Presentation Title

US Immigration 101: General Guidelines and Information

Location

BUL250

Start Date

8-16-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

8-16-2018 4:20 PM

Description

International students transition to the U.S. and go through the process and procedures of an I-20 document and an F-1 visa interview. Upon arrival, what are the next steps for these students? This session will discuss the barriers students experience and helpful steps to overcome the barriers as well as general immigration guidelines for advising international students. What is the current immigration climate?

Biography

Robert Benjamin grew up in a pastor’s home. He is married to Judy Benjamin, also an Andrews employee, and they have a daughter, Melodie, Andrews graduate and currently a physician assistant at Bronson Hospital, Kalamazoo.

Benjamin completed his undergraduate degree at Spicer College, India, in finance and economics. He worked for an SDA conference in Malaysia for six years as an associate accountant and ran the family business for five years very successfully. He felt called to come to ministry and came to Andrews in 1996 to study for his MDiv as an international student. He graduated from that program in 2000 while working for Andrews in the Student Financial Services office. In 2005, Benjamin left Andrews to work for Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, as director of Financial Aid; he worked there until January 2012. During that time, he completed an MBA degree at Bethel College. In February 2012, he went to Alma College in mid-Michigan to be the director of the Center for Student Opportunities, efforts focused on assisting first generation college students. Benjamin came back to Andrews in January 2013 to take on the responsibility of director of International Student Services. He started a doctorate program in 2017 and anticipates completing it by May 2020.

Silmara Ferreira is the associate director for the Office of International Student Services & Programs. She also serves as DSO (designated school official) for the government bearing the responsibility to issue and sign I-20s (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) for the F-1 visa application.

She has been serving Andrews University for 13 years in different capacities. She formerly served as an international recruiter coordinator at the Office of Enrollment Management and as training and development coordinator at the Office of Human Resources. She graduated in 2009 with a Master of Arts and is currently pursuing an MBA. She is married to Nilson Ferreira with twins daughters Stephanie and Melannie, who are 14 years old.

Jacqueline Yates is the international financial advisor who provides initial steps for students to receive their I-20 form, the document needed to retain an F-1 student visa. Jacqueline believes the opportunity to expand our cultural awareness deepens with each new international student who arrives on our campus.

Jacqueline has formerly served as a fundraiser within the Office of Development and has worked just under 10 years in total at the University. Jacqueline is also an alternate responsible officer (ARO) and assists our J-1 exchange visitor community. Jacqueline holds a bachelor's in religious studies from Burman University and a master's in communication from Andrews University. She is married with two small children, Christopher and Michael.

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Aug 16th, 2:00 PM Aug 16th, 4:20 PM

US Immigration 101: General Guidelines and Information

BUL250

International students transition to the U.S. and go through the process and procedures of an I-20 document and an F-1 visa interview. Upon arrival, what are the next steps for these students? This session will discuss the barriers students experience and helpful steps to overcome the barriers as well as general immigration guidelines for advising international students. What is the current immigration climate?