TRAVEL & VISAS
1. I understand travel to the US is currently restricted from multiple countries. How will I know if travel is restricted to the US from my country when Fall semester begins?
In recent months, there have been several Immigration Executive Orders signed by the US President. The Presidential proclamations established restrictions on the entry of certain travelers into the United States in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19. At this time, we do not know when those travel bans will be lifted.
There was also a Presidential proclamation suspending certain H, J and L visas from entering the US until December 31, 2020.
2. When can I expect to receive my new I-20 from MICA?
The Office of International Education (OIE) is working closely with the Office of Undergraduate Admission and the Office of Graduate Admission to coordinate the delivery of your I-20s. The US Department of Homeland Security, US Department of State, and US Customs and Border Protection will allow electronic issuance and signing of Forms I-20 for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. For this reason, we are providing digital signatures on new I-20s. If you plan to travel to the US in time for spring semester instead of fall semester, you can still use your fall I-20 to apply for an F1 visa. Then, the dates on your I-20 will be adjusted prior to spring semester. If your appointment is in September or later, we suggest requesting a new I-20 from the Office of International Education that shows Spring dates.
3. Will I be able to travel to the US for Fall 2020? (updated 8/10/2020)
Some students will not be able to enter the US due to travel restrictions. Additionally, per the August 4 Campus Memo, MICA classes will only be offered online for Fall 2020. As a new student, your I-20 is in Initial status, and you may not enter the United States to enroll in a U.S. school as a nonimmigrant student for the fall term to pursue a full course of study that is 100 percent online. Please plan to enroll in classes online from outside of the US or contact your admissions counselor to defer your admission. If you had a visa that expired, and you are still waiting for a visa appointment, it is likely that you will not be able to travel to the US for Fall 2020 semester. At this time, we do not know when the travel bans will be lifted.
4. If I am unable to schedule a visa appointment or enroll in the next session, will I need a new I-20? Can I transfer my I-901 SEVIS Fee payment to the next session? (Updated 8/10/2020)
Students who are unable to enroll in the next session may defer their enrollment to the next available session. If your visa appointment is in September or later, you can receive a new I-20 from the Office of International Education that shows a new spring Program Start Date. As long as students maintain the same SEVIS record, there is no need to transfer their I-901 SEVIS Fee payment. Fee transfers are available for F and M students who have already paid the I-901 SEVIS Fee and who:
Reapply for a visa within 12 months of the date of their initial I-901 SEVIS Fee payment or
Are from a Visa Waiver Program country and reapply for status as a student at the port of entry within 12 months of the date of their initial I-901SEVIS Fee payment.
5. I have just graduated from a school in the US in 2020. Do I have to leave the US before I start classes at MICA?
No. You can and should stay in the US in order to enroll in fall semester. Your current school can transfer your SEVIS record to MICA after your classes end, and MICA can send your new I-20 to the US. or international address that you provide.
6. I graduated from a school in the US. Can I use the same F-1 visa to study at MICA?
As long as your visa hasn't expired, you can use the same visa while studying at MICA. However, you must have a new I-20 from MICA when you travel to the US. Your visa will need to be renewed the next time you enter the US after the visa has expired.
7. I will not be able to apply for an F1 visa before Fall 2020 classes begin. Can I travel to the US on a tourist visa or another visa instead?
No. Unfortunately, travelling to the US on a tourist visa will not allow you to enroll full time in a program in the US.
8. How should I plan for Orientation as a new MICA student?
Orientation programs will be done virtually for Fall 2020. You will receive more information via your MICA email address. Please see the Undergraduate Orientation and Graduate Orientation webpages for additional information about your Orientation program.
1. If I am unable to travel to MICA, can I enroll in classes as a new international student? (Updated 8/10/2020)
Per the August 4 Campus Memo, all classes will be online for Fall 2020. You may enroll outside of the US if your program allows it. For more details on MICA’s plans for Fall 2020 semester, please follow MICA’s latest communications about campus operations. New Graduate students will need to contact Grad Admissions about their specific program and possibly defer admission to Fall 2021 if they cannot study in the US.
2. If I enroll in classes at MICA while I am outside of the US, do the rules for F1 international students apply to me?
New students who do not have an F1 visa before classes begin and are unable to travel to the US will be in Initial Status in SEVIS. SEVP’s guidance does not permit a new F1 student in Initial status to begin a new program remotely. For that reason, you will be a MICA student, but you will not be an F1 student until you travel to the US. Please note that many embassies and US consulates are not currently started scheduling F1 visa appointments. Please see the US Department of State website for more information on when the US Consulate and Embassies will resume visa appointments.
3. Will MICA provide VPN access to international students to make sure we can properly enroll in classes?
If you need VPN access during fall semester, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
4. If I am already in the US or plan to return to the US, how can I enroll in classes as a new international student at MICA? (updated 8/10/2020)
If you’ve received an I-20 from MICA, you already have an F1 visa, AND you are already in the US, you will be able to enroll in online courses. You do not need to travel to Baltimore. If you have questions about your courses, please contact your academic advisor. If you are not planning to stay in the US to study this fall, please contact your admissions counselor to defer your admission.
1. If I enroll at MICA from outside of the US, will I still be able to apply for on campus work or internships?
A new student outside of the US may be able to apply for on campus positions as long as the work can be done remotely and the student already has a Social Security Number. New students will not be considered F1 students until they arrive in the US. Students must be enrolled as an F1 student for two consecutive semesters to be eligible to apply for an internship.