Newly Admitted International Students

FAQs for Newly Admitted & Deferred International Students

(Updated 4/12/2021)

 

This information is for students who will be enrolled at MICA for the first time in fall 2021, regardless of when you were initially admitted. If you are returning to MICA from a Leave of Absence, please see FAQs for Returning Students.

 

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 2020, Presidential proclamations established restrictions on the entry of certain travelers directly to 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. 

 

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 I-20s via email with digital signatures. The Program Start Date on your I-20 should show an August 2021 date, although your travel should be planned according to your Orientation dates.  If you have not received your fall 2021 I-20 by May, please contact the Office of International Education.

 

3. Will I be able to travel to the US for fall semester? 

Some students may not be able to enter the US due to travel restrictions. At this time, we do not know when the travel bans will be lifted. However, MICA is currently planning to reopen in Operational Mode 4 during fall semester. As a new student, your I-20 is in Initial status, and you may enter the United States to enroll in a U.S. school as a nonimmigrant student because most classes are expected to be held in person. If you currently have a visa that has expired, please see the US Department of State website for more information on when the US Consulate and Embassies will resume visa appointments. For more information, please see CDC information for international travel.

 

4. I was admitted to MICA in fall 2020 as a transfer student. Can my SEVIS record still be transferred or will I receive an I-20 with a new SEVIS ID? 

If you transferred and enrolled in classes in Fall 2020 and have continued to be enrolled, you can travel to the US using the I-20 that was transferred to MICA. However, if you did not enroll during Fall 2020, you will need to receive a new I-20 from the Office of International Education. 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. Do I have to travel to Baltimore for fall semester? What if I am unable to travel or I want to stay at home? 

International Students should plan for a return to in-person instruction on the MICA campus in the Fall. MICA is currently planning to reopen in Operational Mode 4 for fall semester. In line with MICA’s plans for a full return to campus and in-person instruction in August, we are strongly advising all international students to make the necessary preparations for the resumption of their studies in Baltimore this Fall. All international students should be in touch with their academic advisors as needed and enroll for the fall semester during the registration period beginning on April 26, 2021. MICA will use this information to determine what classes or programs we may need to offer online for international students should their return to campus in the Fall be delayed. As a new student, your I-20 is in Initial status, and you may enter the United States to enroll in a U.S. school as a nonimmigrant student because most classes are expected to be held in person. New Graduate students will need to contact Grad Admissions about their specific program and possibly defer admission if they cannot study in the US. 

 

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 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. Will I need to quarantine when I arrive in the US? 

MICA’s Office of Residence Life will share information about what procedures to follow for students moving on campus. If you plan to live in on-campus housing, please make sure to sign up for housing. For more information on housing this fall, please visit MICA’s Housing Updates page. If you are not living on campus, please see CDC Travel  guidelines to determine if and how long you should quarantine after arrival to the US. 

 

9. Will I be required to be vaccinated before I arrive at the MICA campus? If not, will I be able to get a vaccination at MICA? 

At this time, you are not required to be vaccinated to enter the US or MICA’s campus. However, there is CDC guidance on international travel for individuals who have not been fully vaccinated. Details of MICA’s plan for vaccine distribution to students will be shared by MICA administration. For more information, please find related memos on MICA COVID-19 Communications page as well as the US Department of Homeland Security’s Statement on vaccine distribution



ENROLLMENT

 

1. If I am unable to travel to MICA, may I still enroll in classes as a new international student? 

International Students should plan for a return to in-person instruction on the MICA campus in the Fall. MICA is currently planning to reopen in Operational Mode 4 for fall semester. In line with MICA’s plans for a full return to campus and in-person instruction in August, we are strongly advising all international students to make the necessary preparations for the resumption of their studies in Baltimore this Fall. All international students should be in touch with their academic advisors as needed and enroll for the fall semester during the registration period beginning on April 26, 2021. MICA will use this information to determine what classes or programs we may need to offer online for international students should their return to campus in the Fall be delayed. As a new student, your I-20 is in Initial status, and you may enter the United States to enroll in a U.S. school as a nonimmigrant student because most classes are expected to be held in person. New Graduate students will need to contact Grad Admissions about their specific program and possibly defer admission if they cannot study in the US. 

2. How should I plan for Orientation as a new MICA student? 

You will receive more information about Orientation via your MICA email address. In addition to Orientation, the Office of International Education will hold a virtual session for newly admitted students in spring. Please see the Undergraduate Orientation and Graduate Orientation web pages over the summer for additional information about your Orientation program. 

 

EMPLOYMENT

 

1. Will I still be able to apply for on campus work or internships? 

New students are eligible to apply for on campus positions , however you will need to apply for 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.