Additional Information for All Students and Scholars
Immigration and travel-related updates
The U.S. has implemented some immigration- and travel-related restrictions. Read below to see if any apply to your situation.
We will continue to process applications for admission and issue the necessary immigration documents (Forms I-20 or DS-2019 in most cases), regardless of citizenship.
Invitations to visiting scholars and offers of employment to foreign nationals from the impacted countries will likely require additional advising and processing time prior to employment eligibility.
Although travel from certain countries/regions will no longer be restricted, appointment backlogs at U.S. embassies and consulates continue to be an issue for foreign nationals who need visas. Any international travel that will require a visa to return to the U.S. should be carefully considered.
Travel restrictions for individuals traveling from southern Africa (effective November 29, 2021)
The U.S. president signed a proclamation on November 26, 2021, that suspended entry for immigrants and nonimmigrants traveling to the U.S. who have been in southern Africa in the 14 days before their arrival to the U.S.
The countries specified in the proclamation are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
Learn more about the restrictions
At this time, there is not a national interest exemption (NIE) in place for F-1 or J-1 students or scholars. This means if you have been in one of these countries, you will need to spend at least 14 days in a different country before traveling to the U.S.
COVID Vaccine and Test Requirements for U.S. Entry (effective November 8, 2021)
Traveling by airplane from anywhere
Effective November 8, 2021, all geographic travel ban restrictions will be replaced by a global requirement that all nonimmigrants must be fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO-approved vaccine before entering the U.S. by air travel (including from Canada or Mexico).
You must also provide evidence of a negative COVID test result taken no more than 1 day before boarding a flight to the U.S. Some very limited exemptions to the vaccine requirement will be allowed.
One notable vaccine exemption allowed under the new proclamation is for citizens (passport holders) of countries with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) will maintain this list and update it every 3 months. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will use the CDC's list to determine which countries qualify. Vaccination exceptions will not be granted based on a recent country of residence.
IU also has specific requirements and resources related to COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, and masking.
Traveling by car or ferry from Mexico or Canada
From November 8 until December 31, vaccination is not required for essential purposes (attending an educational institution is considered an essential purpose during this period). Starting January 1, 2022, travel by car or ferry from Mexico or Canada will follow the vaccine requirements listed above.
Additional COVID-19 enrollment guidance for international students
Admitted and current international students can find additional information about enrollment requirements, visas, travel, health and safety, and student life during the pandemic on OIA's COVID-19 webpages.
Suspension of visa processing in Russia (effective May 12, 2021)
Effective May 12, 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow will reduce consular services. It will cease to process non-immigrant visas (like F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor) for non-diplomatic travel. This means you will not be able to apply for a student visa in Russia.
We do not know how long this will last, but we are concerned about the impact it is having on students and scholars from Russia. We are working in collaboration with a number of higher education associations, and our government relations officials, in an effort to encourage the resumption of non-immigrant visa processing as soon as possible.
Students and scholars may be able to seek visa appointments as third country nationals in other locations. You would need to determine eligibility and processes for this with an Embassy or Consulate.
Suspending entry of certain Chinese graduate students and visiting scholars (effective June 1, 2020)
Page last updated: October 29, 2021
Effective June 1, 2020 the U.S. president signed a proclamation that suspends the entry of certain F-1 and J-1 graduate students and visiting scholars from China. We do not know all of the implications of this policy but it may affect nonimmigrant visa issuance and entrance into the U.S. through Customs and Border Protection.
At this time, we will continue to process immigration documents for all F-1 and J-1 students and visiting scholars from China.
Who is NOT impacted
- All new and continuing undergraduate students
- All legal permanent residents
- A spouse of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
- F-1 or J-1 graduate students or visiting scholars "in a field involving information that would not contribute to the PRC’s military‑civil fusion strategy"
- This section of the proclamation is vague. Implementation is the responsibility of the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security. This means that eligibility for entry may be reviewed both during the visa application process, and at the port of entry when travelling to the U.S.
Who is impacted
- New graduate F-1 or J-1 students and visiting scholars who:
- Currently receive funding, are employed by, study at, or conduct research at or on behalf of "an entity in the PRC [People's Republic of China] that implements or supports the PRC’s 'military-civil fusion strategy'"
- Have previously been employed at, studied at, or conducted research at or on behalf of "an entity in the PRC [People's Republic of China] that implements or supports the PRC’s 'military-civil fusion strategy'"
- The U.S. Secretary of State shall determine if current F-1 or J-1 graduate students and visiting scholars who are in the United States and have a valid visa meet the criteria regarding involvement in "military-fusion strategy" and determine whether their visa should be revoked.
The proclamation defines "military-civil fusion strategy" as "actions by or at the behest of the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance the PRC’s military capabilities."
We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. We stand with our students and scholars from China who are here to learn from and share their knowledge with IUPUI. We welcome students and visiting scholars from all backgrounds and citizenships, knowing that we are better together.
Your Rights in the U.S.
As an international student or scholar, you have specific rights in the U.S.
Hiring an attorneyIf you'd like to speak with an experienced immigration attorney on how the order may apply to your specific situation, contact us. We'll work with the IU Office of General Counsel to refer you to an attorney.