Fall 2024 FAQs for Continuing Students

If you plan to leave and re-enter the United States, be sure to review Re-entry to the U.S.

This FAQ applies to continuing students only. If you are a new student and have not yet entered the United States, please refer to the FAQs for Newly Admitted Students. The FAQs for Newly Admitted Students also apply if you are transferring to U-M after attending an institution located in the U.S. or changing to a new academic level at U-M.

Immigration Status

As a current, continuing F-1 or J-1 student, can I take all remote classes, or must I take a mixture of in-person, mixed and remote classes?

F-1/J-1 students are required to enroll full-time and to have a minimum number of in-person or hybrid courses that require physical attendance. F-1/J-1 students cannot count more than three online credits towards their full-time enrollment requirement.

If I move to a new U.S. address, even temporarily, do I need to report it within 10 days? How do I report it?

Yes, you need to report any change of residential address in the U.S. – even a temporary one -within 10 days of the change. Be sure to change it again when you move back into your regular residence. Follow our guidelines for updating your address, and please remember that your “SEVIS” address must remain a U.S. address.

Health Insurance

Does the mandatory U-M International Health Insurance plan cover COVID-19 testing and treatment?  What about flu shots?

Yes. The International Student/Scholar Health Insurance Plan covers COVID-19 testing and treatment. GradCare also covers COVID-19 testing and treatment. Both plans also cover flu shots. Please review Health Insurance, COVID-19 and Flu Information for International Students and Scholars for details. If you still have questions, contact the International Center’s Health Insurance Advisor.

 Travel and Visas

If I plan to leave the U.S. during the Fall Term and need a new travel signature in order to return, what should I do?

F-1 students: Go to M-Passport > Requests > Travel Signature and submit your request. Check your Requests page to see when your request has been completed. You will then be able to download your signed I-20 with your travel signature.

J-1 students: Go to M-Passport > Requests > DS-2019 Reprint or Travel Signature and submit your request. Check your Requests page to see when your request has been completed. You will then be able to download your signed DS-2019 with your travel signature.

My visa has expired, or will expire before I plan to return to the U.S. If I leave the U.S. now, will I need a new visa, or can I re-enter on an expired visa?

If you leave or have left the U.S. and your visa will expire by the date you wish to re-enter the U.S., then you will need to obtain a new visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate before you can re-enter the U.S. (Canadian citizens do not need a visa to enter the U.S.).

Try to schedule your visa interview appointment as soon as possible, since there may be delays and backlogs at embassies and consulates. Check with the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest you for more information.

If you will be travelling to Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands, please contact the International Center to see if you are eligible to return to the U.S. with automatic visa revalidation.

If I need to renew my F-1 or J-1 visa, will an in-person visa interview be required?

The Department of State’s  Important Update on Waivers of the Interview Requirement for Certain Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants explains situations in which a visa interview may not be required. If you need to renew your visa to re-enter the U.S., check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you plan to apply for your visa for detailed information on what services are available as well as for eligibility information and instructions on applying for a visa without an interview.


I need to apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training). Can I do this from elsewhere in the U.S.? Can I do it from outside the U.S.?

You must be physically present in the U.S. at the time you submit your OPT application to USCIS. If you are interested in applying for OPT, review the OPT information on the International Center website.

Can I leave the U.S. and return home after I mail my OPT application to USCIS? Will I be allowed to re-enter the U.S. to start working once my application is approved?

If your post-completion OPT has not been approved, it is generally permissible (with the appropriate travel documentation) to leave and then re-enter the US, even if you do not yet have a job or job offer.

However, there are specific risks unique to traveling outside the U.S. with a pending OPT application. It is your responsibility to understand those risks and decide whether or not to proceed with travel.  To understand the risks involved, review Travel During Pending OPT and Module 6 of our online OPT training, particularly the section titled "Understanding the Risks of Travel before Receiving EAD Card."

Taxes and Social Security

How do I apply for my Social Security Number?

Follow the instructions at Applying for a Social Security Number and Card. You should plan to apply for your SSN as soon as possible after you receive a job offer. However, since you do not need an SSN to begin working, a delay in obtaining your SSN should not affect your employment start date.

I have questions about U.S. taxes.

For the 2024 tax year, the filing deadline for both federal and state tax forms is April 15, 2025. The International Center’s Tax Assistance page links to webinar records and handouts . The Glacier Tax Prep software for the 2024 tax year will be available in early February.

Reminder: International Center staff are not tax experts. The tax information on our website does not substitute for advice from a qualified tax professional or the Internal Revenue Service.


Updated 6/14/2024