International News, Updates, and FAQs
As changes to immigration policy, visa processing, and travel restrictions continue to develop, UO acknowledges how particularly stressful the current environment of uncertainty must feel for our highly-valued international students, scholars, faculty, and staff. We know that the current state of immigration policy and ever-changing procedures related to COVID-19 are causing confusion, concern, and questions. Please know that we want you here as part of our community, and the Division of Global Engagement is here to do everything possible to help you overcome every obstacle to your academic success and have full membership in our community. The most current updates are as follows:
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Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test Required for Entry to U.S.: The U.S. Department of State and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just announced that beginning January 26, all air passengers arriving to the United States must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding. This order applies to both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens. This order only applies to air travel to the U.S. and does not apply to land border crossings from Canada or Mexico. The airline will enforce a COVID-19 negative test result of documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding.
For more information including frequently asked questions, please refer to the CDC website: Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States | CDC . Locations and availability of COVID-19 testing by country can be found here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html
14-Day Quarantine Required upon Arrival to U.S.: Some states are requiring a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival from another country or state (i.e. Vermont and New York.) Oregon does not require a 14-day quarantine.
The COVID-19 Country-Specific Travel Restrictions: Proclamation of January 25, 2021 (President Biden), effective January 30, 2021. Adds South Africa to the list of countries travel through which subjects individuals to a 14-day COVID-19 travel ban. The complete list of countries which are subject to a 14-day COVID-19 travel ban for direct entry to the U.S. includes China (excluding the Special Autonomous Regions of Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, European Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland), Ireland and United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland), and Brazil.
National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland: International students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with a valid F-1 visa do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual national interest exception to travel. Students seeking to apply for new F-1 visa should check the status of visa services at the nearest embassy or consulate; those applicants who are found to be otherwise qualified for an F-1 visa will automatically be considered for a national interest exception to travel.
Students who have a valid J-1 visa or who are seeking to apply for a J-1 visa, and believe they may qualify for a national interest exception should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling. If a national interest exception is approved, they may travel on a valid J-1 visa.
This implies the following:
- that an F-1 student who already has a visa can travel to the United States on that visa (if otherwise eligible) under a general national interest exception without needing to first visit a U.S. consulate
- that a national interest exception will be given almost automatically to an F-1 visa applicant who needs a visa, but
- that the decision may still “case-by-case” for J-1 students needing a visa, and
- that unlike F-1 students who already have a visa, J-1 students who already have a J-1 visa should also contact the consulate “before traveling."
President Biden Ends Trump’s Discriminatory Travel Ban: Executive Order signed on January 21 revokes the travel ban on foreign nationals from more than a dozen countries seeking legal immigration to the U.S. including Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Eritrea, Yemen, Venezuela, Nigeria, Sudan. 42,000 people were unable to enter the US since 2017 due to these bans.
DHS Proposed Rule Change: February 2021 - there is a freeze on any pending rule change to review and remedy under the Biden Administration. Background - on October 26, the University of Oregon and the Oregon State University jointly submitted a letter to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICEB) forcefully opposing the proposed restriction on time an international student can remain in the US on a student visa.
UO and OSU are steadfast in our commitment to the importance of global engagement, to recruiting top talent from around the world, to global scale research, and to the significant contribution international students make to campus diversity. Read the full letter here.
- Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services: U.S. embassies and consulates are beginning the phased resumption of routine visa services. The dates for each embassy or consulate will depend on local conditions. We are unable to provide details for each location. Please monitor the embassy or consulate website for updates. For more information, go to the Dept. of State's web site (travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.html) including this FAQ on "phased resumption of routine visa services": travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/...
- DGE Response to Executive Order on New Chinese Graduate Students and Researchers. Here is what we now know and where we stand.
- Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the U.S. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control): Several Presidential proclamations established restrictions on the entry of certain travelers into the United States in an effort to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- Returning from International Travel (U.S. Centers for Disease Control): If you have traveled internationally in the past 14 days, stay home and monitor your health.
- Restricted Travel to Canada and Mexico (U.S. Department of Homeland Security): In order to limit the further spread of coronavirus, the U.S. has reached agreements with both Canada and Mexico to limit all non-essential travel across borders.
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Biweekly newsletters to UO students
Websites for Up-to-Date Information about U.S. Visas and Travel:
International Student Fall 2020 Considerations
U.S. Department of State
COVID-19 Country Specific Information: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Co…
Presidential Actions: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/
Centers for Disease Control
Travel/COVID-19 Page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
News Alerts: https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts
NAFSA: Association of International Educators Pages
Coronavirus Critical Resources: https://www.nafsa.org/regulatory-information/coronavirus-critical-resou…
Tracking COVID-19 Restrictions on US Visas and Entry: https://www.nafsa.org/regulatory-information/covid-19-restrictions-us-v…
U.S. Consulates Worldwide: http://www.usembassy.gov/
Getting to the United States: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/getting-to-the-united-states
Counseling Assistance for the UO Campus Community:
UO Counseling Center Services for Students: Call the Counseling Center at 541-346-3227 to discuss your options for mental health support. They will have the next available counselor return your call to discuss your options and to answer your questions.
UO Employee Assistance Program: Cascade Centers, Inc. provides comprehensive employee assistance at no cost for eligible employees, their dependents, and eligible household members. Call Cascade directly at 1-800-433-2320 to schedule an appointment.