Important Information for New Canadian Students

BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME

APPLY FOR AN I-94/STUDENT VISA

Before you schedule an interview appointment with a U.S. Embassy in Canada (required of Canadian Legal Permanent Residents) or before you visit a Port of Entry (POE) to the U.S. (an option for Canadian Citizens...), all international students coming from Canada must pay the I-901 SEVIS fee before going to a U.S. Embassy/POE.

Canadian Legal Permanent Residents may schedule an appointment at a U.S. Embassy in Canada and learn what is required for the visa application process by visiting The U.S. Visa Service Website. Canadian Citizens who choose to go to a POE (whether the Windsor/Detroit POE or the Sarnia/Port Huron POE), should call ahead to verify hours and verify needed materials for the visit. Generally, these will be your receipt for SEVIS fee payment; your I-20; your valid passport; a 2x2 photograph of yourself; transcripts from all previously attended schools; and evidence of financial support for your studies.

The inspecting officer will stamp page 1 of the I-20 and return the document to you. The officer will also issue you an I-94 card indicating the date you were admitted to the U.S. (including a student visa if you are a Canadian Landed Immigrant). For full-time international students, the card will be marked with D/S (duration of status), which means that, as long as you maintain your F-1 status, you may remain in the U.S. or reenter the U.S. after a temporary absence of no more than five months.

Part-time border commuter students in F-3 status are not admitted for D/S but are, instead, issued a new I-20 for each new semester or term of attendance at the school. You will need to present an updated letter from your bank to the UDM Foreign Student Advisor (FSA) prior to being issued a new I-20 for each term of attendance at UDM. You should plan to meet with the FSA immediately after registering for your classes each term. In either case, if you will be commuting between UDM and your home in Canada, you will need to present your stamped I-20 and the I-94/visa each time you cross the border to attend UDM.

If you enter the U.S. using an I-20 for the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), you are expected to report to the International Services Office no later than (and up to 30 days before) the date as indicated at item #5 on page one of your I-20. You will also be expected to attend the Program for which your I-20 was issued for at least one semester.

Initial Entry to the U.S.

NOTE: If you are a Canadian Citizen, while you may be advised and registered for your classes prior to receiving an I-20 from UDM, on the very first day that you enter the U.S. with your stamped I-20 and I-94 during the permitted entry period (up to 30 days prior to and no later than the date as indicated at item #5 on page 1 of your I-20), you must report to UDM's International Services Office (ISO) so that we may make copies of your I-20, passport, I-94 (and student visa if issued), and so that we can sign the 3rd page of the I-20 -- which is very important if you are a commuter student, whether full- or part-time. The ISO is located on the ground floor of the Reno Hall Building on the McNichols Campus. You may report to the ISO between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For a map of the McNichols Campus and directions, click here. You will be given information about the International Student Orientation program that you must attend.

As a freshman student, you need to register to attend one of UDM's Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) sessions. Since SOAR sessions are scheduled prior to the 30-day entry period on an I-20, cross the border to attend SOAR as a visitor to the U.S. As a transfer or graduate student, you will be advised and registered for your classes by making an individual advising and registration appointment with an academic advisor. If your individual advising and registration appointment is scheduled prior to your receiving an I-20, cross the border as a visitor to the U.S.

NOTE: If you are a Legal Permanent Resident of Canada whose native language is not English, on the very first day that you enter the U.S. with your stamped I-20, I-94, and visa during the permitted entry period (up to 30 days prior to and no later than the date as indicated at item #5 on page 1 of your I-20), you must report to UDM's International Services Office (ISO) so that we may make copies of your I-20, passport, I-94 (and student visa if issued), and so that we can sign the 3rd page of the I-20 -- which is very important if you are a commuter student, whether full- or part-time. The ISO is located on the ground floor of the Reno Hall Building on the McNichols Campus. You may report to the ISO between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For a map of the McNichols Campus and directions, click here. You will be given information about the International Student Orientation program that you must attend.

Also, understand that a major purpose of the ISO is to assess your English proficiency level to ensure as best we can that you will have no unnecessary difficulty in your academic coursework due to poor English comprehension and conversational abilities. Therefore, we expect you to either show satisfactory English language proficiency according to the criteria established by our University as indicated on UDM's Website, or we provide the required English proficiency testing via the ACT Compass ESL test.

If you submitted documentation to the admissions counselor prior to your admissions that indicated you met one of the criteria outlined on the UDM Website or, if you bring passing TOEFL or IELTS scores to the Campus with you when you report to ISO, you will be immediately allowed to meet with an academic advisor to register for academic coursework. Otherwise, we will provide you the required English proficiency testing via the ACT Compass ESL test and register you according to the test results.

Departure and Reentry to the U.S. on an F-1 Status

Once you have entered the U.S. in F-1 (F-3 for part-time border commuter students) status, you cannot reenter the country after a temporary absence unless an authorized staff member in the International Services Office at UDM has certified that you are in valid status by signing page 3 of your I-20 form. You can obtain this signature when you check in at the International Services Office. If you travel frequently, you should obtain a new signature at the beginning of each subsequent term. You should also obtain a signature before leaving for summer vacation so that you will have no problems at the border when you reenter for the fall term. 

ARRANGE FOR HOUSING

University-sponsored housing is only available on the McNichols Campus, and we can only house admitted students. If you plan to live on the UDM McNichols Campus, you are strongly advised to make arrangements for housing before you arrive. Applications for housing should be submitted online for the Fall (September) Term no later than July 14; for the Winter (January) Term, no later than December 1; and for the May Term, no later than April 7. All applications will be processed and students who submit a residence hall contract will be expected to live in the halls for the academic year. If you have questions about on-campus housing before your arrival to UDM, contact the International Admissions Counselor. If you plan to move into your dorm on campus prior to the date as indicated at item #5 on page one of your I-20, let your admissions counselor know in as much advanced time as possible so that your housing on campus may be ready for your arrival. For frequently asked questions about living on the McNichols Campus, visit here.

For frequently asked questions about what a Residence Hall dorm room is furnished with and what you must supply, visit here. As for the temperature throughout the year, in general, be prepared for changeable weather. You will need some lightweight clothing for summer (@ June 20th to September 22nd) since the weather is usually quite warm (22-23 degrees Celsius). Winters (@ December 21st to March 20th) can be quite cold, around 0 degrees Celsius or below. During this season, you will need a warm coat or jacket as well as boots, a hat, and gloves. Spring (@ March 20th to June 20th) and fall (@ September 22nd to December 21st) are generally cool so it is a good idea to have a light jacket or a sweater for these seasons. For additional weather details and forecasts, visit visitdetroit.com.

NOTE: Part-time border commuter students in F-3 status are not permitted to live in the U.S. while attending school on a part-time basis. This is a part of the immigration regulations established for the F-3 "visa."

While UDM cannot and does not endorse off-campus housing, if you plan to or need to seek off-campus housing (perhaps because you have family coming to the U.S. with you), you may wish to search for local places to stay before searching for an appartment or house to rent.

MAKE FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS

You need to bring enough money to cover at least your first semester’s expenses. Using the financial charts, locate the chart that refers to your Program of Choice and bring half the TOTAL amount. Use traveler’s checks for your living expense amount; either traveler’s checks or a bank check (preferably issued by a U.S. bank in your country) for your tuition amount. If you plan to live on campus and to purchase food at the UDM dining facilities, plan to have some cash available to pay per diem for food and housing before your semester begins: September 6 for Fall, January 7 for Winter, and May 7 for spring/summer. Student athletes may contact your coach for additional details.

When you attend the International Student Orientation (which is usually a day or so after the scheduled report date to the University; item #5 on page 1 of the I-20), you will be shown how to open a bank account while attending UDM. Finally, wiring money to the U.S. before you arrive is discouraged as it may cause difficulties or delays.

TUBERCULOSIS (TB) SKIN TEST

The University requires all international students have a TB skin test performed at the University Health Center when they arrive on campus. Students born and raised in Canada may present evidence of a TB test performed within the last twelve months in lieu of the test administered by the University. Bring the test results (if applicable) to the ISO when you report to Campus.

MAINTAINING YOUR STATUS

Before you come to the United States and commence your education at UDM, you should take some time to become familiar with what you will have to do to maintain your immigration status. In short, to maintain your F-1 status, you will be required to enroll in a full course of study throughout your program. A full course of study is defined as 12 credit hours for undergraduate (Bachelor’s degree and post-degree) students and 9 credit hours for graduate (Master’s or doctoral degree) students. You must be enrolled full-time in the Fall (September) and Winter (January) Terms each academic year. Summer is normally a vacation term. However, if you begin your studies in May, you must be full-time that summer only. You will receive detailed information on this and other immigration requirements at the orientation session.

Part-time border commuter students in F-3 status must maintain consistent course attendance in their part-time coursework and maintain satisfactory grades required by the Grading Standards for the Program, as well as adhere to all regulations for an F-3 "visa."

Students who are informed are not likely to experience significant difficulties with immigration requirements. Please remember that the staff at the International Services Office will be available to provide information and assistance to you throughout your stay at UDM. In the meantime, if you should have any questions, please call, fax, or e-mail our staff below.

Disclaimer: Any and all non-UDM Websites on this Site are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement by UDM.

We are looking forward to seeing you at University of Detroit Mercy!

International Services Office

Telephone: 313-993-1205
Fax: 313-993-1192