion OPT are contacted by SEVP to your address on file in the SEVIS database with instructions to set up their student account and report changes. Through this account, students on approved OPT can submit their employer and personal contact information.
If you did not get an email from SEVP, please email to request a new email be sent to you.
If you are pre-completion OPT or have not received approval for post-completion OPT yet, but have employer information, please submit the My CIIS online form below (for each employer).
Once your employment changes are processed, the International Student Advisor will provide you with an updated version of your I-20. You will not receive an updated I-20 for residence address changes.
Please double check the dates on your EAD card compared to the OPT dates listed on your I-20.
Please read information about tax responsibilities while on the F-1 student visa via the tax documents posted on MyCIIS.

Employment Update

Please note that all categories with * are required.

CIIS User ID : 0
First Name :
Last Name :
Email Address:
Employment Changes / Update

Check all that apply :

1. Employer Information
Employer Name or Self Employed :
Start Date :
Show Calendar
Employment is :

Employer Address:
Employer EIN number (Highly recommended) :
Job Title :
End Date :
Show Calendar
2. Employment/Study Information
Explain how employment is related to your course of study/degree at CIIS*
3. Supervisor Information
Full Name :
Telephone Number :
Email Address :
Completion of OPT and Departing the U.S.

At the completion of your post-completion OPT status you will need to either transfer your I-20 to another school/another program, inform CIIS of changes to your visa status or report your date of departure from the U.S. to the International Student Advisor in writing. There is a 60 day grace-period after the completion of your OPT to remain in the U.S., transfer your I-20, change your visa status, etc.

What is the last day of your OPT?
Show Calendar
What date will you depart the US?
Show Calendar
Are you changing your visa status ?

If YES, please indicate new visa status, start date and receipt number :
Are you transferring to another U.S. SEVIS-approved university?

Home Address Update
Street Address:
City :
State :
Zip Code:


Required for School of Professional Psychology & Health and ACTCM who are registered for practicum/internship/clinic at CIIS counseling centers, ACTCM clinics or elsewhere. You must be registered for the course and have a contract agreement on file to qualify. Exception is for Drama Therapy students in required pre-practicum course where they are not registered for a course, but have a contract on file in the PDT office. CPT must be reported here.

*Students in School of Consciousness and Transformation whose program requires an internship or are registered in for credit that requires CPT should fill out the CPT form on MyCIIS and make an appointment with the International Student Advisor to discuss.*

Please review the full information provided in the document called CPT Application and Information on MyCIIS. It is a LOT of information, but please do read through it.


CPT is defined as “alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.” It is a considered type of off-campus employment authorization in the F-1 student visa category that is related to a student’s academic program whether paid or unpaid therefore ‘employer’ and ‘employment’ is used even when it is an internship/practicum/clinic and/or is unpaid.

Eligibility Requirements

1. Students must have been in full-time status for at least one full academic year. Exceptions exist for graduate students whose programs require immediate CPT.

2. In order for work to be considered permissible under CPT, it must be a required or an integral part of your degree requirement and temporary.

3. Employment authorization is employer-specific and requires an offer of employment. SSPH and ACTCM students must have a practicum contract for each site on file. Eligible SCT students must provide a letter from your potential employer (more information in application section).

4. You must be enrolled full-time during the semester(s) that you work CPT, and you must be registered for a practicum/internship course in summer semester exception for PDT students who require a pre-practicum, but are not registered. Contract must be on file in PDT Office and CPT must be reported.

5. NOTE: CPT cannot be authorized beyond the program end date of your I-20. If such a case arises, please also submit a Program Extension Form and support documentations.

Please submit documentation at least 2-4 weeks in advance of your proposed employment start date.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Reporting: SPPH & ACTCM Students 
Submit for each eligible CPT contract.
Please note that all categories with * are required.
CIIS User ID :     0  
First Name :
Last Name : 
Email Address (default) :  



Employer / Practicum or Clinic Site Information
Employer Name :
Employer Address :
Employment Dates

These dates are written on your contract.

If the end date goes beyond your I-20 program end date, you need to first process a Program Extension request. The form is available on MyCIIS.

Start Date :
Show Calendar
End Date :
Show Calendar

Employment Details

Use of full-time CPT will affect your eligibility for OPT after graduation. Please review the CPT Application and Information form on MyCIIS. ;


Explain how employment is related to your course of study/degree at CIIS:

Updated I-20 with CPT Information

All I-20s will be updated with CPT information on page 2. If you contract dates change, please re-submit this form with the new dates. Please make comments in the "Additional Notes"  section below. Preferably students can collect their I-20 from Student Affairs in Room 302.


Home Address
Street Address :
City :
State :
Zip Code :
Additional Notes

Additional Notes :

Principal Designated School Official (PDSO, main contact for international students and the U.S. government):
Jody O'Connor, CIIS, 1453 Mission St., Room 302, 415-575-6157 ,
Associate Director of Student Affairs
Please contact Yuwen Chiu to change your U.S. address in SEVIS, submit RCL, Program Extension and other forms, sign your I-20 or when applying for OPT. 
Designated School Officials (DSO) listed below are authorized to assist you:
Yuwen Chiu, ACTCM, 455 Arkansas St.,
Associate Director of Admissions  
Uploaded image
Please contact Fraylanie for questions about services, online programs/hybrid programs, policy and regulation questions.
Fraylanie Aglipay, Mission and Arkansas Streets,
Associate Dean of Students
Uploaded image

Out of Office

Jody is away from the office on the following dates:

     mid-July through December 2018 -- Please contact a DSO listed above for assistance.


International Student Listserv

Let's connect!

All F-1 international students are automatically added as members to this listserv with their CIIS mymail address.
Any other interested person who wishes to join the list can subscribe at .
Members send emails to: 


This listserv is for:
  • communication by the International Student Advisor to F-1 students regarding immigration updates and reminders . Please be sure to read through the emails or digest of announcements so as not to miss important deadlines and instructions. This is the primary way in which information is transmitted to international students.
  • communication between international students and the International Student Advisor for general questions, immigration and Institute information and more.
  • communication between members.


Information about student email accounts: (log in)

Documents for current students

Please refer to CIIS policies and immigration regulations on these forms prior to any action that may affect successful maintenance of your visa status.  Please give yourself at least 2-4 weeks (as much as 12 weeks for OPT) for processing and submit in a timely manner to the International Student Advisor.  Many of these forms require your department signatures and an appointment with the International Student Advisor.

US Immigration laws are complex and always changing. The information provided on this website and in documents is intended only to give you an overview of different immigration procedures. It should not be construed as a substitute for legal advice. Although we make every effort to make certain that all information contained on this web site is current, we make no guarantees as to its accuracy. You are encouraged to consult an international student advisor or an immigrant attorney to see how the law applies in your case.


Forms for newly admitted International Students: click here.

Please refer to the handbook for information on immigration regulations, CIIS policies, cultural adjustment and more:

  • Arriving in SF
  • Maintaining Your Visa
  • Essential Documents
  • Address & Name Update Requirement
  • Enrollment Requirement & Exceptions
  • Audit Units & Online Classes
  • Concurrent Enrollment
  • Extending Your Study
  • Change of Degree Level/Program
  • CPT reporting requirements
  • OPT application and reporting requirements
(.pdf, 1622K)

As an international student, you have an obligation to comply with the immigration laws and regulations of the United States. It is illegal to violate U.S. federal immigration laws and regulations for any reason whatsoever .   Please refer to detailed information in the Maintaining Your Visa Status document and always check in with the International Student Advisor for questions and advance authorization on actions that will affect your visa status.


(.pdf, 149K)

This is a short list of some organizations for finding funding through grants and scholarships. Please help us keep this information up-to-date and relevant. If you find any good leads for funding, please let the International Student Advisor know.


(.pdf, 483K)

This list includes grants and scholarships for non-residents and U.S. citizens.


(.pdf, 175K)

F-1 students who are maintaining their visa status are eligible to work on-campus.  The MyCIIS Financial Aid tab posts campus jobs. Upon being offered employment students will need to apply for a social security number and complete HR paperwork in order to begin working.


(.pdf, 165K)

There are very few exceptions to the requirement to be enrolled full-time in each semester. Those exceptions include academic difficulty, medical condition, and completion of study, and there are strict criteria for each. In every instance, you must obtain prior authorization from the International Student Advisor. Requests must be made prior to the semester in which a RCL will take place.


(.pdf, 572K)

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) permits program extensions for, “compelling academic or medical reasons, such as changes of major or research topics, unexpected research problems, or documented illnesses.” A program extension may not be granted for reasons resulting from academic probation or suspension. Deadlines and information are listed in the form.


(.pdf, 153K)

STARTING SUMMER 2017:  All SSPH and ACTCM students must fill out the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) online form on MyCIIS and meet eligibility for qualifying CPT.

Students in the SCT programs should review the CPT document and contact the International Student Advisor to verify eligibility.


(.pdf, 182K)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is most commonly used by F-1 students to gain work experience in their field of study after completing a degree program, but there are certain other situations in which OPT may be possible prior to completion of a degree program.  OPT has a cumulative maximum of 12 months per degree sought and requires approval from USCIS. It takes approximately 3 months to receive approval.


You can confirm dates with a date calculator at


(.pdf, 167K)

Information on applying, wait times, taxes, employment, unemployment, travel during pending and approved OPT...

Update: March 2018

Students approved for post-completion OPT will need to create a student profile in SEVIS and update their U.S. address and employer information. Please see details inside the OPT FAQ document.


(.pdf, 178K)
Use for travel while OPT, applying for a social security card if your OPT employment is the first time you are being employed in the U.S.
(.docx, 15K)

You must carry your I-20 with you to enter the U.S. each time you enter! It must be signed on the 2nd page for valid entry after travel.

If you arrive at a U.S. port of entry and do not have all your signed required documents, have not paid the I-901 SEVIS Fee on your current Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” or have a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) status issue, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer may deny your entry into the United States. As an alternative, the officer has discretion to issue you a Form I-515A. This document allows you to have temporary admission into the United States for 30 days. To maintain your nonimmigrantstudent status, you must address your Form I-515A within the time provided to you.


(.pdf, 294K)
Please use these documents when submitting required financial documentation for the visa process or updates/changes to your I-20 form.
For Wire Transfer information, please contact the CIIS Business Office at

Use this form along with official documentation of proof of funding, required for the visa process and extensions of the I-20 program end date.


(.pdf, 170K)



(.pdf, 418K)

Fee waiver is used to request non-payment for the I-765 application which is used for the OPT or Severe Economic Hardship application. In addition to the form, a one-page explanation and evidence is required.

Print the most up-to-date form from the USCIS website linked up above. Instructions are also available on the link. Include the fee waiver request form with your application for OPT or other USCIS applications.
(.pdf, 106K)
Tax Information

All F1 students living in the U.S. must file at least one tax form each year, whether they worked or not. All F1 students need to file the Form 8843. Students who worked must also file the Form 1040NR-EZ. Tax workshops are held in March each spring semester.


U.S. employers are required to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from wages earned in the U.S.  Individuals in F-1, J-1, M-1 or Q-1 status are exempt from these withholding as long are they are considered non-resident aliens for tax purposes. Employers are frequently unaware that F-1 students are exempt from the Social Security tax law and you can recover taxes wrongly withheld.


(.pdf, 586K)

It is the responsibility of each international student to know their rights and responsibilities for filing taxes in the U.S. CIIS does not advise any student on tax filing, only provides basic information in helping clarify the U.S. tax system.

(.pdf, 86K)

Please use this form to go line by line through your 1040NR-EZ. You will need any of the tax documents that you received:

 W2 from employers, CIIS for campus work or your various employers for off-campus work through CPT or OPT.

1099 from employers whom you worked for and got paid as an independent contractor. These forms are usually issued only if you earned over $600, but all income is required to be reported regardless of if you received this form or not. You can request a 1099 from the CIIS Business Office.


(.pdf, 629K)

This document is filed by all F1 and adult F2 dependents who resided in the U.S. in 2017 even if you did not work on or off campus.


(.pdf, 102K)

This form is used by students who earned money through campus employment or various employers while on CPT/OPT.


(.pdf, 117K)

Welcome to CIIS’ Unique Culture of Transformative Learning!

The Bridge Project: August 2018

Aug 6 - Aug 17: International Student Summer Bridge Writing Intensive. This two-week writing intensive is geared specifically for the international student community. International students will have the opportunity to engage academically and connect socially with other new CIIS international students. The program is designed to challenge you intellectually, sharpen your academic writing skills, and give you an early orientation and introduction to the University and program expectations and culture. For all of these reasons, CIIS requires all incoming international students participate in the Summer Bridge Program as part of the International Student Orientation on Friday, August 19th.

Aug 13-17: Domestic Student Bridge Program Writing and Diversity Intensive. A writing, diversity, and social awareness intensive for working students, first generation college students, returning adult learners, and historically underrepresented students. Similar to the writing intensive for international students, this module will prepare incoming students for the types of writing required across academic programs at CIIS. This interactive, two-day workshop is designed to re-familiarize students with the critical reading, writing, and analytical skills that are the foundation for effective academic writing. We'll also engage in community-building activities to strengthen communication skills and classroom engagement.


August 17: New International Student Orientation. Please see details at


August 17: Bridge Welcome Party (in Lobby). A celebratory launch event for all students participating in the Bridge Project, complete with music, dancing, gifts, food, and guest visitors from the CIIS community.


Please review details and the video on the main CIIS website .  
CIIS requires all newly admitted international students to participate in the Summer Bridge Orientation program.  Additionally , any continuing English language learner at CIIS is also welcome to enroll .


What is the Bridge Project?

The Bridge Project is a summer intensive and year-long program of support designed to assist first-year students in building academic confidence and cultivating a sense of belonging as they enter into CIIS’ unique educational culture. Serving a diverse and global community, the Bridge Project will connect students with a supportive cohort of peers, mentors, faculty, and advisors through writing workshops, diversity and social justice modules, field trips to San Francisco venues, and social events. All programs are free to participating students.


What will I (as a student entering CIIS) gain from participating in the Bridge Project?

As a participant in this dynamic Bridge Project initiative, you will:

  • Gain assistance with transitioning into a new city and educational environment
  • Join a supportive cohort of 30 first-year students
  • Hone foundational writing, research, and classroom communication skills
  • Cultivate resilience, belonging, and academic confidence, as you gain tools for thriving during your time at CIIS
  • Participate in community-building workshops, San Francisco field trips, and welcome mixers
  • Connect with mentors, peers, and advisors who will support you throughout your time at CIIS
  • Receive a Certificate of Completion for completing the Bridge Project during a closing ceremony honoring your work

Fall and Spring 2018-2019 Workshops and Social Events. Over the course of the spring and fall semesters, Bridge staff will host a number of events. Possibilities include International Education Week, an evening with guest presenter, Eduardo Duran, and a Social / Movie Night.



Ongoing Year-Long Support: Besides the above learning modules, students will work with advisors and peer mentors throughout the Bridge year, cultivating a sense of resilience, belonging, and confidence in their academic and professional skills. Possible support modalities will be individualized based on students’ needs and professional goals, and may include:


  • Integrated academic support through CWS credit-based writing and research courses
  • Advising meetings with Bridge leadership and staff
  • An online Canvas community page with resources, tutorials, and videos
  • Collaborating with faculty to integrate support modules and workshops in individual classes
  • Support for living and thriving within the context of the San Francisco Bay Area
Please contact International Student Advisor, Jody O'Connor, with questions at

Summer Bridge Project Flyer

Uploaded image

Forms for Incoming Students

Congratulations on your acceptance!

Please review the International Student Acceptance Packet for the steps to obtain the SEVIS I-20/student visa.
All incoming international students are required to attend the Summer Bridge and New International Student Orientation.  Information can be found in the sections to the left.
Contact me with any questions: Jody O'Connor,


This document explains the next steps for  newly admitted students to obtain a student visa. It also includes information on scholarships, employment and services for international students.
You may scan copies to Jody O'Connor at, but please keep the originals for your visa appointment and arrival to the U.S. Jody may require the originals be presented at the New International Student Orientation.
(.pdf, 778K)
Submit the Certificate of Funding form with original financial support documentation showing the minimum amount required to obtain the I-20 as outlined in the International Student Acceptance packet.
(.pdf, 170K)
F-1 visa applicants must pay a one-time fee to supplement the administration costs of the Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS). New students are required to pay this fee.
(.pdf, 586K)
The CIIS Summer Bridge Program is required for all incoming international students. It will be held August 6-16, 2018.  
The New International Student Orientation is held August 17, 2018 and required by all F-1 student visa holders. Information will come to all incoming international students over the summer.
Please review details and the video on the main CIIS website.
** Students who have conflicts with the dates due to their program retreats or intensives should inform the International Student Advisor in June-July**
(.pdf, 299K)
This is a short list of some organizations for finding funding through grants and scholarships. Please help us keep this information up-to-date and relevant. If you find any good leads for funding, please let the International Student Advisor know.
(.pdf, 483K)



(.pdf, 418K)
Students already attending a U.S. institution who wish to transfer their SEVIS I-20 form to CIIS must also submit the Transfer Eligibility form.
(.pdf, 591K)

Many applicants for student visas are denied for reasons that can be avoided if a little advance knowledge and common sense are applied. Here are some tips prospective students should consider when preparing for an interview with a US consular officer (or at the border, for Canadians).


(.pdf, 462K)