Pre-Arrival for Graduate Students

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Pre-Arrival Information for Graduate Students

 

We're so excited that you've decided to become a UD Blue Hen!

This page will guide you through the most important first steps to officially accept your offer of admission, start the visa process and become a UD graduate student! All of these steps are required and are described in detail below. For questions prior to your arrival, please contact The Graduate College or the Center for Global Programs & Services (CGPS).

Click on a task below for more details.

To accept admission to the University of Delaware, you must login to your Graduate Application Status Page and electronically accept the offer of admission. Notifying a department or staff member verbally or in writing does NOT confirm your acceptance.

 

Part II of the graduate application serves as your request for an I-20 or DS-2019. If you indicated that you would require an F-1 or J-1 student visa, you will be prompted to complete this section once you accept your offer. Be prepared to upload the following documents:

  • A bank statement or financial guarantee (In English, and in USD) showing the minimum amount for your program OR your funding letter from your department.

  •  A completed Affidavit of Support if the bank statement is not in your name.
  • A copy of your passport biographical page and passports of all dependents.

Remember, you will need to show that you have funds available to attend UD. You will be asked if you are fully funded, partially funded, or relying solely on personal, government or family funds. If you are being partially funded, you will be required to upload both your funding statement and other funding verification. Find out what it costs to attend UD. If you have questions about the I-20/DS-2019 request, contact CGPS at oiss@udel.edu.

After you receive your new I-20/DS-2019, you will need to pay the SEVIS fee.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) charges a fee for F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors in order to support the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is the web-based system where important visa forms and documents (I-20/DS-2019) are created. CGPS uses SEVIS to report and maintain the immigration status of students and exchange visitors while in the U.S.

For SEVIS fee requirements and to access the fee payment form (I-901 form) go to www.fmjfee.com. This fee must be paid in U.S. dollars and can be paid online. The SEVIS fee must be made at least three (3) U.S. government working days before your visa application interview.

After you make your payment, a confirmation message will appear on your computer screen. Print the confirmation message. You will need to bring the confirmation message (receipt) with you to your visa application interview.

Please contact CGPS if you have any questions.

Use your passport and the I-20 form (for F-1 visa) or DS-2019 form (for J-1 visa) and schedule your visa appointment. Take your passport and I-20/DS-2019 along with your original admission letter, SEVIS fee receipt, and financial documentation (ex: Assistantship award from the department, financial support letter, sponsorship letter, current bank statement) to the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country to apply for your visa. The U.S. Embassy website provides links to all US embassies and consulates worldwide.

Once approved, the visa is stamped in your passport. Canadian citizens are exempt from having to obtain a visa, but must use their I-20 or DS-2019 to enter and must obtain a Form I-94 clearly indicating F-1 or J-1 status (after entry to the U.S.). You are permitted to enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the start date noted on your I-20/DS-2019 form. You are required to report to and attend the school designated on your visa stamp and I-20/DS-2019 form. For more information, please visit the following websites for F-1 visas and J-1 visas.

Bringing family with you: If you have a spouse and/or children and you want them to accompany you to the U.S. on an F-2 or J-2 visa and did not request dependents at the time of your I-20/DS-2019 request, you need to complete the Request Dependent I-20/DS-2019 Application. Once your dependents arrive in the U.S., contact CGPS at oiss@udel.edu. You are required to purchase health insurance for all dependents. You have 30 days from their arrival to do so. For more information, please contact the Office of Risk Management.

IMPORTANT Processing Delays and Additional Visa Screening: Due to the March 6, 2017 presidential memorandum that orders increased vetting for U.S. visas, applicants will face closer questioning and more security checks under new State Department procedures. Longer waits for visa appointments and issuance are likely. For more information, please see Visa Appointment Wait Times.

The Department of State has also added a social media question to Form DS-160, which requires applicants to indicate the social media platforms that they have used during the five years preceding their visa application. Consular officers are likely to review the information during the visa process, which may result in additional screening and visa issuance delays. For more information, see the Department of State FAQ on Social Media Identifiers in the DS-160 and DS-260.

Please plan ahead to allow for possible increased processing times and additional questioning. If you have any questions, please contact CGPS.

Most graduate admission letters state a condition that you must provide final proof of an earned degree/diploma as well as a final transcript showing all relevant coursework and grades. Many Universities outside of the U.S. will send certified copies upon your request. However, if your University does not provide this service, then you must obtain these documents, transport them with you, and present them to the Graduate College.

You may also need to show proof that you have met your English Language Requirement if you are a CAP student.

To get started, please be sure to open your online acceptance letter and click your electronic offer of admission through your application status page. After this is complete, you will receive an email(s) prompting you to log in to your applicant status page for further instructions. If you encounter technical difficulty trying to set your UDelNet ID, contact the Graduate College at grad@udel.edu.

Tuition and related fees information can be found on the Student Financial Services website. Finalized rates are announced early each July for the following academic year. For a current breakdown of tuition fees required for attendance, please visit the CGPS Costs webpage.

A note about the International Service Fee: The international service fee is a mandatory fee charged to all enrolled students holding a non-immigrant visa status. It is used to support the services provided by the Center for Global Programs & Services. This fee provides international students with essential services, such as advising, processing of immigration documents, regulatory reporting, and other acculturation programs and resources. Additionally, it covers the cost of maintaining institutional compliance with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State regulations.

The University of Delaware uses electronic billing through email notification to bill students for charges. UD provides the My Finances website so students may view up-to-date student account activity and make payments. Billing notifications are sent in mid-July and mid-December for the Fall and Spring Semesters, respectively, and additional email communications will alert you when there is new activity on your student account.

Email notifications are sent to your UD student email address, along with any parent/guardian or guest for whom you have granted billing access. To grant access to your student account to others, you should complete the following steps:

  • Log into your UDSIS account.

  • Click on “Grant Parent My Finances Access” link under the “Finances” section.

  • On the Parent/Guardian Services Administration page, under “Invite a Parent/Guardian,” input the email address of your parent/guardian that you are granting access, select relationship and check the “My Finances” box. 

  • Click the “Send Invitation” button. This will send an email to the specified address with the remaining required actions.

Payment of the account balance is due on August 1st for the Fall Semester and early January for the Spring Semester.  You can elect to pay the full balance by these dates or select the installment plan, which allows payment of the balance to be made in four equal payments over the course of the term. There is a $50 fee assessed each term you take advantage of the installment plan. The payment schedule for the Installment Plan includes fall payments due early August - November and spring payments due early January - May. You have the following payment options:

  • Pay the balance in full online via a U.S. checking account with routing and bank account numbers, by credit card (there is a 4.25% convenience fee assessed to this method of payment), or through a paper check, certified check, or money order. 

  • Complete an international transfer. This is done through a partnership between the University and Western Union. It allows you to lock in the exchange rate for 72 hours, yields a faster transfer, and does not include any hidden fees. Steps to complete an international transfer are listed below:

    • Log in to My Finances to view the student account.

    • Click the box in the payment field to either pay the full balance or make an installment payment.

    • Click on “Next Step.”

    • Under “Payment Method”, select “International Transfer” and then “Finish and Submit”.

    • An International Transfer form will open for you to print. Take that form to your bank within 72 hours to receive the exchange rate. If the 72 hour window closes, you must complete the process again.

The University requires that international students carry health insurance, and the fee for student insurance will be billed directly to your My Finances account. See more in the Medical Insurance section below. 

Additional information can be found on the Student Health Insurance Plan website. Please refer to askSFS for answers to frequently asked questions or to submit a question using the online contact form. Alternatively, you can also reach a Student Financial Services advisor at (302) 831-2126. Note: Students should have U.S. currency available for travel expenses and any emergency that might occur between arrival at the port of entry and arrival in Newark, Delaware. For a current breakdown of tuition fees required for attendance, please visit the CGPS Costs webpage.

All entering students are required to complete the online personal Medical History Form by logging in to your Secure Student Health Portal. This information serves as the basis for the student medical record and assists the Student Health Services medical staff in providing more complete medical treatment. Medical records are strictly confidential. Complete the form prior to your enrollment.

Medical insurance is mandatory and will be charged directly on your bill. Rates for annual coverage can be found on the Office of Risk Management website. If a student chooses to substitute medical insurance from their home country that is comparable to the University-provided health insurance, the student must submit an insurance waiver form with proof of your medical insurance coverage. The waiver form is available on the University Health Plans website. University Health Plans will determine if the alternate insurance is adequate and if the charge can be waived.

Students choosing to purchase health insurance at home prior to arriving on campus or students wishing to remain a part of their family’s health insurance policy should be aware of the requirements that the University of Delaware uses in determining if a student’s insurance coverage is comparable to the University-provided coverage.

The Division of Public Health of the State of Delaware requires that all entering students be properly immunized for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (German measles). The University of Delaware also requires that all students either receive a meningococcal meningitis vaccination or sign the meningococcal meningitis waiver provided on the immunization form. Students who are at high risk for tuberculosis are also required to have a PPD/Mantoux Tuberculin (Tb) Skin Test within six months of starting regular classes.

To access immunization forms and to find more details on the meningococcal meningitis vaccine and additional recommended immunizations, go to the Immunizations and Medical History webpage. Please note that for any student under the age of 18 at the time of enrollment, a parent or guardian’s permission to provide treatment is required. Permission to treat is included on the immunization form. *The definition of “high risk students” is on the Immunization Documentation form.

Orientation and other welcome events are designed to help you transition to UD and the U.S. and to complete government check-in so you can be registered in SEVIS.

All new international students – whether they are currently abroad or in the U.S. – are required to attend International Student Orientation (ISO). 

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ISSS Disclaimer: The information contained on this web site is provided as a service to international students, faculty, staff, employees, and administrators at the University of Delaware, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax, or other matter. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of official counsel. For assistance on your immigration status, we encourage you to contact an ISS advisor for specific guidance at oiss@udel.edu.