On this page, the OIA shares important updates that are of interest to international students and scholars.
Please visit this page regularly, as it is frequently updated by the OIA with the most up-to-date available information affecting our international community.
M-International is the OIA's international student portal:
Through M-International, international students will have access to a variety of eForms which they can use to request many international services such as:
- Initial or new I-20
- Program Extension
- Reduced Course Load (RCL)
- Travel Signature
- STEM OPT Extension
and many more.
M-International may be accessed from the OIA Forms page.
Via eForms, international students are able to upload required documentation in support of their service or application request.
Furthermore, eForms will enhance the protection of international students' private and personal documents and data. In order to access eForms, students must have the UM-Dearborn VPN. The VPN is available, for free, to all UM-Dearborn students via the University's ITS page.
SEVP Registration Requirements Return to Pre-pandemic Regulations
The U.S. government has made a formal announcement that, beginning with the fall semester of 2023, pre-pandemic regulations regarding course enrollment requirements will again be in effect.
The return to pre-pandemic regulations for fall of 2023 directly affects the number of online credits F-1 international students are allowed to count toward their full-time enrollment requirement.
- F-1 international students will not be allowed to count more than three online credits toward their full-time enrollment requirement.
- Undergraduate Students
Full-time enrollment is defined as 12 credit hours per semester for undergraduate students. Of these 12 credit hours, no more than 3 may be online. If a student registers for more than 12 credit hours in a semester, the additional hours (above 12) may be online.
- Graduate Students
Full-time enrollment is defined as 8 credit hours per semester for graduate students. Of these 8 credit hours, no more than 3 may be online. Credit hours enrolled above and beyond the full-time requirement may be online.
- Undergraduate Students
- Based on recent government guidelines, hybrid courses will continue to count toward the in-person requirement.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning in March of 2020, F-1 international students were allowed to operate under temporary, emergency guidelines from the U.S. government. These temporary guidelines allowed international students to enroll in as many online courses as needed as long as they also had at least one in-person course as part of their full-time class schedule. It was previously announced that the temporary guidelines would be in effect through the 2022/23 academic year.
The OIA is pleased to announce that we have launched a new online video channel for all UM-Dearborn international students.
The video channel can be accessed, with your UM credentials, through MiVideo. It includes content, created by OIA staff, on topics such as Immigration Regulations, OPT, CPT, Social Security Numbers (SSNs), and Michigan Drivers' License Applications.
F-1 Student Guidelines for International Travel
Current travel requirements affecting international students are published online by the CDC.
The OIA urges caution regarding international travel for international students and scholars. Those who must travel are strongly encouraged to maintain updated knowledge regarding travel requirements and restrictions as these are subject to change with little warning.
International students and scholars are strongly advised to take the following considerations seriously as they finalize travel plans:
- Ensure that your required documentation is in order before the date of your return to the USA
- A current passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity from the date of your return
- A current, unexpired visa
- A current and valid travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019
- Familiarize yourself with current travel restrictions that might potentially disrupt your return to the USA
- Travel restrictions may change with little warning. It is good practice to check updates regularly as your date of return to the USA approaches.
- When purchasing airfare, consider the need for flexibility. It is good to have airfare that enables you to make changes or cancellations, or which is refundable. Unexpected changes to travel restrictions may disrupt even the best-laid travel plans.
Considerations For OPT Students
- If you plan to apply for OPT, please note that you must be physically present in the USA at the time of your application. OPT applications cannot be submitted from abroad.
- In addition to the passport, visa, and I-20, OPT and STEM OPT students are also advised to travel with their EAD and a verification letter from their employer. The letter should verify that the employer is aware of the student's travel and anticipates their return in order to resume OPT employment.
Please feel free to contact the OIA if you have questions about any of these considerations.
Effective February 20, 2023, the University of Michigan-Dearborn will no longer require students, staff, and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The new vaccination policy may be reviewed at the UM-Dearborn Health and Wellness page.
Nonetheless, we strongly recommend vaccinations and booster shots.
Many local pharmacies here in the Dearborn area carry the COVID-19 vaccine. Scheduling a vaccination appointment is quick and easy. The Following pharmacies offer one or more of the FDA & World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccines:
Additional, free vaccination resources are also available at the Wayne County Vaccination Webpage.
As University plans continue to evolve, guidelines and policies may change.
(Last revised 02/21/2023)
Announcing GLACIER Tax Prep Software
The OIA is thrilled to make the special announcement that GLACIER Tax Preparation Software is now available to UM-Dearborn international students and scholars, free of charge!
What is GLACIER Tax Prep?
GLACIER Tax Prep is a web-based tax return preparation system designed primarily for nonresident alien students, scholars, trainees, researchers, and other educational visa holders. GLACIER Tax Prep will ask you questions, then prepare the tax forms that apply to you so that you can print, review, sign and mail the tax return and/or other forms to the IRS.
The OIA has licensed access to GLACIER Tax Prep to assist UM-Dearborn international students and scholars in preparing required income tax returns. GLACIER Tax Prep is provided to you for your convenience. You are not required to use GLACIER Tax Prep to prepare your U.S. federal income tax return. The OIA does not provide tax advice and therefore disclaims all liability from the misinterpretation or misuse of GLACIER Tax Prep.
UM-Dearborn international students and scholars can create a free account to access GLACIER by following this link. Please note, the page is shared by the UM-Dearborn OIA and the Ann Arbor International Center. Follow instructions on the page to create your free GLACIER account.
Additional Tax Resources
Students and scholars can find additional tax resources at the Work as an International Student page. These include:
- Information about upcoming webinars and workshops
- Links to external resources
- The OIA tax info presentation, Tax Time
Updated February 20, 2024
How Can F-1 International Students Identify and Avoid Scams?
Unfortunately, scammers often target international students. Under false pretenses, scammers often pretend to be a government agent or a prospective employer in order to trick international students into making payments, sharing sensitive documents, or revealing personal information. Students must be vigilant. Therefore, the OIA has prepared the following information to assist students in identifying and avoiding scams.
Identifying Suspicious Email
All students need to be vigilant and careful to avoid becoming targets of scams. Students can learn about how to identify scams and suspicious communications on the UM Safe Computing page about Phishing and Suspicious Email.
International students should always be suspicious of unexpected communications from government officials. If you ever receive a phone call or email from someone claiming to be a government official, demanding money and threatening deportation, do not engage. End the communication and contact the OIA immediately. Here are a few tips and read flags that will help you identify scammers:
- Government agencies such as ICE or USCIS will never contact international students by phone or email
- Government agencies will never demand payment via phone
- A US government agent from DHS will never threaten your family or friends with deportation or criminal charges
- A real agent will never try to deliberately intimidate or scare you
- Major Red Flags:
- If the caller demands payment in the form of gift cards
- If the caller tells you that "you are not allowed to speak with anyone about your case"
If you receive a worrisome communication, please do not hesitate to contact the OIA. The OIA will be able to evaluate the situation and provide you with advice and assistance.
International students are often targeted by scammers who make false offers of employment. Here are some tips to help students identify fraud before it is too late:
- Always be suspicious of unsolicited offers of employment
- You will not be offered jobs for which you have not applied
- Scammers make random offers of employment hoping that the surprising and seemingly good news will trick students into revealing sensitive information
- Employers will never require payment in order to be able to complete an offer of employment
- This is a major red flag which should cause you to question the legitimacy of the job offer
- Scammers will sometimes impersonate UM email addresses, making it seem that he communication is coming from a real UM professor or staff
- If you receive an unusual and unsolicited communication from a UM professor or staff, always follow up directly with that individual to confirm the legitimacy of the communication
- Contact the individual directly, do not reply to the suspicious email or notify the OIA to contact the individual on your behalf
- Be suspicious of receiving payment via email for work that you have not completed
- This is very unusual and should raise alarm
- Scammers will use a false payment to gain access to students' bank account information
- If receiving unexpected payment via email, always confirm validity before trying to deposit into your bank account
We hope that this information will help students be vigilant in identifying fraud and scams. If ever in doubt, contact the OIA for help!
The OIA has moved to a new location! Our new location is
Renick University Center (RUC, 1st Floor)
Office # 1169
The new OIA office location officially opened on Monday, July 10, 2023. We are excited to welcome international students to our new location throughout the 23/24 academic year.
The OIA also continues to offer virtual advising appointments.