Visa Application Q&A

Q: What documents do I need to submit for my I-20?

A: That will depend on your personal circumstances. Information regarding document submission including detailed instructions on what and how to submit can be found here. Please make sure all your documents meet our requirements before submitting.

Q: What’s the deadline for submitting documents for my I-20?

A: Required documents must be received by May 15 for Fall term, March 4 for Summer term, and November 8 for Winter term.

Q: I’m already in the U.S. studying at another institution in F-1 or J-1 status. Can I transfer my SEVIS record to the University of Michigan?

A: You likely can. SEVIS records are typically deactivated 60 days after the completion of your previous program. If there are less than 5 months between the start of your program at U-M and the end of your previous program AND your F-1 SEVIS record is still active at the other school, generally we can help you transfer your SEVIS record to U-M. Refer to our immigration documentation information to find out what additional documents you will need to provide.

Q: How long will it take for me to receive my I-20?

A: Once all of your documents have been received by the College of Engineering,  we need to take 1-2 weeks to review. If your documents have some issues and need to be updated, you might need to take 1-3 weeks to update the documents. After all your documents are approved, a request for the creation of your I-20 will be submitted to our International Center. It will take approximately 1-2 weeks for our International Center to create your I-20. Depending on the time of year, you may receive your I-20 sooner or later than that. The College of Engineering does not have access to check on the status of your request once it has been submitted to the International Center for processing.

Q: How will I know when my I-20 is ready?

A: When your I-20 has been issued, you will receive an email to your UMich email address from the International Center inviting you to log on to MPassport to access your document. Don’t forget to check your spam folder. Please note if your I-20 hasn’t been created, you can’t access your MPassport account.

Q: I received my I-20, and I would like to extend my program date. Can I do this?

A: We use standard program dates at the point of issuing the initial I-20. The I-20 length is consistent for all new students in a specific program, is based on required full-time enrollment, and is not changed based on individual preferences. In order to qualify for an I-20 extension, a student must have additional degree requirements to complete and must have compelling and documented academic or medical reasons for the extension. Please note that you can start to send the I-20 extension request in the final term listed on the old I-20. Please submit your I-20 extension request through M-Passport at least 2 weeks prior to your current I-20 end date. Sooner is better. 

Q: Why is my program name at the University of Michigan different from the program name that appears on my I-20?

A: Each program at the University of Michigan corresponds with a United States Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code and program name. The program that appears on your I-20 is the U.S. CIP program, not necessarily the U-M program. Sometimes the U-M program names match the CIP program name, and sometimes it does not. This is not a concern and you will not have any trouble with your I-20 should this occur.

Q: What should I do after I receive my I-20?

A:  Please check that all information on the I-20 is correct and matches the information on your passport. Sign your name immediately under the “Student Attestation” section if all information is correct. After your check, please print your document and pay the SEVIS fee, then make a visa appointment with your local government officials. Please find more details in the Immigration Process.

Q: I’m interested in scholarship and/or fellowship opportunities for international students. Where can I find more information?

A: Your graduate coordinator will be able to assist you with department-related funding opportunities. You’re also welcome to browse the College of Engineering’s list of external funding sources, some of which are available for international students, and the UM’s Library’s list of internal funding sources for graduate students.

Q: I have other immigration questions and/or a unique situation and I need further guidance. Where can I find more information?

A: Our International Center has a great deal of information on their website including their own frequently asked questions, various resources, and advising options.