FAQ's for Current Students

The following are frequently asked questions by current international students. Please send additional questions to oiss-info@wmich.edu

  1. How do I apply for a Michigan Driver's License? 
  2. How do I find a job on campus? 
  3. How do I get a travel signature?
  4. What is FERPA?
  5. What legal assistance is available for WMU international students? 
  6. What is two-factor authentication? How do I activate it?

 

1. How do I apply for a Michigan Driver's License?     

A step-by-step guide to assist you in obtaining a Michigan Driver's License is available from the Michigan Secretary of State

In general, applying for a Michigan Driver's License requires the following: 

  1. Social Security Number or letter of ineligibility: if you do not have a Social Security Number, go to a Social Security Administration office to obtain a letter of ineligibility.
  2. Required documents: gather required documents; a list is provided by the Michigan Secretary of State
  3. Application to Michigan Secretary of State: submit an application for a Michigan Driver's License at a Michigan Secretary of State branch office. The nearest Michigan Secretary of State branch office is 3298 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, MI, 49008

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2. How do I find a job on campus?     

International students on F-1 and J-1 visas are allowed to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week while maintaining full-time status during the Fall and Spring semesters. J-1 students require written approval from WMU Immigration Services before beginning any type of employment. Career and Student Employment Services provides many useful resources for students who intend to find a part-time, on-campus job.

Learn More About On-Campus Employment  

Once employment is secured, please visit the Immigration Services office during walk-in advising hours to request a status verification letter from your immigration advisor. You will need to bring the status verification letter together with other necessary documents to the Social Security Administration Office to obtain your social security number.

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3. How do I get a travel signature?  

Due to COVID-19, the Student Exchange and Visitor Program is allowing I-20s to be sent to students electronically to their email addresses on their SEVIS record. Please contact Tara Severino (tara.severino@wmich.edu), Associate Director of Immigration Services, if you need assistance with getting an I-20 with the proper travel signature.  Please allow 5 to 10 business days for this to come through.  There should not be any concerns over your I-20 for leaving the United States.  

Your current DS-2019 or I-20 and passport are required to obtain a travel signature. Travel signatures are given during walk-in advising on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 1:15 – 4 p.m. in the office of International Admissions and Services on the 3rd floor of Faunce Student Services building. A Travel Signature Drop-Off Form is available at our front desk in 3110 Faunce. 

Travel Signatures are valid for one year. However, you should see an Immigration Services advisor at least two weeks in advance every time you plan to travel abroad.  A recent travel signature will likely make re-entry to the United States a faster and easier process.

To ensure compliance with immigration law, Western Michigan University's Immigration Services strongly advises international students, scholars and visitors to consult with an Immigration Services advisor prior to making any travel arrangements. 

Travel as an International Student  

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4. What is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)? 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a set of U.S. privacy laws that prevent the release or update of student records to unauthorized parties. If you would like a family member or other designated third party to be able access or receive information about your WMU student record, you must print, sign and return a Student Information Release Authorization form to International Admissions and Services.

You may submit the form:

  • In person to our front desk in 3110 Faunce Student Services Building with a photo identification.
  • By email to oiss-info@wmich.edu through your WMU email account.  

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5. What legal assistance is available for WMU international students? 

All WMU students may seek advice on legal issues including landlord-tenant conflicts, substance possession offenses or other civil or criminal infractions from 3:30 to 5 p.m. each Wednesday in the Student Organization Center conference room within the Bernhard Center Room 194.  This clinic is designed to provide free legal advice, not free legal representation. 

Learn More About Legal Aid 

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6. What is two-factor authentication? How do I activate it? 

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is required as part of the WMU login process for admitted and currently enrolled students. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by sending a notification to your mobile device when you log in so that you may verify that it is you logging in and not a criminal. Students will not be able to log in to online services, such as GoWMU and Elearning until they complete the 2FA activation process.

The day after course registration you will be required to activate two-factor authentication (2FA) as part of the WMU Login process. Have your cell phone and Bronco NetID password ready. Learn more at wmich.edu/it/2FA

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