UMD: A Globally Connected University

Frequently Asked Questions

ADMISSION

I applied for undergraduate admission. What is the status of my application?
Please note that you are first admitted by Undergraduate Admissions and then your record is transferred to our office to generate the I-20. Since our office does not deal directly with admissions decisions, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions office at um-admit@umd.edu if you have further questions regarding your admission to the University of Maryland. Additional information is also available on their website at: http://www.admissions.umd.edu/apply/internationalapplication.cfm.
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I applied for graduate admission. What is the status of my application?
According to university records, your admission is still pending. Please note that the academic program/department recommends admission after which the Graduate School officially offers admission. Therefore, although a student may received an admission letter from the program/department, s/he may still need to contact the Graduate School to determine if any additional documentation is needed.

Once a student is admitted by the academic department and the Graduate School, then the record is transferred to International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) to generate an I-20. ISSS does not oversee admissions to the University of Maryland for undergraduate or graduate students. Please contact the Graduate School at gradschool@umd.edu for detailed information about admission.

If you would like to check the status of your application, please use your application supplemental form (ASF) which can be found by logging into the Graduate School application page. You may use the same user name and password that you created the first time you applied to the University of Maryland. Please note that you will only be able to view academic documents such as transcripts and test scores. Once an admissions decision has been made, you will receive a notification that your decision letter is available in the application status section of the ASF.
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I need help with my Directory ID, UID, or SID?
In order to create your directory ID, international students are issued a student identification number (SID) by University of Maryland to take the place of an American social security number (SSN). Your SID is needed to create your directory ID, but you should not need the SID after that. Your university identification number (UID) is what is most typically used by administrative offices on campus to look up your student account.  For more information on the UID, SID, or Directory ID, click here.  For assistance in creating or retrieving your Directory ID, click here.
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Am I required to take an English Proficiency Exam?
Option (1) Students who will be awarded a degree from the U.S., United Kingdom, Anglophone Africa, Anglophone Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the Commonwealth Caribbean prior to enrolling in the University of Maryland are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS. Please see full details on our website.

Option (2) Regarding your TOEFL question -- you can find additional information about international student admissions at International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) Web site, but ISSS itself does not admit students to the university. At http://www.ois.umd.edu follow the link for "International Admissions" and select from the appropriate sub-link -- Graduate Studies -- that appears below. Review the section on "Evidence of English Proficiency." Note within the section:

Note: Students who will be awarded a degree from the U.S., United Kingdom, Anglophone Africa, Anglophone Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the Commonwealth Caribbean prior to enrolling in the University of Maryland are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS.

Graduate Students: Your admissions letter should note whether you are required to take an English language exam. Students who are not certain which exam they must take should contact Ms. Megan Van Son in the Graduate School at mvanson@umd.edu.

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What are my housing options?
International students are permitted to move into their dormitories early. If you have an on-campus residence assignment, then you will be able to move in beginning on 8/19 at 4pm. Residence Life will send this information to students directly. If you don't have an on-campus assignment, there will be no housing provided.

You can contact the Department of Residence Life with any questions about on-campus housing. Their contact information is: 2101 Annapolis Hall, College Park, MD 20742, Phone: (301) 314-2100, Email: reslife@umd.edu. You can also consult their website for more information: http://www.reslife.umd.edu/.

Also, if you are interested in off-campus housing, there is a great resource on campus called Off-Campus Housing Services that has been very helpful to our international students. Their contact information is: 1110 Stamp Student Union, College Park, MD 20742, Phone: 301.314.3645, Email: och@umd.edu. Their website can be found at: http://www.och.umd.edu/OCH/Default.aspx if you'd like more information.

General information about housing is also available on our website here.
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I have a new email address. How do I update my contact information?
You can update your email address and any other contact information in Testudo at the following link:http://www.testudo.umd.edu/.
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When can I register for orientation?
The schedule and requirements will be posted on the ISSS website no later than two months before the beginning of the semester. Please check that the information you view is for your intended semester of enrollment. Remember to check back with ISSS no later than 2 months before your program start date.

You can review an international student's initial steps by going to http://ois.umd.edu. On the left of the page select "NEW ARRIVALS" and then click on the "Student Orientation" link that appears. The information covers orientation instructions for undergraduate, graduate, transfer and exchange students. Select the appropriate link for detailed information. Note that currently the information refers to orientations scheduled for Fall 2012, but will be updated for the Spring 2013 semester by November 2012. The ISSS Web site has a wealth of information for international students studying at the University of Maryland to reference. For example, see the "ARRIVAL GUIDE" for useful information about the university and metropolitan region.

See the University of Maryland, College Park academic calendar for semester start dates in addition to other important dates throughout the academic year.

Remember to check back with ISSS in November. You should be able to reserve an orientation spot at that time.
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How do I defer my admission?
Contact your department directly to discuss your current academic situation -- that is, whether you want to deferral an additional semester or reject admission.

Review the Graduate School's admissions policies:
Applicants are allowed a one-time only deferral of the admission of up to one year, subject to approval by the graduate program. Applicants who are unsuccessful in gaining admission to a graduate program are also notified in writing by the Graduate School.

This information appears in the Offer of Admissions paragraph in the link above. So make sure to contact your department to discuss your current status at the University of Maryland.
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VISA/I-20

I have not received my I-20 yet. When can I expect it?
Our office has a large number of international students entering our university. Our staff is working hard to generate the I-20s as fast as they can but it can take 2-3 weeks for you to receive it. Once your I-20 is created, you will receive a confirmation email. This email will request information regarding how you would like your I-20 form shipped to you and the address where it should be mailed. This is a very important email and you should respond to it immediately. If you do not see it in your inbox, you may need to check your junk mail. Please make sure you reply to that email (not this one) as it expires three days after it has been generated. If you do not respond within 3 business days, the Office of International Services will place your I-20 in the U.S. Mail for delivery to your non-U.S. address. All instructions on the various shipping options and address change requests are included in the mailing options email.
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Will my VISA granted?
Unfortunately, we cannot advise you regarding the likelihood of procuring a visa to the United States as it varies widely by country of origin and area of study. For more information, please contact the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your area. This is also the best resource to find out the process for applying for your visa at that particular embassy or consulate and what documents you need to prepare. You can find the embassy or consulate that is closest to you at http://www.usembassy.gov/.
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When should I make my Visa appointment/travel arrangements?
We advise not to make visa appointments or travel arrangements until the I-20 has been received. However, once you receive your new I-20, please make your visa appointment as soon as possible to ensure that you can arrive in time for orientation and the beginning of the semester. F-1 student visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your program start date. However, please keep in mind that you will not be allowed to enter the U.S. in F-1 status more than 30 days before your start date.
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I am a high school student studying in the U.S. on a student visa. I was admitted to the university. What should I do to get my I20 from the University of Maryland?
If you are currently studying on an F-1 immigration status then you will transfer your I-20 from your current school to the University of Maryland. To begin the transfer process please see the staff member who signed your I-20 and ask them to complete the University's transfer form. There are two ways to transfer described on the form. Please follow the appropriate instructions.
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I am currently studying at a community college, and was admitted to the University. What is the next step to receive my I20 from the University of Maryland?
If you are currently studying on an F-1 immigration status then you will transfer your I-20 from your current school to the University of Maryland. To begin the transfer process please see your International Student Advisor and ask them to complete the University's transfer form. There are two ways to transfer described on the form. Please follow the appropriate instructions.
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FACULTY AND SCHOLAR

I would like to meet with an ISSS advisor. When can I meet with them?
You may meet an advisor on a walk in basis during the afternoons. Walk in hours are from 1:30pm - 4:00pm Monday-Thursday. If you are not able come during walk in hours, please schedule an appointment with an advisor at 301-314-7740.
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I am in J1 status and I would like to know if it is ok if I travel home for more than 30 days?
ISSS does not advise that you travel outside the US for more than 30 days. Periods of longer than 30 days interrupt your objectives and the progress of your J-1 program. CBP has reported that extended periods outside the US during a J-1 program can impact your eligibility to re-enter the US. For further information, please contact an ISSS faculty and scholar advisor.
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What is the status of my H-1B extension?
During the extension process, please contact your department ARS point person for updates.
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I have been offered a faculty/research position at the university. I am currently overseas. What is the next step?

If you will be entering the U.S. in J-1 status, please review the step-by step process.

If you will be entering the U.S. in H-1 status, please review the step-by-step process.
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I am interested in filing for permanent residency on my own. Can you refer me to an attorney?
Link to list of attorneys
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I am working for the university conducting research and/or teaching. Will the university sponsor me for permanent residency?
The university sponsors tenure-track/permanent positions for permanent residency at the request of the Department Chair and with approval from Academic Affairs. Please review university policy for immigration guidelines and university policy.
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I am traveling outside of the U.S., what do I need to do to prepare?

If you are on a J-1 visa, please review our checklist.
If you are on an H-1B visa, please review our checklist.
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What does it mean if I am subject to 212(e)? How can I tell?
212(e) is a requirement that has intent of the home country benefiting from the Exchange Visitor's experience in the United States.

The visa stamp in your passport, or your Form IAP-66 OR DS-2019, or both, may show an indication, by a consular officer or an U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) inspector that you are or are not subject to the requirement.

Please review detailed information about the 2-year home residency requirement.
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How can my family join me in the US? What documents do they need?

If you are on a J-1 visa, please review the process.
If you are on an H-1B visa, please review the process.
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Why does my visa stamp have different dates than my DS-2019?
American visa legislation is based on reciprocity, meaning the American Government is prepared to issue visas to a certain country's nationals for the period and the number of entries that the respective country's government is prepared to issue visas to American citizens. Thus, the period of time for which a U.S. visa can be valid and the number of times it can be used (number of entries) depend on the reciprocity agreement between the U.S. and the country of citizenship of an applicant, and the class of the visa for which he is applying. You can look up the reciprocity for your country here.
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What type of health insurance should I buy? Am I required to buy insurance?

If you are in J-1 status, you are required to maintain health insurance and medical evacuation and repatriation coverage. Please review our website on the requirements and options for purchasing coverage.

If you are in H-1, O-1, TN or any other employment status, you are not required to maintain health insurance. However, the cost of emergency care and routine medical care is very high in the U.S. We strongly recommend that you carry some level of insurance in case of an emergency.
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How do I get my UID? When you check-in with your department, you can request your UID number from the Department ARS point person or the payroll representative.
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I want to come to the University of Maryland to conduct research. How do I get a DS-2019?
You will need to do a little research to identify the department and faculty member with whom you may be interested in conducting research. Email the faculty member a formal request to come to the university to conduct research work under their guidance. Include your CV and a short research proposal to your email. If the faculty member is interested, she will issue a letter of offer/invitation for the visit.
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