Immigration Information for New International Students

These FAQs will provide answers to questions you might have about enrolling at Towson University as a new student. Below is immigration information for newly admitted students. NOTE: the information provided is subject to change as we receive updated or new guidance from the government.

Can I have all online classes and still come to the U.S. to study?
As TU returned to in-person classes in Fall 2021, international students should enroll in a full-time in-person course of study. You may take one online class as part of your full-time course load in the fall. Students who anticipate needing to enroll in more than one online class must consult the ISSO directly. 

I have an assistantship or on-campus employment for the Fall 2021 semester. Can I complete my work from outside the U.S.?
Students have to be physically present in the U.S. to have an assistantship or on-campus position.  

Are U.S. Embassies and consulates open? Can I apply for an F-1 visa?
Each embassy/consulate will announce when they will re-open (if still closed) and when appointments will be available.  You will need to check the website of a particular embassy or consulate for the most up to date information about visa appointment availability. You will need an I-20 for your visa appointment.

Is the ISSO sending out hard copies/originals of I-20s to students?The Departments of Homeland Security (DHS)’s Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has approved electronic signatures and documents. All TU I-20s/DS-2019s are provided electronically.

We will be uploading the signed I-20 to your ISSO portal and sending it to your Towson University email address. Students entering the U.S. must print and sign their I-20 before traveling to re-enter the U.S.

The Department of State and DHS's Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have confirmed that they will accept the print–out of electronic documents for visa appointments and for entry into the U.S.

NOTE: This is subject to change. The ISSO will keep you informed.

Will I be able to enter the U.S.? Am I allowed to enter the U.S.?
Please check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for restrictions on the entry of certain travelers into the U.S.

How do I stay updated about my F-1 or J-1 changes?
Incoming international students are encouraged to regularly review the ISSO website and to check their e-mail messages from the ISSO. Any changes or new guidance will be reported on these platforms.

Transfer Students

What are the current restrictions on traveling and returning to the U.S.?
Many countries may still have travel restrictions in place. If you choose to travel outside the U.S., you may be unable to return as soon as you would like. Check travel restrictions for the country you intend to visit.

Additionally, if you need to renew your visa while at home, U.S. embassies and consulates visa services are still delayed. Check the website of the particular embassy or consulate for the most up to date information about visa appointment availability. 

You should review the travel information from the U.S. government and from your own government for additional information and guidance. 


Last Updated June 23, 2022.