Informing ISS about an Emergency


Overview

International Student Services (ISS) provides assistance when there is a crisis or emergency that involves a member of the international student population at Texas A&M University. Members of the ISS Leadership Team provide their personal cell phone numbers to the University Police Department (UPD) as well as the Texas A&M University Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) members so that they can be contacted outside of normal business hours, as needed. ISS employees are trained on how to handle relevant emergency scenarios.
 

How to Inform ISS about an Emergency

During Business Hours

  • Usual business hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Any individual may call the ISS office at 979-845-1824 and speak with an ISS representative.
  • Any individual may send an email to ISS at iss@tamu.edu. Include the student's full name and UIN where applicable.

Outside of Business Hours

  • If the situation does not require immediate ISS attention or notification, any individual may either send an email to ISS at iss@tamu.edu or call the ISS office at 979-845-1824 and leave a message. Include the student'[s full name and UIN where applicable.
  • If the situation does require immediate ISS attention or notification, any individual may call UPD at 979-845-2345.  This will initiate the university's emergency notification process, which includes ISS if the incident impacts any international student. 

  • To consider a travel signature request an emergency, it must be clear that the need for travel was unexpected, was recently determined, and is immediate.

  • ISS will try to process an emergency travel signature prior to the student’s departure, when possible.

  • The student always maintains the option to have the I-20/DS-2019 mailed to them outside of the U.S. so they have it for re-entry. If they cannot obtain it before leaving the U.S.

  • If it is not possible for student to obtain an update I-20/DS-2019 with valid travel signature prior to their planned re-entry to the U.S., they may receive a Form I-515A upon re-entry. This form will grant temporary entry to the U.S. for 30 days. The student should immediately schedule an appointment with an ISS adviser so we can assist them with following the instructions provided on Form I-515A to regain the "Duration of Status" entry given to F-1s and J-1s. 

  • If an I-20 or DS-2019 is stolen, ISS will provide the student with information about how to file a police report to document the incident.
  • If the student has no urgent need for the current I-20/DS-2019, they will submit a request to ISS for a replacement I-20/DS-2019 as well as a copy of the one that was lost, stolen, or destroyed. This can be requested via email to iss@tamu.edu or as a drop-off to the ISS front counter. (110 Pavilion)
  • If the student has an urgent need for the current I-20/DS-2019, ISS will try to process the new document in time to meet the student’s need.
  • During business hours the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official may call the ISS office at 979-845-1824 to speak with an Alternate Responsible Office (ARO) or a Designated School Official (DSO).
  • During non-business hours, the CBP official will leave a message and the case will be addressed during business hours.
  • It is ultimately left to the discretion of CBP whether to permit the individual admission to the U.S.
  • If a student is taken to jail for a short-term incarceration, they should inform ISS after the fact so that they can be advised on the potential impact this could have for future immigration requests, including visa applications.
  • If a student is taken to jail for a long-term incarceration, they should inform ISS during their incarceration so that ISS can do the following:
    • Advise the student on the potential impact this could have for future immigration requests, including visa applications.
    • Advise the student on the potential immigration impact of the conviction of certain crimes
    • Advise the student on the potential immigration impact of interrupting their academic progress as a result of the incarceration
  • If an individual reports concerns about an international student’s whereabouts, safety, and/or well-being, ISS will direct them to report these concerns through the appropriate channels outlined on the ISS website at http://iss.tamu.edu/Current-Students/Safety-Information.
  • As needed, ISS will attempt to contact the student during normal business hours using all forms of contact information on their record. The role of ISS in this incident will be to relay the expressed concern and to inquire whether the student is okay and if they have any questions for ISS.
  • ISS can offer to provide the student with assistance, as needed, and will refer the student to relevant campus and community resources.
  • If an international student has had or is currently experiencing a medical issue or hospitalization, please inform ISS and also inform Student Assistance Service by calling 979-845-3113. 
  • The student and/or their emergency contact is encouraged to communicate with ISS to determine if the medical issue may impact their immigration status, particularly if it will interrupt their academic progress. ISS can advise on immigration options that may be available to the student, including Medical Reduced Course Load or Authorized Early Withdrawal
  • As needed, ISS will attempt to contact the student during normal business hours using all forms of contact information on their record. The role of ISS in this incident will be to relay the expressed concern and to inquire whether the student is okay and if they have any questions for ISS.
  • ISS can offer to provide the student with assistance, as needed, and should refer the student to relevant campus and community resources.
  • If a student has health insurance coverage through the Texas A&M University System Student Health Insurance Plan (SSHIP), they can find information about how to access their Health Insurance ID card on the ISS Health Insurance webpage: http://iss.tamu.edu/Current-Students/Health-Insurance.
  • If a student has health insurance coverage through a graduate assistantship position, they may visit https://tamus.myahpcare.com/ and click on ‘Find Group and Member ID’ to find the information that will be required to access their Health Insurance ID card.
  • If a student does not have health insurance coverage through the SSHIP or a graduate assistantship, ISS will be unable to assist in verifying the student’s insurance coverage.
  • If a student has questions about the benefits available to them through an Academic HealthPlans (AHP) provided plan (either SSHIP or graduate assistantship), they may contact the insurance company directly: http://iss.tamu.edu/Current-Students/Health-Insurance#1-AHPContact.
  • If a student needs ISS assistance to clarify or identify the benefits available to them through an Academic HealthPlans (AHP) provided plan (either SSHIP or graduate assistantship), an ISS advisor can call AHP during normal business hours to introduce the situation and obtain the appropriate information and contacts to share with the student or the student’s emergency contact. ISS will encourage AHP and the student to communicate directly after that.
  • ISS will refer the student, family members and friends to AHP and/or the designated medical facility representative who can best assist them with other insurance-related inquiries.
  • If ISS is informed that an international student has died, we will assist with informing relevant campus personnel, primarily Student Assistance Services.
  • We will provide information and assistance, as needed, to the family and emergency contacts.
  • ISS can provide assistance to family members who need a visa to enter the U.S.
  • ISS can also provide contact information for the university insurance company to discuss benefits available to the family, which may include travel assistance to the U.S.