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COVID Test No Longer Required for U.S. Entry

As of June 12, 2022, a negative COVID test is no longer required to enter the United States from abroad by air!

You can read more about the rescinding of this order here on the CDC website. Please note that proof of COVID vaccination is still required for entry to the United States. 

s of June 12, 2022, these are the current required travel documents for F-1/J-1 students and scholars entering the United States:

  • Valid I-20 or DS-2019 with a valid travel signature 
    • I-20 travel signatures are valid for 12 months for enrolled students and for 6 months for graduates on Post-Completion OPT. 
    • DS-2019 travel signatures are valid for 6 months.
    • Please note that initial students entering the U.S. for the first time for their academic program in Fall do NOT need a travel signature on their I-20 or DS-2019.
    • If you need a new travel signature on your I-20, you can request one to be emailed to you here
  • Valid F-1 or J-1 visa (unless you are a citizen of Canada or Bermuda) 
  • Passport valid 6 months into the future 
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination 

Please always check the CDC website for the most up to date COVID protocols prior to re-entry and check the COVID protocols of the country or countries that you are travelling to before departure. 

Requirements for Entry to the U.S. through Land Borders and Ferries

As of January 22, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security is requiring all non-citizens to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter the U.S. via a land border or ferry from Canada or Mexico. However, there is no COVID test requirement for entry to the U.S. by land border or ferry. You can read the full the full details here. This is a new rule that pertains to entry to the U.S. by land borders and ferries.

As a reminder, for entry to the U.S. by air travel, proof of COVID vaccination and proof of a negative COVID test taken within 1 day of the flight are still required.

Vaccination Requirement for U.S. Entry

President Biden issued a Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Effective on November 8, 2021:

  • The geographic COVID-19 travel ban restrictions ended.
  • There is a new global requirement that "noncitizens who are nonimmigrants" traveling to the United States by air from any part of the world must establish that they are fully vaccinated, with some limited exceptions.
  • In addition to providing proof of vaccination, all passengers on international flights to the United States must continue to be required to show results of a recent negative COVID test

There are very few exceptions to the vaccination requirement for nonimmigrants traveling to the United States by air. For complete details about the vaccination requirement and COVID-19 testing policy please visit the CDC webpage: Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers. Note: the FAQ at the bottom of this page includes a response stating that there are no exceptions under the Presidential Proclamation and CDC's Order for religious reasons or other moral convictions. 

Full vaccination is not required to apply for a visa. Full vaccination is required for air travel to the U.S. unless the individual qualifies for an exception. 

Resource Websites:

The guidance applies to students in active F-1 status as of March 9, 2020. Below is a brief summary of the most critical points.  Please refer to the most recent FAQ for full information. There are no substantive changes from the prior version of the FAQ.

Initial I-20s for students beginning a new program:

  • Schools are prohibited from issuing I-20 to students admitted to a degree program that is 100% online. You may begin your degree online from outside the U.S.  F-1 status will begin once you enter the U.S.

Course registration:

  • F-1 students active as of March 9, 2020: If possible, register for as many on-campus classes as possible.  If necessary, you may register for blended or online classes up to 100%.  You may continue to study online full-time inside the U.S. or from abroad.
  • F-1 students active after March 9, 2020 (e.g., students who arrived in the U.S. to begin their studies in fall 2020): You need to register for at least one class that is not online and has an on-campus requirement. You must be able to receive academic credit for the course and it needs to appear on your transcript.

Electronically scanned and signed I-20s continue to be accepted by all government agencies except for Social Security.

Form DS-2019 for J Exchange Visitors: an original form is required for the visa application and all government purposes.

The above guidance is has been extended for the 2022/23 academic year.

Check for the status of consular visa processing in your country.

Broadcast Message: Follow-up: ICE continues March Guidance for Fall School Term (Released July 24, 2020)

Frequently Asked Questions for SEVP Stakeholders about COVID-19 (Last Updated August 7, 2020)
SEVP posted a revision on August 7 that merged its July 24 "Clarifying Questions" and its July 15 FAQs into a single document, revising some of the FAQs "to reflect the fall 2020 semester," and archiving and rescinding certain FAQs that were "specific to the spring or summer semester." 

New York State COVID-19 Travel Advisory

NAFSA COVID-19 Summary
The is a compilation of most all information pertaining to the international community.  Start here for daily updates.

New York State COVID-19 Information and Instructions

New Jersey State COVID-19 Information and Instructions

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

J Exchange Visitor Program Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
DOS ECA Exchange Visitor Program has posted a COVID-19 page that links to the latest guidance for Exchange Visitor Program sponsors and participants, and includes a Frequently Asked Questions section as well.

U.S. Department of State: Travel and visa application updates

  • Suspension of Visa Services

  • Country Specific Information

  • Controls at Land Ports of Entry on Canadian and Mexican Borders
    Two Federal Register notices to be published on March 24, 2020 announce the decision to temporarily allow entry to the United States through land ports of entry along the U.S.-Canada and U.S. Mexico borders for “essential travel” only. Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions are excluded from the ban and are included in the "essential" travel exemption list.

U.S. Department of Labor FAQ

DHS announces flexibility in requirements related to Form I-9 compliance

Yeshiva University COVID-19 Updates

Yeshiva University COVID-19 General FAQ

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