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Advisor, Compliance International Students and Scholars Office

Intl Students & Scholars Off

Advisor, Compliance International Students and Scholars Office

  • 530345
  • Morningside
  • Intl Students & Scholars Off
  • Full Time
  • Opening on: Oct 13 2022
  • Grade 11

Position Summary

Under the supervision of the Senior Associate Director for Compliance, the Compliance Advisor delivers immigration services to the international student community at the Morningside campus. The incumbent works in the day-to-day operations of the fast-paced Compliance team related to the international student population.  Specifically, the incumbent acts as Designated School Official (DSO) and Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) to issue required US government documents to international students to obtain student or exchange visitor visas abroad and re-enter the US successfully; advises on opportunities, rights, and responsibilities under the immigration laws of the United States, and confers with other departments, legal counsel, or governmental agencies as necessary; advises international students on all immigration matters related to their student status in the US. Additional duties as assigned by the Senior Associate Director for Compliance.


  • Works in the day-to-day operations of the Compliance team related to the international student population.  
  • Acts as Designated School Official (DSO) and Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) in issuing required US government documents for international students to obtain appropriate F-1 or J-1 visas.
  • Advises and guides F-1 and J-1 students related to their opportunities, rights, and responsibilities on immigration regulations and university policies, including maintaining their legal status.
  • Evaluates immigration documents and academic records to determine students’ eligibility for required Certificates of Eligibility.
  • Serves as a University liaison and works directly with the State Department, US Department of Homeland Security, consular officers, and immigration officials on matters relating to non-immigrant foreign students as needed.
  • The incumbent serves as a Designated School Official (DSO) and/or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) to review and authorize F-1 Student and/or J-1 Exchange Visitor requests for immigration-related transactions and documents.
  • The incumbent actively participates in the development and maintenance of team expertise in laws and regulations governing international students and in advising/informing ISSO staff and University administrators about university policies and procedures to ensure ongoing compliance.
  • Issues required Certificates of Eligibility for incoming international students to obtain a student (F-1) or Exchange Visitor (J-1) visas, travel abroad, re-enter the U.S. and apply for related immigration benefits as appropriate.
  • The incumbent complies with federal SEVIS reporting and record-keeping requirements, including STEM and Optional Practical Training (OPT) reporting.
  • Maintains and enhances in-depth knowledge of US immigration regulations and school policies as they affect international students and evaluates complex regulations as they apply to individual cases.
  • Refers students to the appropriate campus and community resources as needed, including immigration attorneys, tax professionals, admissions officers, Student Health Services, housing, CUIT, Student Financial Services, etc.
  • Responds to general and specific questions, inquiries, and correspondence from incoming and current international students and their academic departments.
  • Acts as a liaison to departments to inform administrative staff of regulatory and office policy updates.
  • Consults with the SEVIS Response Center and U.S. Customs & Immigration Services to resolve processing or status problems. Consults with the Senior Associate Director for Compliance on current federal regulations, policies, secondary references, and more complex immigration cases.
  • Communicates with federal immigration officials on behalf of Columbia's F and J student population as may be required.
  • Works on Synapsis-related projects.
  • Cultivates a professional presence within ISSO and in the field through local and national partnerships and associations and participates in regional and national international education conferences and meetings.
  •  Performs other related duties and responsibilities as assigned/requested. 

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts, Management, Communications, or Education or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum of two years’ relevant immigration regulation advisement and compliance experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Knowledge of F-1 and J-1 student immigration regulations and SEVIS.
  • Experience as an international student advisor and Designated School Official and/or Alternate Responsible Officer in an international student/scholar office in a college or university required.
  • Working knowledge of Synapsis.
  • Superior organizational, written, and oral communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree in cross-cultural communication, counseling, area or cultural studies, foreign language, international education, or TESOL.
  • Three years of experience administering an advising federal F-1 and J-1 immigration regulations as DSO/ARO in a higher education setting.
  • Experience with ServiceNow.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

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