USA government links
The USA Department of Homeland Security is the USA umbrella agency for maintaining national security.
- Department of Homeland Security administers USA immigration policy through Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which manages the Student and Exchange Visitor Program
- The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System is the web-based program the Department of Homeland Security designed to track international student and scholar flows and status, managed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- USA Citizen and Immigration Services, another branch of the Department of Homeland Security, concerns itself with the benefits of immigration, including regulations for international students and scholars to work in the USA
- Customs and Border Protection reviews documents when international students and scholars arrive in the USA. (You can print your electronic I-94 form at the Customs and Border Protection site)
The USA Department of State interacts with international students and scholars
- through the Bureau of Consular Affairs that provides information on the travel process and processes visas at USA Embassies and USA Consulates around the world
- through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which strives to promote mutual understanding between the people of the USA and people around the world through information to potential international students (EducationUSA) and designation of exchange programs like Fulbright
The Internal Revenue Service is the USA tax collection agency. Please see information for Current Students. The Social Security Administration issues Social Security Numbers and cards as described in the Employment Resources page.
Massachusetts state links
- Massachusetts State Treasury – information on tax liability and forms for filing annual state taxes
- Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles – process for registering a motor vehicle and obtaining a driver’s license
- The Driver’s Manual, especially Chapter One: Obtaining Your License – application process for holders of international drivers licenses
Scam alert – imposter calls!
If someone claiming to be a government official or law enforcement officer calls making threats such as deportation, beware! Hang up and report it!
Here’s how it works
A number appears on your caller identification that may look like a legitimate government number. When you answer, the person on the phone poses as a USA Citizenship and Immigration Services or other government official or law enforcement officer. The scammer (or scammers) will say there is a problem with your application or additional information is required to continue the immigration process. Then, they will often ask for sensitive personal and financial information, demand payment, and threaten you with deportation, arrest, or other negative consequences if you do not comply.
The scammer will then order victims to make a payment – and will often order them to go to a nearby bank or store and withdraw money or purchase a prepaid card, gift card, voucher, money order or make some other wire transfer, money exchange, payment or withdrawal. (Note that the scammers are often able to direct victims to nearby banks or stores by using online maps to study the area in which a victim resides.)
If you receive a call like that, hang up immediately. We will never ask for any form of payment over the phone or in an email. If we need payment, we will mail a letter on official stationery requesting payment. Do not give payment over the phone to anyone who claims to be a USA Citizenship and Immigration Services official. In general, we encourage you to protect your personal information and not to provide details about your immigration application in any public area.
Steps you can take
If you have been a victim of this telephone or email scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission. If you receive a suspicious email or voice message and are not sure if it is a scam, forward it to the the USA Citizenship and Immigration Services webmaster at (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will review the messages received and share with law enforcement agencies as appropriate. Visit the Avoid Scams Initiative for more information on common scams and other important tips.
If you have a question about your immigration record, please call the National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 or visit https://my.uscis.gov/appointment to make an InfoPass appointment. You can also use myUSCIS to find up-to-date information about your application process.
Please report any suspicious call or e-mail to the Office of Global Services.
Northeastern Police Department has posed a video about scams, please make sure to view it here.