Office of International Affairs


When you become a student at UM-Dearborn, you join a thriving international community. Here you will find engaging faculty, academic challenge, and new experiences.

The Office of International Affairs (OIA) is here to help you transition to student life in the United States and to support you during your stay. From the time you are admitted until after you graduate, we will help you get the most out of your American higher education experience. 

UM-Dearborn students represent 83 birth countries

UM-Dearborn students represent 83 birth countries.

Important Updates from the OIA

2021/22 Coronavirus Campus Updates & FAQs for International Students and Scholars

We have updated the FAQs on the International Students page of the University COVID-19 website to reflect the most recent information about the upcoming academic year of 2021/22. We hope that this will serve as an important and useful resource for F-1 international students as they finalize their plans for 2021/22.  

Students are encouraged to review the Um-Dearborn fall 2021 planning page. The webpage includes information about teaching modalities for the upcoming fall semester as well as updates regarding COVID-19 public health and safety protocols.

For fall 2021, the University will follow an overall hybrid teaching and learning plan which will include in-person, remote, and hybrid classes.

For the upcoming fall semester of 2021, all University of Michigan-Dearborn students, staff, and faculty are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Fully vaccinated individuals are required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines in University buildings, classrooms, teaching labs, and on University transportation shuttles. Face coverings and social distancing are not required on-campus outside of buildings. 

Students must report their vaccination status to the University via Wolverine Access. All individuals must have their vaccination status verified by the University. Recognized vaccines currently include those made by PfizerModernaJohnson & Johnson's JanssenAstraZeneca, Serum Institute of India (Covishield) and Sinopharm. For more information regarding the UM-Dearborn vaccine requirement please visit the university vaccine information page.

If you are unable to acquire a vaccination before you travel, vaccines are still readily available for you once you arrive in the U.S. Many local pharmacies here in Michigan now carry the COVID-19 vaccine and scheduling a vaccination appointment is quick and easy. The Following pharmacies here in Michigan 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 take shape for the upcoming fall semester of 2021, guidelines and policies may change. The OIA will continue to make the most recent and relevant information affecting international students and scholars available here, as well as on the UM-Dearborn COVID-19 website. 

Beginning in fall of 2021 we expect to see more student services returning to on-campus, in-person operations. Until further notice, the Office of International Affairs (OIA) continues to operate remotely, accepting all international student and scholar paperwork, applications, and documentation via email: Although the physical OIA location at the Union remains closed, OIA advisors are available for virtual student and scholar advising appointments. Schedule your appointment by following the link, below. 

Learn more about the University's instructional plan for fall 2021 on the official UM-Dearborn COVID-19 website

(Last revised 07/30/2021)

Enhanced Social Distancing Procedures for Students Arriving from International Locations

International students who are not vaccinated against COVID-19, arriving on campus directly from international locations, are strongly encouraged to observe a 14-day period of enhanced social distancing. Fully vaccinated individuals are exempt from this guideline. 

Enhanced social distancing means that you will remain in your residence, avoiding public places and contact with others, as much as possible. You should venture beyond your place of residence only when absolutely essential (eg. when needing to obtain food, groceries, or toiletries without alternate options) and only when wearing a face covering and maintaining distance from others.

The 14-day social distancing timeline begins when you arrive, and should be done in your residence.

Enhanced social distancing advice is being developed in response to policy for international travelers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While individuals arriving from international locations are encouraged to stay home as much as possible during the 14-day period following their arrival in the USA, you may still attend class, go to work, and go out for essentials during this period, and you may use public transportation to get to your destinations. 

The University is pleased to provide all international students with a Dearborn restaurants guide to facilitate the period of enhanced social distancing. The guide includes contactless food pickup and delivery options that will hopefully help to ease your transition to the USA. Do not hesitate to contact the OIA if you have questions (  

During this 14-day period, individuals are encouraged to monitor their health, reduce contact with others, and follow guidance consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These include the following, to the best of your ability:

  • Taking your temperature two times a day and monitoring for fever.
  • Watching for cough, trouble breathing or additional COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Staying home and avoiding contact with others outside of your home, including not going to work, school or social gatherings.
  • Avoiding public transportation, taxis or ride-shares.
  • Maintaining a physical distance from others (about 6 feet).
  • Wearing a face covering when in public settings or while interacting with others outside of the home.

If you are displaying symptoms of illness, stay home - do not come to campus. Please call 313-593-5056 to alert the University so that we can connect you with appropriate resources, monitor your progress, and provide support. Additionally, please also notify the OIA. 

You are encouraged to reach out to a medical provider if you have questions about recent COVID-19 exposure or symptoms.

(Last revised 07/01/2021)

What to Do if You, or Someone You Know, Becomes Sick

COVID-19 reporting and resources are available for all students:
COVID-19 Support Line: 313-593-5056
COVID-19 Support Email:

The following information regards what to do if you, or someone you know, becomes ill and begins showing symptoms of COVID-19. 

Getting Help and Self-isolation 
Students who begin showing symptoms should not immediately visit a hospital or healthcare provider in person. Instead, sick students should first speak with a doctor on the phone. There is useful information regarding first steps and self-isolation best practices on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website

Notify the University, and Notify the OIA
Next, as soon as you become sick, or aware of a sick friend or roommate, you should immediately notify the University by calling the University's COVID-19 line at 313-593-5056 or emailing Also, please notify the Office of International Affairs ( The OIA is available to answer questions and provide support, however possible. When you notify the OIA, please include the following information in your message:

  1. Your name (and the name of the sick student, if you are contacting the OIA on someone else’s behalf) 
  2. Place of residence 
  3. Number of roommates at residence 
  4. Symptoms that the sick individual is experiencing 
  5. Any measures taken, so far, to begin self-isolation

Sick students must self-isolate, and should plan to stay at their place of residence. It is best practice for sick students to shelter in place while roommates make arrangements to temporarily relocate. This will help the affected student successfully self-isolate. Please notify the OIA if alternate accommodations have already been identified. If not, the University may be able to assist students in securing temporary housing. 

University Assistance 
Students should consult the Emergency Resources website to learn about how the University may be able to provide financial assistance during this difficult time. The University has established emergency funds to help students overcoming difficulties related to COVID-19. 

Local Healthcare
The Henry Ford Hospital-Fairlane is the hospital located closest to campus. The hospital has established a hotline for potential COVID-19 patients: 313.874.1055. 

Please, follow the guidelines set forth on the UM-Dearborn Coronavirus Information webpage, as well as the helpful guidance published by the CDC, to navigate this difficult and unusual situation. The Hospital hotline will be able to provide specific information regarding next steps and whether you should plan to visit a testing location, or whether it is advisable for you to continue self-isolating and monitoring your health situation from home. 

In the meantime, please keep the OIA up to date regarding your situation and how the University may be able to help.

Announcing More Reliable High-speed Access for UM-Dearborn Students Studying Remotely from China

New for the 2020/21 academic year, UM-Dearborn students studying remotely from China can use MLane for more reliable, fast-speed access to UM-Dearborn teaching and learning tools and resources. Tools include Adobe, Zoom, Canvas, DropBox, Duo, MiVideo/Kaltura, and more. Learn here about how to configure MLane on your device. MLane is free to current UM-Dearborn students. 

OIA Video Channel

The OIA is pleased to announce that we have launched a new online video channel for all UM-Dearborn international students.

OIA Video Channel

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. 

Updated: September 1, 2021 

Current Travel Restrictions Affecting International Students

F-1 and J-1 Students are Exempt from Geographic Travel Restrictions 
F-1 and J-1 students whose program begins August 1, 2021, or later, are exempt from the following geographic travel restrictions and will be allowed to enter the USA directly even if they have been present in one of the affected countries during the 14 days preceding their travel. 

A series of Presidential Proclamations, still, restrict entry into the USA of certain nonimmigrant travelers who have been physically present in the following countries. However, F-1 and J-1 students are exempt from these restrictions through the National Interest Exception (NIE), as detailed on the Department of State website

  • Brazil
  • China
  • Iran
  • Republic of Ireland 
  • The European Schengen Area 
  • The United Kingdom 
  • South Africa 
  • India 

Transit Through Affected Countries
F-1 and J-1 students should not be affected by current geographic travel restrictions if their travel to the USA includes transit through an affected country. 

CDC Travel Requirement 
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines, requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test, remain in effect. All air passengers arriving in the USA from a foreign country must provide proof of a negative test no more than 3 days before their flight departs. The CDC has posted an FAQ page which explains the requirement, which has been in effect since Janaury, 2021. 

Updated 07/28/2021


International Travel Guidance for Current International Students

The OIA provides the following guidance for international F-1 and J-1 students and scholars who may be considering returning home, or other international travel, during the upcoming summer.  

Please note, DHS has still not issued new immigration regulation updates for the upcoming fall semester of 2021. Information for international students on the UM-Dearborn COVID-19 website is based on the most recently available guidance. However, this information is subject to change pending potential future updates from DHS. The OIA will update online resources for international students as new information becomes available. Furthermore, the OIA will contact new and continuing international students directly if DHS updates guidance for the upcoming fall semester. 

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 over the coming months. Therefore, 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.
  • The ongoing pandemic continues to present unique and changing challenges for international travel. We urge you to carefully consider the potential risks involved as you make the decision about whether this is the right time to travel internationally. 

Considerations Regarding OPT 

  • 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. 

Traveling Within the USA 

  • There are unique and additional considerations for which you will need to plan if you want to travel within the USA. 

Please note, many state and local governments have travel restrictions in place. Consult the CDC Travel Planner page to learn about travel restrictions around the USA.

Please feel free to contact the OIA if you have questions about any of these considerations. 

(Last revised 04/14/2021) 


DHS Announces International Student Guidelines for the Upcoming 2021/22 Academic Year

DHS has published an update regarding pandemic guidelines for the upcoming 2021/22 academic year. According to the SEVIS Broadcast Message from April 26, 2021, DHS has confirmed that current guidelines will be extended for the upcoming academic year, without any significant changes. This announcement represents an extension of the temporary guidelines that have been in place since March of 2020. 

How will this continue to affect international students? Let's review: 

International F-1 students who have been in the USA since before March, 2020 will be allowed to take as many online classes as necessary during the upcoming academic year, even up to an entirely online course load. Furthermore, these students may continue to maintain "active" F-1 status while enrolling full-time from abroad. 

F-1 students who arrived in the USA after March, 2020 must continue to maintain physical presence at the University and enroll in at least one hybrid course with required in-person components. These students cannot enroll in an entirely online course schedule. 

This interpretation of the guidelines that will be in place for the upcoming academic year is based on the OIA's current understanding. Should future publications from DHS change our understanding of the impact of these guidelines on F-1 international students, we will update this information. 

The confirmation from DHS that current policy will be extended for the upcoming academic year is a relief that should alleviate some uncertainty and help students plan their course registration for the fall semester. 

Updated 05//04/2021 


Verification Letter for Entry Into the USA

It has come to our attention that some airlines are requiring that students traveling to the USA present a verification letter from their University. To support our international students who will be traveling to the USA for the upcoming fall semester of 2021, the OIA has drafted the following communication: 

Verification Letter for Fall 2021

If your airline is requiring this documentation, please print the verification letter and carry it together with your I-20 at the time of travel. 

Please note, the OIA is not aware of any US government regulation requiring students to have a letter such as this. However, in an effort to support all our international students we are making this letter available to assist with international travel. 

Updated 07/01/2021 

Fall 2021 Immigration Check-in for New International Students

All new international students are required to attend the OIA virtual Immigration Check-in session: 

OIA Immigration Check-in 

The OIA Fall 2021 Immigration Check-in virtual session took place on August 26. A recording of the session is available online at the OIA Video Channel

The required session included detailed information about:

  • The UM-Dearborn COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
  • The OIA Immigration Check-in eForm
  • Immigration Regulations 
  • Course Registration Requirements 
  • Health Insurance 

Immigration Check-in eForm

All new F-1 and J-1 international students are required to complete the Immigration Check-in eForm after arriving in the USA.

Before completing the eFom, you must install the UM-Dearborn VPN. For the protection of your privacy and digital information, the VPN is required in order to access the eForm. You can access instructions and download the VPN at the UM-Dearborn VPN webpage

Through the eForm you will report your local USA address and upload required documentation: 
      a. Copy of your visa 
      b. Copy of your I-94
*You can access a copy of your I-94 travel history online, here.

We look forward to welcoming you to the UM-Dearborn community! 

The UM-Dearborn Vaccination Requirement

All students, staff, and faculty at UM-Dearborn are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Students are required to report their vaccination status via Wolverine Access. 

To comply with the vaccination requirement, the Unviersity is recognizing vaccines that have been approved by the FDA and/or the World Health Organization. Recognized vaccines include: PfizerModernaJohnson & Johnson's JanssenAstraZeneca, and Serum Institute of India (Covishield) and Sinopharm.

Beginning Monday, August 30, the University will host on-campus COVID-19 vaccination and testing clinics for all students. 

Detailed information regarding the vaccination requirement, reporting procedures, campus clinics, enforcement, and available options is available at the University COVID-19 page for international students. All international students are strongly encouraged to review the FAQs available online. 

Updated 08/25/2021 



The OIA employs international student advisors to help you understand—and comply with—rules and procedures associated with your F-1 or J-1 status. OIA advisors do not work for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They are employed by the University to assist you and to serve as designated school officials (DSOs). Our advisors hold individual appointments and immigration workshops throughout the year. We can also help with other issues—if we do not know the answer, we know where to send you to get the right answer.

How we can help

Start here for information about how to: 

Prepare to come to the United States

  • Required documentation
  • Health insurance
  • Transportation

Arrive on campus

  • Check in and orientation

Navigate campus life as an International Student

  • Immigration and Visa support
  • Find work 
  • Discover community, clubs and mentorships

Visit with a J-1 visa

  • Two-Year Home-Country Requirement
  • Departure/Check-Out
  • Reinstatement

Improve your English

  • English Language Proficiency Program (ELPP)

Study abroad

Are you seeking academic experiences outside the U.S.? We help students explore global learning opportunities.

OIA Office Hours

During the fall semester of 2021, the OIA will operate Monday-Friday, from 8am-5pm. The OIA office is located in the Union at Dearborn. During office hours, students are able to schedule in-person appointments.

The OIA continues to host daily virtual advising appointments as well. Click here to schedule a virtual advising appointment with an OIA advisor. 

Office of International Affairs

Room 108
The Union at Dearborn
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