Skip to Content

International Student Services

Helpful Tips for Entering the U.S. During COVID

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Requirements for Entering the United States:

  1. You are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding a flight or crossing the border by land to the United States from a foreign country. (More information here)
    • The accepted COVID-19 vaccines are available on the CDC website, which is linked above. Make sure to check the list titled "Vaccines Listed for Emergency Use by the World Health Organization. 
  2. You are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test (viral NAAT or antigen test, PCR not required) within 1 day of your flight. If you recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19, such as your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel. (More information here and here.)

Tips for Air Travel to the U.S.

  • Pay close attention to all communication from your airline. Make sure to upload all required documentation when asked by the airline. You will primarily communicate with your airline to show the necessary vaccination proof and COVID-19 test in order to board your flight.
  • A mask is required on all flights in the U.S.
  • Do not travel if:
    • You are sick.
    • You tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t ended isolation.
      • After you end isolation, avoid travel until a full 10 days after your symptoms started or the date of your positive test if you had no symptoms.
      • If you must travel on days 6 through 10, properly wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of travel. If you are unable to wear a mask, you should not travel during days 6 through 10.
    • You had close contact with a person with COVID-19 and haven’t ended quarantine.
      • Get tested at least 5 days after your last close contact and make sure your test result is negative and you remain without symptoms before traveling. If you don’t get tested, delay travel until a full 10 days after your last close contact with a person with COVID-19.
      • If you must travel before the 10 days are completed, properly wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of travel during the 10 days. If you are unable to wear a mask, you should not travel during the 10 days.
    • You are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test. If your test comes back positive while you are at your destination, you will need to isolate and postpone your return until it’s safe for you to end isolation. Your travel companions may need to quarantine.

Other Reminders

  • You can request a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 by visiting the ISS Office with your I-20/DS-2019 during our normal business hours or by submitting an I-20 Request Form.
  • You will need a valid F-1 or J-1 visa to enter the U.S. More here.
  • Always print your I-94 and keep it for your records after arrival to the U.S. Your I-94 should list your correct immigration status and "D/S" as the valid until date.
  • You cannot reenter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 immigration status after the expiration date on your I-20 or DS-2019 certificate of eligibility. If you travel during your 60/30 day grace period, you will need to either permanently depart the U.S. or reenter using another visa status to collect your belongings before departing to your home country.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

©