General Information

Social Security number

For those in F-1 and J1 status: Before applying for a Social Security number, you must wait a MINIMUM of 10 days from the date you check in with our office to have your SEVIS record activated.

To obtain a Social Security number/card, you must be gainfully employed in the United States. The Social Security Administration considers an individual to be employed if the person receives a wage or stipend from a U.S. source.

Please visit the Social Security Administration's web page to find the most convenient location and the appropriate forms required for applying for a U.S. Social Security number.

The following documents will be needed to obtain a Social Security number:

  • Valid passport, print out I-94 admissions number, and visa stamp
  • Form DS-2019 or Form I-20
  • Lower portion of I-797 approval notice for those in H-1B status
  • For F-1 Students only, an original letter verifying that the wage, assistantship, or stipend you are receiving is being paid by a U.S. source. The OIS can issue this letter for any F-1 student who requires an SSN. You will need to stop by our office with your I-20 and letter verifying on-campus employment before we can issue a letter for SSA.
  • Letter of employment or sponsorship from UMB department for J-1 scholars
  • Completed application for a Social Security card found on Social Security Administration's web page

Local Social Security Offices

For additional questions, please review the Social Security Administration Fact Sheet.

If you are NOT eligible for a Social Security number, you can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Details concerning how to apply for the ITIN number can be found by clicking here.

Visa StatusSSN Eligibility
B1/B2 or WT Number is NOT issued.
F-1 Number issued ONLY for individuals with an EAD card and/or a letter of employment.
Must indicate the wage or stipend is from a U.S. source.
F-2 Number is NOT issued.
J-1 Student Number is issued ONLY for individuals with a letter of employment indicating the wage or
stipend is from a U.S. source.
J-1 Scholar Scholar Number is issued for individuals with a U.S. source of income.
J-2 Number is issued ONLY with an EAD card.
H-1B Number is issued.
H-4 Number is NOT issued.
O-1 Number is issued.
TN Number is issued.

 
This represents the current interpretation and practice of the Social Security Administration and is subject to change without notice. Implementation of these guidelines may vary from one SSA office to another.

Maryland driver's license

Before applying for a Maryland driver's license, you must wait a MINIMUM of 10 days from the start date on your visa document (DS-2019, I-20, etc.), or 10 days from when you first enter the United States — whichever date is later.

Before visiting the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), you MUST submit an Electronic SAVE Verification Request Form online. After completing the SAVE request, the MVA will contact you within a few days to continue the process of applying for a Maryland driver's license. You MUST do the SAVE step before going in person to the MVA.

The following documents will be needed to obtain a Maryland driver's license:

  • Visa document reflecting your valid status in the US (i.e. I-20, DS-2019, I-797, etc.)
  • Valid passport
  • Print out the I-94 admissions number from CPB website
  • Social Security card or, if not eligible, Letter of Denial from Social Security Administration
  • Evidence of residency in the state of Maryland. Visit the MVA's website for a list of acceptable documents.

Local MVA Office

  • Baltimore City MVA
    5425 Reisterstown Road
    Baltimore, MD 21215

If you do not live in Baltimore City, you can find additional MVA locations here. The Office of International Services encourages you to apply at full-service locations.

Travel guidance and resources

As changes are happening rapidly, this section will be updated with guidance and resources to be considered prior to international travel.

The Office of International Services encourages anyone under UMB visa sponsorship to seek individualized guidance from our office prior to undertaking international travel. Please visit during walk-in hours with your passport, visa stamp, and visa document (I-20, DS-2019, copy of I-797), or make an appointment. See walk-in hours and contact information to the left.

For immigration status-specific guidance about what to bring when you travel or apply for a visa, see "Traveling Outside the United States." at the below links:

Resources

  • For international students and scholars who will be traveling on University-related business, please visit the International Travel Resources page. A link to International SOS, the international travel registry system, can be found there.

 In the News

Automatic Visa Revalidation

Returning to the United States from Canada or Mexico on an Expired U.S. Visa

Automatic Visa Revalidation allows for re-entry to the United States from international travel to Canada or Mexico with an expired visa stamp in your passport. To qualify for re-entry to the United States using Automatic Visa Revalidation, the following must apply:

Requirements

  • You have been in Canada or Mexico for fewer than 30 days
  • You do not apply for a U.S. visa while in Canada or Mexico
  • You are not from one of the countries currently considered by the U.S. federal government to be state sponsors of terrorism. You may check your country's status here.

I-94 Card
As of April 30, 2013, a paper I-94 card is no longer issued when you re-enter the United States via air or sea. The I-94 admission record is created electronically and maintained in CBP systems. CBP will verify the I-94 electronically to revalidate an expired U.S. visa if the traveler meets the conditions of automatic revalidation. If entry occurred before automation, a paper form must be presented to comply with validation requirements

For those in F or J status, you must have a valid travel signature on your DS-2019 or I-20 before departing the United States. Please stop by our office before you leave if you need a new travel signature.

Visa Stamp to ENTER Canada or Mexico
Depending on your country of citizenship, a Canadian or Mexican visa stamp MAY be required for you to enter Canada or Mexico. Please check with the Canadian and/or Mexican embassies to see if you will require a visa stamp to enter either country before scheduling your trip.

Changes of Status and Automatic Revalidation

Automatic Visa Revalidation also applies to those who originally entered the United States in one non-immigrant status and have since changed to another non-immigrant status. View Custom and Border Protection's Fact Sheet on the topic.

Adjacent Islands excluding Cuba

For those in F or J status, automatic revalidation also allows for travel of fewer than 30 days to the U.S. adjacent islands.

See "Which islands are defined as "Adjacent Islands"? (Under Question 2)

English language resources

Listed below are a variety of opportunities available to students and scholars at UMB to improve their English language skills. This list is provided to inform the UMB international community and is not an endorsement of the programs on this list.

UMB Offices and Programs

  • UMB Writing Center
    The Writing Center assists UMB students and fellows by providing individual consultations, workshops, and support groups.

Community Resources

  • Esperanza Center
    The Esperanza Center offers free English language instruction.
  • Children of the World
    Co-op in the Charles Village area of Baltimore provides ESL instruction to adult members and playgroups for families with children ages 9 months to 4 years old.

College/University ESL Programs

Housing information

On-Campus Housing

UMB offers on-campus housing in two locations.

The Pascault Row Apartments are located on West Lexington Street. There are 80 units that can accommodate 88 residents in one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The other option is the Fayette Square Apartments. Fayette Square offers everything from private studios and one-bedroom apartments to spacious two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments in the sleek new Tower Residences. They also offer two-, three-, four-, and seven-bedroom apartments in the restored Historic Residences.

Pascault Row and Fayette Square

518 W. Fayette St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
 
Phone: 410-706-5523
Fax: 410-706-5530
http://www.housing.umaryland.edu/

Off-Campus Housing

UMB Housing offers links to off-campus options.

Useful links for researching neighborhoods in and around Baltimore:

  • This website goes into detail about the different neighborhoods, with interactive maps:
    www.livebaltimore.com/
  • For Baltimore City Neighborhood Statistical Areas, which is how the city defines the neighborhoods, visit:
    www.bniajfi.org/map_gallery
  • For information on neighborhood crime statistics, visit the Baltimore Crime Map.
  • Visit this site for an interactive ESRI Tapestry Segmentation map for Baltimore. Tapestry segmentation classifies U.S. residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, which can be quite useful when looking for a place to live. To view, click the Thematic Overlay tab and choose from the drop-down menus Demographics, then 2010 ESRI Tapestry:
    http://cityview.baltimorecity.gov/CityView/

Baltimore College Town Network
The Baltimore Collegetown Network brings 14 area colleges and universities together with government, business, and community leaders to strengthen the links among the city’s educational, cultural, and community institutions.
www.baltimorecollegetown.org/

Immigration terms

F-1 Student: A visa classification for a nonimmigrant who is pursuing a “full course of study” to achieve a specific educational or professional objective at an academic institution in the United States that has been designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to offer courses of study to such students, and has been enrolled in SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). The F-1 student is expected by the U.S. government to return to their residence abroad once the program is completed. A student acquires F-1 status using Form I-20, issued by the school through SEVIS.

J-1 Student: A visa classification for a nonimmigrant who is admitted to a degree program at an “accredited educational institution” for a “full course of study” or is engaged full time in a nondegree “prescribed course of study.” Certain criteria must be met to qualify for J-1 Student status. A student acquires J-1 Student status using Form DS-2019, issued by the school through SEVIS.

J-1 Scholar: Typically, nonimmigrants having academic appointments as visiting faculty, postdoctoral fellows/associates, research associates, and other temporary academic appointments. A scholar acquires J-1 status using Form DS-2019, issued by the school through SEVIS.

J-1 Intern: A visa classification for a nonimmigrant student who is currently enrolled and pursuing a degree at a postsecondary academic institution outside the United States and whose U.S. internship will fulfill the educational objectives for their current degree program. Certain criteria must be met to qualify for J-1 Intern status.

H-1B Employees: A visa classification for “temporary workers” in “specialty occupations.” Petitions for H-1B status are submitted by the employer to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for approval.

Specialty Occupation: For H-1B purposes, a specialty occupation is an occupation that requires "theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge" and the "attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.”

Visa: A visa is a stamp placed in the passport by a consular official at a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas. It is the permission to apply for (re)entry into the United States. As long as you remain in the United States, it does not matter if the visa stamp has expired. There are many different kinds of visas that correspond to immigration statuses.

I-20: A piece of paper called a Certificate of Eligibility. It is used to obtain an F-1 Student visa.

DS-2019: A piece of paper called a Certificate of Eligibility. It is used to obtain a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa.

I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record): Upon entry to the United States, the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer creates an I-94 record for you in the electronic system. The I-94 controls your immigration status and your length of stay in the United States; it either has a date of expiration or is valid for the Duration of Status, D/S. As of April 30, 2013, CBP is only issuing paper I-94 cards at land crossings. If you change immigration status from within the United States, your approval notice will include a new I-94 number for you, which will not appear in the electronic system. 

Duration of Status (D/S): A Student or Exchange Visitor's permission to stay in the United States is defined as "Duration of Status." It appears on the I-94 card as D/S and relates to the expected date of program completion (item #3 on the DS-2019 or #5 on the I-20). J-1 Exchange Visitors and F-1 Students must file for an extension of program at least two months before this date.

Tax information

 

  1. When must I file my tax forms?
  2. What form(s) will I receive and when will I receive them?
  3. What forms do I need to file?
  4. Am I Resident or Nonresident Alien for Tax Purposes?
  5. Where Do I File My 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ Tax Form and Form 8843?
  6. I was told that I and/or my dependents are ineligible for Social Security Numbers because they are not authorized to work. How do I include them in my tax return?
  7. Where can I get more help?

1. When must I file my tax forms?

If you were employed and received wages subject to withholding, the deadline for filing 2017 tax returns is April 17, 2018. This is for income received during the 2017 calendar year.

If you did not receive wages as an employee subject to U.S. tax withholding, but as a nonresident F-1 or J-1 you are required to file a tax statement form 8843, the deadline is June 15, 2018.

You can get an extension of time to file your federal return by filing Form 4868, Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. You must file the request for the extension by April 17, 2018. Please note that filing form 4868 does not extend the time to pay any taxes owed. Any taxes owed are due by the regular filing date (there is a similar process at the state level).

2. What form(s) will I receive and when will I receive them?

  • If you were employed during the 2017 calendar year, you will receive a W-2 from your employer(s) by Jan. 31, 2018
  • If you received a scholarship/fellowship from the University OR you claimed a tax treaty benefit during the 2017 calendar year, you will receive Form 1042S from the University by mid-March
  • If you have interest income from a U.S. bank institution, you will receive Form 1099 from the institution by Jan. 31, 2018

You need to include a copy of your 2017 form(s) W2 and form(s) 1042S (if you meet the criteria above) when you file your federal tax return. If you do not receive these forms, contact the employer. If you had authorization to work off-campus during 2017, then you should receive a W-2 and/or 1042S form from each U.S. employer. In some cases, you may also receive 1099 forms from U.S. banks or financial institutions.

3. What forms do I need to file?

  • Federal and State Tax Forms
    Students and scholars with U.S. income in 2017 must file federal and state tax forms (not all states have state taxes but students residing in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and Pennsylvania are subject to state tax)
  • Form 8843 required
    F, J, Q, or M (visa) nonresident aliens for tax purposes who were in the United States in 2017, even those who did not receive U.S.-sourced income, should file Form 8843 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8843.pdf). This includes dependents (F-2, J-2).
  • Nonresident aliens
    All F, J, Q, or M nonresident aliens for tax purposes who received U.S.-sourced income during 2017 are required to file an annual U.S. income tax return using Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ and a statement detailing that basis of the individual’s claim to nonresident status (the statement is IRS Form 8843). The form is entitled Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition. F, J, and M students are considered to be “exempt individuals” for up to five calendar years — meaning they are exempt from counting days using the substantial presence test (not that they are exempt from taxes) and are therefore nonresidents for tax purposes. In general, J scholars (researchers, professors) are considered exempt individuals for up to two calendar years. However, there are special rules for J scholars who repeatedly visit the United States — check Publication 519 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p519.pdf) for more information on calculating tax residency for repeat J visits. If you have been in the United States in another immigration status, you’ve been here longer than the time limits mentioned above, or you’ve taken steps to immigrate to the United States, be sure to read the definition of exempt individual in Publication 519 to determine if you are a resident or a nonresident for tax purposes.
  • Resident aliens
    Resident aliens should use Form 1040EZ, 1040A, or 1040, etc.
  • Dual-status aliens
    Please refer to IRS Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens

4. Am I Resident or Nonresident Alien for Tax Purposes?
Please see the IRS Foreign Student and Scholar Page (http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Foreign-Students-and-Scholars) if you need assistance determining if you are a resident or nonresident alien for federal tax purposes.

5. Where Do I File My 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ Tax Form and Form 8843?

Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215, U.S.A.

Remember to keep photocopies of all documents you send to the IRS. Please note that e-filed tax returns are not available to Nonresident Aliens.

6. I was told that I and/or my dependents are ineligible for Social Security numbers because they are not authorized to work. How do I include them in my tax return?

Individuals who are ineligible for Social Security numbers because they are not employed in the United States should file requests for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) with their Form 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, or Form 8843. The request form is called Form W-7. Information about applying for an ITIN is available at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/General-ITIN-Information.

The IRS requires your original passport to process the request. If you choose to mail in your application, please remove your I-94 card from your passport and keep copies of your passport identification and expiration page(s) and U.S. visa stamp. Please be advised that it may take up to 60 days for your passport to be returned to you. We strongly advise instead following the below instruction to apply for the ITIN in-person.

Alternatively, individuals who are applying for ITINs can go to an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center with their original immigration documents to file their application.

The closest IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center to UMB is located at:

31 Hopkins Plaza
Baltimore, MD 21201


Go to http://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-My-Local-Office-in-Maryland to see the services provided at this office and hours of operation.

7. Where can I get more help?

Assistance also is available through tax preparation services for nonresident and resident aliens. The following list is not an endorsement or recommendation for any of the preparation services but offers names to help begin your research.


Nonresident aliens:

GLACIER Tax Prep: The Office of International Services has purchased Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) to help you prepare your 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ, Form 8843, and other required forms. Request access to GTP today!

NR Tax Return:
You also can purchase a license to prepare your federal tax forms at http://www.nrtaxreturn.com/Default.aspx.

NAFSA Federal Income Tax Brochure: This can be found at http://www.nafsa.org/uploadedFiles/NAFSA_Home/Resource_Library_Assets/ISTA/federal_tax_information.pdf?n=2370.

IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center:

31 Hopkins Plaza
Baltimore, MD 21201


Go to http://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-My-Local-Office-in-Maryland to see the services provided at this office and hours of operation.

Maryland State Tax Help: This can be found athttp://taxes.marylandtaxes.com/Resource_Library/Taxpayer_Assistance/Contact_Information/Local_Offices_and_Directions.shtml


Resident Aliens:

Resident aliens may visit any tax preparation service for assistance in preparing tax returns.

IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center:

31 Hopkins Plaza
Baltimore, MD 21201

The Office of International Services provides this tax resource information to UM students and scholars for informational and educational purposes and not as a substitute for advice obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a qualified tax professional. Students and scholars who have questions about their tax situation should consult a qualified tax professional. Each person is responsible for the accuracy of their income tax returns and any resulting penalties or interest. OIS staff members are not qualified and do not provide individual tax advice. OIS disclaims any and all liability from providing this general information.

 

eShip Global - mailing information

Express Mail Shipment of I-20 or DS-2019

UMB offers you the opportunity to receive or ship your documents through a safe, quick, and dependable delivery service. If you need your documents quicker, we use an express mailing service that will allow you to receive the documents through DHL or FedEx in three to five days. To request express mailing of your documents, go to the University Express Mail Services website.

Requesting your documents through express mail is at YOUR expense. It can be paid by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover card only) or PayPal when you place your request.

To request express mailing of your documents, follow these directions:

  • Access the secure website here
  • Create an account for free
  • Select University of Maryland, Baltimore as your school
  • Select Office of International Services as the department
  • Enter your mailing address
  • Put your UMB ID in the "Student ID" field
  • If you do not know your UMB ID yet, use uemsid-xxxx
  • Enter your payment information
  • Review your address and payment information. Errors in the information submitted will delay the shipping of your I-20 or DS-2019
  • Place your order

Please make sure that your name is indicated exactly as it appears on your admission/invite documents.

If you have questions about how to use this service, please visit the FAQ section of this website or email student.support@eshipglobal.com

Please pay close attention to the information submitted, as errors in the credit card information or submitting incorrect or incomplete address information will result in a delay of receiving your documents.

Inviting visitors

If you wish to invite family or friends from abroad to visit you, we recommend that you follow this guidance to write your own invitation letter: ‌Visitor Visa Recommendation Form

If you are on a UMB-sponsored visa (i.e., F-1, J-1, or H-1B), our office can write a letter that is limited to confirming your UMB-sponsored visa status. Please note that the information we have from the U.S. government indicates that such letters do not impact the visa issuance decision. Log in to Sunapsis (instructions found at the bottom) to request a letter for each individual.