Friday, October 6, 2017

NEWSLETTER - October 6, 2017

Dear PIER Members,

We look forward to seeing many of you at our next PIER meeting on October 19, 2017 with government representatives. This is an opportunity for you to meet representatives from our local CBP, ICE, SEVP and Department of State office.  Thank you to our members who have submitted questions.

Next PIER Meeting
Thursday, October 19, 2017
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

U.S. Attorney’s Office, Federal Building
880 Front Street, Room 6273
San Diego, CA  92101

The confirmed panelists are as follows:

Madeline Kristoff 
Community Relations Officer 
District 24 – San Diego and Imperial | U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Cassie Hero
Field Representative – San Diego (12)
Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Sandra H. Raynes
Deputy Non-Immigrant Visa Chief Consul Para Visas
Consulado General de los Estados Unidos en México | US Consulate General | Tijuana, BC

Gustavo Banuelos
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer

There will also be Special Agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) present as well as an officer from ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). 


·        Valid/current photo ID is required for entrance into a Federal facility.
·        Paid parking is available in nearby parking garages for a fee of about $10.00.
·        Please note that  food or beverages are not allowed inside the meeting room (except for water).


PIER Membership
If you have not yet registered to become a member for the 2017-2018 school year, you still have time. Please click on this link to fill out the 2017-2018 membership application at: https://goo.gl/forms/vLuwMao53kVTwTKM2 The membership is per person, not institution.

PIER offers three options to pay your membership dues.
1. PAYPAL: (You will receive an email from PayPal with full instructions, a PayPal account is  
not necessary to make payment).
2. CREDIT CARD: Pay in person at the October 19, 2017 or December 1, 2017 meeting.
3. CHECK: Make checks payable to PIER. Mail checks to PIER treasurer:

Vanessa Fennell
1111 6th Avenue, 6th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101

Payment is due no later than December 1, 2017. PIER charges a $5.00 late fee for dues received after December 1, 2017. Thank you for your understanding. The PIER membership for 2017-2018 ends June 30, 2018. We look forward to having you as a PIER member.


USCIS Invitation: Stakeholder Engagement on Revised Form I-765

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) invite you to participate in a stakeholder teleconference on Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 2 to 3 p.m. (Eastern), to discuss the revised USCIS Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. As of Oct. 2, 2017, Form I-765 applicants will have the option to apply for a Social Security number (SSN) at the same time they apply for employment authorization or for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). SSA estimates this will reduce visits to their offices by almost 400,000 annually.

During this session, representatives from USCIS and SSA will review the updates made to the form, provide an overview of the process of obtaining a SSN, and answer your questions.

To register, please follow these steps:
· Visit our registration page.
· Enter your email address and select "Submit."
· Select "Subscriber Preferences."
· Select the "Event Registration" tab.
· Provide your full name and organization, if any.
· Complete the questions and select "Submit."

If you have any questions regarding the registration process, or if you have not received a confirmation email within two business days, please email us at uscis-igaoutreach@uscis.dhs.gov.


NAFSA Region XII Conference – October 23-27, 2017 (Sacramento, California)

Start making plans now to attend the conference.  See the registration FAQ's for more information about registration fees, housing information, and pre-conference workshops.


Full Conference Schedule:

Call for Volunteers at the NAFSA Region XII Annual Conference

Would you like to become more involved in NAFSA Region XII? Volunteering is a great way to network while getting a behind-the-scenes look at the conference and learning about various regional leadership positions. Contact Stephanie Shaker Sullivan at shaker@callutheran.edu.


PIER Meetings

Please save the date for our next regular” PIER meeting on Friday, December 1st, 2017 from 2pm to 4pm at National University.  We are in the process of planning our meeting dates and locations for 2017-2018.  Please go to our website www.piergroup.org for the most up to date information with locations, dates and agendas. As soon as dates and locations are available, we will post in the PIER website calendar.

We are currently looking for institutions to host our February, April, and June meetings.  If your school is interested in hosting a PIER meeting, please email us and we can work with you on dates and times.


Do you have an item or job posting you would like to post in the PIER newsletter that is valuable to PIER members? Please email piergroupsd@gmail.com with your inquiry. Thank you. The PIER Board reserves the right to edit content.

PIER Board

Chair – Rhona Reyes, University of San Diego
Chair-Elect Lucas Olson, San Diego State University
Treasurer Vanessa Fennell, Stafford House San Diego
Membership Coordinator Mia Scavone, Mira Costa College
Communications Coordinator Cadence Ellis, National University









Friday, September 15, 2017

PIER Newsletter September 15, 2017


Message from the PIER Chair

Hope everyone is having a great start to the school year, particularly for those who just finished welcoming new students and scholars to their institutions.  We at PIER Board are likewise excited for hopefully another productive year with current and new members and look forward to learning and growing professionally along the way.

In the PIER tradition, I would like to introduce and welcome the 2017-18 PIER Board members Lucas Olson, San Diego State University – PIER Chair Elect; Vanessa Fennell, Stafford House – PIER Treasurer; Mia Scavone, MiraCosta College – PIER Membership Coordinator, and Cadence Ellis, National University – PIER Communications Coordinator. We look forward to serving our San Diego international educator community and meeting you at our next meetings.


PIER Membership

Thank you for your participation in PIER last year, we would look forward to continuing to have you as a PIER member for the 2017-18 membership years. The dues are $10.00 per individual (not per institution) for the 2017-2018 membership years.  Following your membership application submission, you will receive a statement from PIER.  This year, PIER has more options to pay your membership dues.

Please click on the PIER 2017-18 membership link below for more information regarding our organization and to begin the application to join PIER. https://goo.gl/forms/vLuwMao53kVTwTKM2


Annual Government Panel Meeting

The PIER Board is pleased to announce that the annual meeting with the Department of Homeland Security and State Department is scheduled for Thursday, October 19, 2017, from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.  As a reminder, you may submit questions by Tuesday, September 19th, 2017.  If you are not able to submit questions by this time, you will also get a chance to ask live questions during the meeting per our practice. 

Panelists from DHS-ICE, SEVP, DOS, CBP, and USCIS are expected to be present at the event.  Further details will be provided in the agenda to be sent before the meeting.


PIER Travel Grant

PIER is pleased to offer travel grants on a competitive basis for members to participate in NAFSA conferences. These conferences provide an opportunity for international educators to acquire and exchange information and are an excellent way to begin building a personal network of contacts in the field of international education.

This year, PIER Board has decided to raise the travel grant offer to make it more appealing for PIER membership.  Instead of the $250-$300/grant that we have given in years past, PIER will award a $500 travel grant to two (2) recipients to attend the 2017 NAFSA Region XII Annual Conference in Sacramento, California to support registration, travel and lodging expenses.  (Go to http://www.nafsa.org/Connect_and_Network/NAFSA_Regions/Region_XII/Conference/ for details regarding the conference.)

To be eligible, applicants must be current San Diego PIER members or become a member prior to submission of this application.  Aside from filling out a short questionnaire on this form, applicants will be asked to submit the following:

1.  Statement of Objective
2.  Letter of Recommendation from a Supervisor

PIER requires each selected PIER travel grant recipient to present a 30-minute or longer presentation to PIER members on Friday, December 1st, 2017.

Travel Grant Application Due Date: Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Recipient Notification Date: Monday, October 9th, 2017

Travel Grant Funds Distribution: Within 30 days of receipt of your complete PIER travel grant reimbursement form.

Link to PIER Travel Grant Application: https://goo.gl/forms/unP5SKUVVzxWoqyn2



NAFSA Region XII Conference – October 23-27, 2017 (Sacramento, California)

Start making plans now to attend the conference. See the registration FAQ's for more information about registration fees, housing information, and pre-conference workshops. Check out the Full Conference Schedule.

Call for Volunteers at the NAFSA Region XII Annual Conference

Would you like to become more involved in NAFSA Region XII? Volunteering is a great way to network while getting a behind-the-scenes look at the conference and learning about various regional leadership positions. Contact Stephanie Shaker Sullivan at shaker@callutheran.edu.


Job Postings

San Diego State University is looking for an Exchange Coordinator and International Student Advisor (please refer to online announcement for details):

PIER Meetings

Please save the date for our next regular” PIER meeting on Friday, December 1st, 2017 from 2pm to 4pm at National University.  We are in the process of planning our meeting dates and locations for 2017-2018.  Please go to our website www.piergroup.org for the most up to date information with locations, dates and agendas. As soon as dates and locations are available, we will post in the PIER website calendar.

We are currently looking for institutions to host our February, April, and June meetings.  If your school is interested in hosting a PIER meeting, please email us and we can work with you on dates and times.

Do you have an item or job posting you would like to post in the PIER newsletter that is valuable to PIER members? Please email piergroupsd@gmail.com with your inquiry. Thank you. The PIER Board reserves the right to edit content.

PIER Board

Chair – Rhona Reyes, University of San Diego
Chair-Elect Lucas Olson, San Diego State University
Treasurer Vanessa Fennell, Stafford House San Diego
Membership Coordinator Mia Scavone, Mira Costa College
Communications Coordinator Cadence Ellis, National University


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

PIER NEWSLETTER: MAY 12, 2017

In This Issue:
·         PIER Announcements
·         Next PIER Meeting
·         PIER Board Membership
·         NAFSA Academy
·         NAFSA Region XII 2017 Conference    
·         USCIS Policy on COS to F1/M1
·         PIER Meeting Dates

PIER Announcements

Dear SD PIER Members,

We hope your spring is going well.  It was great to see all of those who were able to participate in the tour of the U.S. Consulate General, Tijuana on April 27, 2017.  PIER looks forward to providing future opportunities such as these to gain more insight into our field and connect with your PIER colleagues. 

We look forward to seeing you at our final 2016-2017 PIER meeting. 

Next PIER Meeting

Date: Friday, June 23, 2017
Location: Mira Costa College, San Elijo Campus
3333 Manchester Ave.
Cardiff, CA 92007
Time: 1:00 – 3:00 pm
(Please note that the meeting time has been changed from 2:00 pm to 1:00 pm)

Additional meeting information to follow.  If you are interested in including any items to the agenda, please email PIER at piergroupsd@gmail.com by June 9, 2017.  We welcome your presentations and ideas.

Volunteer to be on the 2017-2018 PIER Board

Have you thought about volunteering as a PIER Board member? Are you interested in lending your skills and collaborating with your fellow colleagues in the International field?  Do you know what happens outside of the PIER meetings as a PIER Board member?  The busiest times on the PIER Board are at the beginning and end of the membership year. We are deciding on agendas, meeting locations, membership applications, budgets, and more.  Throughout the year, we correspond by email and conference call to keep up to date on PIER updates, meetings, and agendas.

Open Positions for the 2017-2018 PIER Board:
Chair-Elect
Communications Coordinator

If you are interested in including your name as nominee for one of the above positions, please email piergroupsd@gmail.com by no later than May 26, 2017.  If you would like details and requirements for each PIER Board position, please review the PIER Bylaws. In addition, please email piergroupsd@gmail.com if you have any questions or speak with one of the current PIER Board members who will be happy to answer your questions.

PIER Board Elections

Stay tuned as we will send out a ballot for the new PIER board nominees. 

NAFSA Academy Coach Application for Class 15 are open! Applications will close on June 15, 2017.

The Academy for International Education is a yearlong professional development program designed to provide newcomers with an introduction to the field of international education and those who are more experience with an opportunity to broaden their experiences. Experienced international education serve and coaches and guide the learning process of a cohort of up to six Academy trainees.

The NAFSA Academy for International Education is now accepting applications to select two Coaches from Region XII for Academy Class 15. Academy coaches will have the opportunity to improve their mentoring and training skills, connect with other regional coaches and grow their NAFSA network, and most importantly, contribute to the professional development of international educators in their Region.

Becoming a NAFSA Academy Coach is a fun and rewarding way to become involved with NAFSA on a higher level! Applications are due by Monday, June 15, 2017. Please visit the NAFSA Academy page to read more about becoming an Academy Coach and to download the application.

2017 NAFSA Region XII Conference: Call for Proposals Now Open!

The 2017 NAFSA Region XII Conference will be taking place from October 23-October 27, 2017 in Sacramento, CA.  Have you considered submitting a proposal for the regional conference? Here is some basic guidance from NAFSA for thoughtfully and intentionally developing a session proposal!  Accepted proposals submitted before June 8, qualify for a $40 discount each for up to two presenters.

If you have any questions about proposals, please contact the Proposal Committee Chair, Steve Jacques, at jacques@hawaii.edu.  Go to https://www.conferenceabstracts.com/cfp2/home.asp to submit your proposals.

USCIS Policy on Filing Bridge Applications During COS to F-1 or M-1 Status
On April 13, 2017 USCIS updated its website to clarify that an applicant changing from B-1 or B-2 visitor status to F-1 or M-1 student must file a separate "bridge" I-539 application if needed to make sure that the applicant's visitor status expires no later than 30 days before the F-1 or M-1 program start date, including circumstances where the program start date is deferred in order to prevent the SEVIS record from canceling while the COS application is pending.  USCIS included the following information for applicants changing from B-1 or B-2 visitor status to F-1 or M-1 student:
You must maintain your B-1 or B-2 status while your Form I-539 is pending. You will need to file a second Form I-539, with a separate fee, to request an extension of your B-1 or B-2 status if:
·         Your current status will expire more than 30 days before the initial F-1 or M-1 program start date. We may approve your Form I-539 change of status request only if you are maintaining your B-1/B-2 status up to 30 days before your program’s initial start date. If your status will expire more than 30 days before your F-1 or M-1 program’s initial start date, you must file a second Form I-539 requesting to extend your B-1 or B-2 status. If you do not file this extension request on time, we will deny your Form I-539 request to change to F-1 or M-1 status. Please check our processing times to determine if you need to file a request to extend your B-1/B-2 status.

·        Your F-1 or M-1 program start date is deferred to the following academic term or semester because we did not make a decision on your Form I-539 change of status application before your originally intended F-1 program start date. You must file a second Form I-539 in order to bridge the gap in time between when your current status expires and the 30 day period before your new F-1 program start date.
Because extending your current stay in B-1 or B-2 status and changing from B-1 or B-2 to F-1 or M-1 status are two distinct benefits, you must pay a separate filing fee for each request. See the User Fee Statute, 31 U.S.C. 9701.
For more information regarding this update please visit the USCIS and NAFSA resources (below):
PIER Meeting Future Dates

Please save the date for our final 2016-2017 PIER meeting.  

Date: June 23, 2017
Location: Mira Costa College, San Elijo Campus
3333 Manchester Ave.
Cardiff, CA 92007
Time: 1:00 pm

Do you have an item or job posting you would like to post in the PIER newsletter that is valuable to PIER members? Please email piergroupsd@gmail.com with your inquiry. Thank you. The PIER Board reserves the right to edit content.
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PIER Board
Chair - Eric Abutin, National University
Chair-Elect Rhonaliza Reyes, University of San Diego
Treasurer Vanessa Fennell, Stafford House San Diego
Membership Coordinator Mia Scavone, Mira Costa College
Communications Coordinator John Akapito, National University


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