International Student and Scholar Services

1126 H.J. Patterson Hall
Phone: 301-314-7740

Director: Susan-Ellis Dougherty

International students and faculty receive a wide variety of services designed to help them benefit from their experience in the United States. International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) works closely with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions on the admission of international students. ISSS services include: university sponsorship of international students, orientation programs, immigration and employment seminars and coffee hours. ISSS advisors counsel international undergraduate students concerning immigration, personal and campus life issues.

F-1 and J-1 Status Students

The ISSS is the only office on campus authorized to sign immigration documents and advise on the following topics: extension of stay, transfers, off-campus employment authorization, practical training, and course loads.

Students with F-1 or J-1 status are responsible for following the regulations of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and the Department of State (DOS) pertaining to their visa status.

Maintaining Status

  • Full-time Registration: In order to maintain full-time student status for immigration purposes, F-1 and J-1 undergraduate students are expected to register for and complete a minimum credit load of 12 hours per semester. Pre-approval from ISSS is required if you are going to complete the semester with fewer than 12 credits.
  • Documents: International students must have a valid passport at all times unless exempt from passport requirements. If your I-20 or DS-2109 will soon expire you should apply for an extension at least 30 days prior to the program completion date on the document. To travel outside the U.S. and re-enter as an F-1 or J-1, an advisor in ISSS must sign your I-20 or DS-2109 before you leave.
  • Health Insurance: All undergraduate students, regardless of visa status, are required by the University Health Center to carry adequate health insurance. In addition, J-1 students must present copies of their health insurance to ISSS in order to comply with Department of State requirements.

We hope you will find the resources you need in this catalog or by visiting our office. Please contact us if we can be of any further assistance to you.

Thanks for being a part of our global UMD community!