Advising Policies

The Role of the IS Advisor

Guidance provided by IS Advisors, as well as information on the OGS website and handouts, should not be construed as legal advice. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policies, practices, and regulatory interpretation are fluid and may change at any time. OGS makes every effort to provide the most current guidance. Advising is based on information reported to OGS and in the immigration record at the time of inquiry. All changes must be reported to OGS for accurate advising.

OGS offers three avenues for immigration advising: Email, appointments, and walk-in hours.

  • Email advising gives both parties a clear, accurate record of the information exchanged, reducing the possibility of confusion and allowing for future reference. Each advisor serves a huge caseload of students. Please allow 1-2 business days for a reply before following up.
  • Alternatively, you may schedule an in-person appointment with your dedicated IS Advisor. Make sure your calendar is set to Eastern Standard Time (EST) to avoid scheduling confusion.
  • For brief inquiries, feel free to visit OGS during walk-in hours, where you will wait in queue and be served by the advisor on duty.

IS Advisors may recommend consultation with an immigration attorney in particularly complex or uncertain cases. A handout of immigration attorneys is available on the OGS legal resources website. Please inquire about legal fees prior to scheduling an appointment with one of the attorneys.

Immigration Record Retention Policy

Georgetown University permanently deletes immigration documentation based on the following timelines:

  • Three years after a student’s completion, termination or adjustment out of F-1 or J-1 status.
  • Three years after a J-1 scholar or student intern’s completion, termination or adjustment out of J-1 status.
  • Five years after an E-3, H-1B or O-1 temporary worker’s date of termination or change of status.

Students should retain each Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 issued by Georgetown to ensure a complete immigration history. Students should also maintain detailed personal records of all U.S.-based activities in F-1 or J-1 status, including but not limited to all volunteer, training and employment activities.

Scholars should retain each Form DS-2019 and I-797 approval notice to ensure a complete immigration history.

The Role of the Program Associate in Providing International Tax Information

OGS provides basic tax information to Georgetown University F-1 and J-1 students and scholars who are considered nonresident aliens for tax purposes. This information includes an online Tax Questionnaire, Tax FAQs, free access to Glacier Tax Prep software, and limited-in person advising. IS Advisors are not tax specialists and cannot advise on tax matters or assist with the completion of forms. 

OGS assists only with satisfying legal tax obligations in the United States. OGS does not assist with securing an individual’s most beneficial U.S. tax outcome.

OGS provides general guidance on established best practices, which are subject to change at any time. For guidance on specific situations, OGS advises contacting a Tax Preparation Specialist for Nonresident Aliens (PDF).