Travel, Vaccine, Quarantine, and Visa updates for International Students and Scholars.

November 30, 2021

This webpage provides updates related to international travel limitations and considerations during the COVID-19 emergency for FSU students and scholars.

The CGE provides advising for current and prospective students and scholars of Florida State University in the context of their status related to FSU.


 

International travel during winter break is not recommended.

The Center for Global Engagement at FSU highly recommends that current students and scholars in the U.S. reconsider any international travel outside the U.S. during the winter break, unless you are completing your academic program and returning to your home country.

Be aware of the possibility that additional countries could be added to a list of travel restrictions that currently includes countries in southern Africa. Although we hope that the Department of State will allow a national interest exception for students that would allow them to re-enter the U.S. from a country on a travel ban list, the best practice would be to avoid international travel at this time unless the Department of State specifically adds the exception.


 

Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Travelers from Southern Africa

Effective November 26, 2021, travelers who were physically present within the Republic of Botswana, the Kingdom of Eswatini, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Malawi, the Republic of Mozambique, the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of South Africa, and the Republic of Zimbabwe during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States are restricted from entering or re-entering the U.S. This restriction is outlined in the Presidential Proclamation and CDC Website. Additional country restrictions and exemptions could be added at any time. Be sure to monitor these sites for the most updated information.

Presidential Proclamation Mandating COVID Vaccinations for U.S. Entry

Effective November 8, all travelers coming to the U.S. by air are required to be fully vaccinated with an approved U.S. FDA or WHO vaccine, unless eligible for an exception. This requirement is based on a Proclamation by President Biden and is implemented through a Center for Disease Control and Prevention Order. The vaccination requirement is in addition to the requirement that all air passengers aged 2 years or older have proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test result.

This is important information for students currently enrolled at FSU in Tallahassee or engaged in OPT or Academic Training who have plans to travel abroad. It is also important for all students coming to FSU from abroad to begin study at an FSU campus in the Spring 2022 semester, for J-1 scholars, and for H-1B or TN employees. The new requirements also cover all dependents over the age of 18.

Current requirements and exceptions are fully outlined on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website:

  1. Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers
  2. Technical Instructions for Implementing presidential Proclamation Advancing Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic and CDC’s Order
  3. Travel Assessment: Find out if you can board a flight to the United States (Quiz)
  4. Non-U.S. citizen, Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States

COVID tests are free for FSU students and employees and available at FSU’s Tucker Center by appointment or walk in: (uhs.fsu.edu/coronavirus/testing).

FSU offers students the opportunity for vaccination at scheduled vaccination clinics. Information is available HERE.


What is Considered Fully Vaccinated?

According to the CDC website, you are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of a Novavax (or Covavax) COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a phase 3 clinical trial
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart*

If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT considered fully vaccinated.

*CDC has not recommended the use of mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccine primary series. However, such strategies are increasingly common in many countries outside of the United States. Therefore, for the purpose of interpreting vaccination records for travel to the United States, CDC will accept combinations of accepted COVID-19 vaccines.


What if I am Not Fully Vaccinated?

If you do not meet the requirements to be considered fully vaccinated and are not covered under one of the exceptions (see below) you will NOT be allowed to board a flight to the U.S.

  • If you are currently in the U.S. and decide to get vaccinated to meet the travel requirements, be sure to read the instructions carefully so you have time to meet the requirements for being fully vaccinated before departing the U.S. Vaccination availability may be limited in the country or countries to which you are traveling.
  • If you are currently in the U.S. and are not considered fully vaccinated because the vaccine you received in your home country is not approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or is not one of the vaccines listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO), you can complete the two dose Pfizer or Moderna series if it is 28 days or more since you received the last vaccine in your home country.

FSU offers students the opportunity for vaccination at scheduled vaccination clinics. Information is available HERE.


What Exceptions are Available for Noncitizens?

The CDC website shows the categories of noncitizen nonimmigrants that meet the criteria for an exception under the Proclamation and CDC’s Order. The categories, not all of which would apply to FSU students or employees, include:

  • Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel
  • Children under 18 years of age
  • Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials
  • Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception
  • Persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or children (under 18 years of age)
  • Sea crew members traveling with to a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa
  • Persons whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees)

What if I Qualify for an Exception?

The CDC website outlines the requirements for traveling under one of the exceptions. Students or scholars coming to the U.S. under an exception should pay close attention to the testing and self-quarantine or self-isolation expectations, and the expectation that you will become vaccinated unless excepted due to a documented medical condition.

You will be required to attest that you are excepted from the requirement to present Proof of Being Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 based on one of the exceptions. Based on the category of the exception, you may further be required to attest that:

  1. You will be tested with a COVID-19 viral test 3–5 days after arrival in the United States, unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days;
  2. You will self-quarantine for a full 7 days, even if the test result to the post-arrival viral test is negative, unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days; and
  3. You will self-isolate if the result of the post-arrival test is positive or if you develop COVID-19 symptoms.

Based on the category of the exception, if you intend to stay in the United States for longer than 60 days you may additionally be required to attest that:

  • You agree to be vaccinated against COVID-19; and
  • You have arranged to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within 60 days of arriving in the United States, or as soon thereafter as is medically appropriate, unless (for children) you are too young to be vaccinated.

A parent or other authorized person should attest on behalf of a passenger under 18 years old. An authorized person may attest on behalf of any passenger who is unable sign their own attestation (e.g., because they are too young, or because of physical or mental impairment).

After completing the quarantine, you can schedule your vaccine appointment at FSU or another local site.


Testing Requirements Prior to Travel to U.S.

ALL air passengers aged 2 years or older are required to travel with proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test result.

Persons who are fully vaccinated according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines must receive a negative COVID-19 viral test no more than 24 hours prior to departure to the U.S.

Persons who meet one of the criteria to qualify for an exception to receive the COVID-19 vaccine must receive a negative result no more than 1 day prior to travel. You can read more about this testing requirement on the CDC website:

Requirement for Proof of negative COVID-19 Test or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19


What is Expected When I Arrive in the U.S.?

Clear information on expectations after arrival in the U.S. for both fully vaccinated travelers and those allowed to travel by air through an exception is on the CDC website:

Non-U.S. citizen, Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States

  • The CDC recommends that all travelers (2 years or older), regardless of vaccination status, take a viral test 3-5 days after travel.
  • Travelers entering with an exception must follow the testing and self-quarantine guidelines outlined above.
  • International travelers who have been fully vaccinated with a FDA-approved vaccine or a vaccine approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) do not need to quarantine after arrival unless their post-travel test is positive.

Whether COVID testing is required or recommended for you, COVID tests are free for FSU students and employees and are available at FSU’s Tucker Center by appointment or walk in: uhs.fsu.edu/coronavirus/testing. Testing is also available elsewhere in Leon County.

New internationals students or scholars may take a passport as a photo ID rather than a driver's license.

Recommendations: Think carefully before you decide to travel abroad. If you decide to travel, be sure to check travel conditions and restrictions in your destination country and understand that travel situations are constantly changing due to the pandemic. Read the information about the U.S. vaccination requirements to be certain that you will be eligible for entry.


Visa Services

The availability of appointments varies by consulate. In some countries consulates will still only consider emergency appointments and some consulates are closed. Information on visa wait times is available here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html

Students, scholars, and employees can check for information on the website of a U.S. Embassy/Consulate in the country in which they will apply for a visa. https://www.usembassy.gov

Automatic revalidation of a visa may apply for certain travel to and from Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands (F or J only). See more information on the U.S. Customs & Border Protection website: https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-1218?language=en_US

The CGE is not able to expedite appointments on behalf of students.


General Travel Information

For information about standard international travel procedures (e.g., what to take with you, travel signatures), you can refer to the information on our Travel webpage. Consider this information in addition to the information regarding the Presidential Proclamation and CDC Order.

Talk to your CGE Advisor if you have questions. Remote advising is available via email, Zoom-In Hours, or by appointment. To identify your CGE F-1 Advisor, consult the information on our Advising webpage.


Center for Global Engagement Advising Office Hours

Open Monday-Friday 8 am – 5 pm for document pick up and general questions. Zoom-In advising continues from 2–4 pm M-F.

APPOINTMENTS (if you are not available to Zoom-In or need more time):

F-1 Students:

  • Betty Jensen (family names beginning A-H):
    15 minute appointment (M-F, 2-4 pm): Book your appointment HERE
    30 minute appointment: Email Betty, bjensen@fsu.edu
  • Angélique Stevens (family names beginning I-O):
    15 minute appointment (M-F, 2-4 pm) Book your appointment HERE
    30 minute appointment: Click Here to make an appointment through Bookings
  • Jared Tirone (family names beginning P–Z):
    15 minute appointment (M-F, 2-4 pm) Book your appointment HERE
    30 minute appointment: Email Jared, jmtirone@fsu.edu

J-1 Students or Scholars:

  • Jared Tirone (current J-1 degree-seeking students):
    15 minute appointment (M-F, 2-4 pm): Book your appointment HERE
    30 minute appointment: Email Jared, jmtirone@fsu.edu
  • Betty Jensen (future J-1 short-term exchange students):
    15 minute appointment (M-F, 2-4 pm): Book your appointment HERE
    30 minute appointment: Email Betty, bjensen@fsu.edu
  • Angélique Stevens (current J-1 scholars):
    15 minute appointments (M-F, 2-4 pm): Book your appointment HERE
    30 minute appointment: Click Here to make an appointment through Bookings

* PLEASE REMEMBER TO CANCEL YOUR APPOINTMENT IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND. THAT WILL OPEN THE SLOT FOR ANOTHER STUDENT/SCHOLAR!!

SUBMITTING APPLICATIONS AND FORMS: Submit your applications and forms through NoleStart. Do not email them to your advisor or take them to the CGE.

The CGE provides advising only for current and prospective students and scholars of Florida State University and only in the context of their status related to FSU. Advisors are not immigration attorneys and information given during advising should not be construed as legal advice.

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