International Students and Scholars

328 O'Dowd Hall
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3358
Fax: (248) 370-3351
isso@oakland.edu

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Newly Admitted Students

Welcome

Congratulations on your admission to Oakland University! We extend a warm welcome to all new international students and look forward to getting to know you in the year ahead.

In order to ensure a smooth transition into your new program follow these steps:

  1. Read the Welcome Guide.
  2. Pay the SEVIS fee and schedule your embassy appointment. 
  3. Activate your SAIL account and sign up for your NetID (Oakland email). 
  4. Once you receive your visa, sign up for your mandatory orientation: Winter 2018 here Summer 2018 here 
  5. Start looking into on-campus housing or off-campus housing.
  6. Whether you will be living on campus or not you can purchase on-campus meal plans.
  7. Start planning for your mandatory health insurance.
  8. 'Like' our Facebook page for updates and important information.
  9. Fill out the mandatory data sheet form and bring it with you to the orientation.
  10. Watch our orientation video here.

Activate Your Grizzly ID and NetID Accounts

Once accepted, you will have to activate your accounts in order to register for classes, pay your bills and receive important notifications about billing. 

To activate your Grizzly ID, 
aka the "G-number" (your SAIL account) 

  1. Access SAIL using the quick link at the top right of the home page.
  2. Under the login area, click "New student? Get your NetID and password." 
  3. Select "Reset/Change your Grizzly ID PIN."
  4. Follow the directions to change your PIN and/or security question. 

To activate your NetID (your @oakland.edu email) 

  1. Access SAIL using the quick link at the top right of the home page.
  2. Under the login area, click "New student? Get your NetID and password."
  3. Select “Obtain your NetID account or reset your NetID password.”
  4. Follow the directions to create your NetID password.

Undergrad
Transfer
Students
F-1 or J-1 Student Visas
Those who wish to transfer from another American educational institution must follow all United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) procedures. When transferring from one school to another within the U.S., you must carefully follow certain procedures to maintain lawful F-1 or J-1 status.

Note:
  • We cannot issue an I-20 or DS-2019 until the previous school has released your SEVIS record to Oakland University.
  • If you are an international applicant with transfer credits from a Non-American, foreign school, you do not need to complete the Transfer-In form as part of the International Supplemental Application.
  • All international students must attend the International Student Orientation.
 

SEVIS
Every student who wishes to enter the U.S. in F-1 status is issued an I-20 with a unique Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) identification number. 

To transfer your SEVIS records:
  1. Complete and submit Part I to your current educational institution, who will complete Part II and submit the form to ISSO.
  2. Follow up with your current schools regarding the SEVIS transfer.
Speak with the international student adviser at your current school to request that your SEVIS record will be electronically released from your current school to Oakland University. Once the SEVIS record is released and all other admissions materials have been submitted and accepted, your file is sent to the ISSO where we will process and send you your new I-20. 

If you admitted late and are not traveling outside of the United States, a new I-20 will be available at the mandatory orientation or during the first week of the semester. Discuss your travel plans with your international student adviser at the transferring school so that an appropriate "transfer out" date and new I-20 issuance can be coordinated to facilitate your travel.

Transfer SEVIS record after graduation:

F-1 students: You are eligible to request a SEVIS record transfer during the 60-day grace period following your program completion. If you are authorized for OPT you can request a SEVIS record transfer during your OPT period and within the 60-day grace period following your OPT expiration date.

J-1 students: Please consult your international student adviser.

OPT authorization:

If you are currently authorized for OPT, choose carefully when deciding what date you would like your SEVIS record transferred to your new school. OPT authorization ends on the "transfer out" date, even if the EAD card is not yet expired. If you plan to work between programs while on OPT, coordinate with your international student adviser at both schools to determine an appropriate "transfer out" date.

Eligibility
  • Students who are admitted and have submitted all necessary documents to Oakland University.
  • Students who are currently maintaining their F-1or J-1 status either as a student or on Optional Practical Training (OPT). If your current SEVIS record is not active, please contact the ISSO before requesting the transfer of your non-immigrant status.
  • Students who begin the new program within five months of the end of the course of study at the current school or end of the authorized OPT period. Example: If you completed your bachelor's degree at your former school on May 14, you must request and receive a SEVIS transfer no later than July 13 and you must begin your new program no later than Oct. 13.
  • Students who have requested transfer no later than the end of the student’s grace period; otherwise the student is considered to be “out of status” and may have to apply for reinstatement.

    • F-1 students: The SEVIS record has to be transferred within the 60-day grace period following your completion of study or practical training.
    • J-1 students: The SEVIS record has to be transferred within the 30-day grace period following your completion of study or academic training.
We will be unable to prepare a new I-20 or DS-2019 document for you until after you have completed study at your current school or you have completed any period of academic training (CPT/OPT) and your record has been released to Oakland University within SEVIS.

Procedures
  1. Apply through the appropriate Admissions Office, submitting all necessary documents including the supplemental packet with Transfer-In form.
  2. Take the International Student Transfer form to an Immigration Coordinator in a previous institution.
  3. The Designated School Official at your current school enters the transfer request in the SEVIS and sets the release date.

    The SEVIS release date is the date on which your non-immigrant record will be electronically transferred to Oakland University. The release date should be determined according to your circumstances and needs.

  4. An I-20 or DS-2019 will be issued on or after the release date indicated on the International Student Transfer form. The new I-20 or DS-2019 will be mailed to you at the address on the admission application or given at the orientation.

Travel Plans
  1. To travel outside the U.S. before starting your new program, you should enter the U.S. on your new I-20 or DS-2019.
  2. You do not need to apply for a new visa as long as your current visa is still valid. However, the SEVIS ID Number on the visa must match the SEVIS ID Number on your new I-20/ DS-2019.

Transfer from Oakland University
F-1 students who have made a commitment to attend another institution must inform their ISSO advisers and request that their SEVIS records be electronically released to the new school. It is advised that you discuss travel plans and new program start dates with your adviser before settling on a SEVIS transfer release date.
  1. Fill out the top portion of the transfer-out form, sign and give it to the international office of the transferring university. They will fill out the bottom portion and fax it to us. This form is located on the ISSO forms page.
  2. Submit a proof of admission to the new institution. 
  3. Schedule an appointment with an international adviser to make sure that we received all the documents and were able to transfer the SEVIS record. 
  4. Allow one week for processing. Please note: after the transfer-out date Oakland University will no longer have access to your SEVIS record.
  5. If you are registered for a future semester at OU do not forget to withdraw from your courses and fulfill any financial obligations with the University before you transfer to your new school or leave the U.S.
  6. Contact the new school's International Admissions office to arrange when and how to receive your new I-20.

Remaining in the United States
Individuals intending to remain in the U.S. for more than 60 days (F-1 students) or 30 days (J-1 students) after completing their programs should prepare and submit proper paperwork during the grace period to change to another visa status in order to maintain lawful immigration status in the U.S.

F-1 students may stay in the U.S. in between transfer if the SEVIS record transfer procedures are correctly followed. If the period between programs is longer than five months, your new school must issue a new initial I-20 with a new SEVIS number. You must leave the U.S. within your 60-day grace period and re-enter no earlier than 30 days before your new program start date.

SEVIS Transfer
Every student who wishes to enter the U.S. in F-1 status is issued an I-20 with a unique Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) identification number. 

Speak with the international student adviser at your current school to request that your SEVIS record will be electronically released from your current school to Oakland University. Once the SEVIS record is released and all other admissions materials have been submitted and accepted, your file is sent to the ISSO where we will process and send you your new I-20. 

If you admitted late and are not traveling outside of the United States, a new I-20 will be available at the mandatory orientation or during the first week of the semester. Discuss your travel plans with your international student adviser at the transferring school so that an appropriate "transfer out" date and new I-20 issuance can be coordinated to facilitate your travel.

Transfer SEVIS record after graduation

F-1 students: You are eligible to request a SEVIS record transfer during the 60-day grace period following your program completion. If you are authorized for OPT you can request a SEVIS record transfer during your OPT period and within the 60-day grace period following your OPT expiration date.

J-1 students: Please consult your international student adviser.

OPT authorization

If you are currently authorized for OPT, choose carefully when deciding what date you would like your SEVIS record transferred to your new school. OPT authorization ends on the "transfer out" date, even if the EAD card is not yet expired. If you plan to work between programs while on OPT, coordinate with your international student adviser at both schools to determine an appropriate "transfer out" date.

Eligibility
  • Students who are admitted and have submitted all necessary documents to Oakland University.
  • Students who are currently maintaining their F-1or J-1 status either as a student or on Optional Practical Training (OPT). If your current SEVIS record is not active, please contact the ISSO before requesting the transfer of your non-immigrant status.
  • Students who begin the new program within five months of the end of the course of study at the current school or end of the authorized OPT period. Example: If you completed your bachelor's degree at your former school on May 14, you must request and receive a SEVIS transfer no later than July 13 and you must begin your new program no later than Oct. 13.
  • Students who have requested transfer no later than the end of the student’s grace period; otherwise the student is considered to be “out of status” and may have to apply for reinstatement
    • F-1 students: The SEVIS record has to be transferred within the 60-day grace period following your completion of study or practical training.
    • J-1 students: The SEVIS record has to be transferred within the 30-day grace period following your completion of study or academic training.
We will be unable to prepare a new I-20 or DS-2019 document for you until after you have completed study at your current school or you have completed any period of academic training (CPT/OPT) and your record has been released to Oakland University within SEVIS.


Graduate
Transfer
Students

Students interested in transferring from a graduate program at another institution to Oakland University must complete the online Application for Admission and meet the same admission requirements as any other graduate applicant. 

Upon admission, previous graduate coursework will be evaluated by a faculty adviser to determine transfer to Oakland University. A maximum of nine credits may transfer to the OU graduate program. Students should be familiar with the  Course Content and Course Waiver Substitution policy and consult with their faculty adviser. 
 

International applicants already studying in U.S.

International applicants who are presently in the United States on a student status may be required to provide a statement from the International Student Adviser at their current institution. International students who do not enroll during their indicated semester of admission must submit an application to update at least eight weeks prior to the start of the term (fall or winter) in which they wish to enroll.

To learn more, visit the Transfer Credit section in the graduate catalog.

International
Orientation
Mandatory Orientation:
All new, transferring and change of status international students are required to attend a group International Orientation that is scheduled directly before classes start. The dates for upcoming Orientations are as follows:
  • Winter 2018      Tuesday January 2, 2018 9:00am Location: Banquet Room A, OC
  • Summer 2018   Thursday May 3, 2018 10:00am Location: TBA   
The orientation provides information you will need to become acquainted with your new academic environment and life in the Oakland area. It will answer many questions you may have, particularly during the first few weeks of your arrival, and will also direct you to other sources of information and services available to you on and off campus. By attending, you will meet the ISSO staff and other international students. Attendance is mandatory. Please be on time and we have a no guest policy.
Once you receive your visa, sign up for your mandatory orientation: 
Bring the following items to orientation
  • Passport
  • Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • $1,860 (annual) for health insurance. You will not pay this at orientation but within your first week of school this amount will be charged to your student account. From January till August $1,208 (Winter & Summer semesters).
  • Undergraduates need course descriptions translated in English.
  • If you have F-2 or J-2 dependents (spouse or children) who traveled with you to the U.S., bring their I-20/DS-2019s and passports.
  • Data sheet form (mailed to you in the Welcome Packet) with your local Michigan address and your international address
Frequently
Asked
Questions
Do I need to report to my new school's international office?
F-1 students: Report to ISSO within 15 days of the program start date listed on your I-20.
J-1 students: Report to ISSO within 30 days of the program start date listed on your DS-2019.

What do I do if I have attended a U.S. institution or completed a program in the United States, and I am currently outside the United States, but plan on re-entering to attend Oakland University?
In addition to requesting the release of your SEVIS record, keep in mind that you can be outside the U.S. for no more than five months without being registered in coursework in the U.S. to be eligible for a visa transfer. If you plan to be outside the U.S. for more than five months and do not intend to register in U.S.-based coursework during this time, or have been outside the U.S. for more than five months already, you will not be eligible for a SEVIS transfer. Oakland University will make a new I-20 with a new SEVIS ID for your re-entry. You must then pay the SEVIS fee again and apply for a new F-1 visa per Department of State regulations. In order for the SEVIS to transfer, you must apply to your program of interest.

What do I do if I have completed a program and am currently pursuing OPT in the United States, but will start a new degree program?
In addition to requesting that your former institution release your SEVIS record to Oakland University, keep in mind that your OPT will terminate on the date that your SEVIS record is released. Therefore, if your OPT start date is May 1, and you request that your former institution release your SEVIS record to Oakland University on June 15, your OPT ends on June 15, and you would no longer be eligible to work on that authorization. OPT authorization is non-transferable. If you intend to have your SEVIS record transferred after your OPT ends, you must request your release and have that release granted within 60 days following the completion of your OPT. Different schools have different check-in procedures; check with Oakland University’s admissions office for more information.

When can I register for classes?
While meeting with your academic adviser at orientation, you will register for your classes.

How do I get from the airport to Oakland University?
Many times, alumni or current international students will help with transportation from the airport. You may contact the president of any multicultural organization to arrange transportation. You may also contact us and we will forward your request to our current students to see if someone can pick you up from the airport.

How can I find housing with other international students?
Please contact the president of any multicultural organization. You can also email the ISSO and we will forward your request to our current students to see if someone is looking for a roommate.

When can I move to on-campus housing?
Oakland's housing department allows international students to move in one day before international orientation. Visit University Housing.