Travel Restriction Updates from the U.S. Government

**Please note: on March 18, the U.S. Department of State posted a news alert announcing the suspension of routine visa services in most countries around the world. Please check individual embassy or consulate websites for their current operating status and instructions for emergency/urgent services if needed. An unexpired visa is always required to enter the U.S. as an F or J nonimmigrant with the exceptions of citizens of Canada or Bermuda, and circumstances where automatic visa revalidation applies.

TRAVEL FROM CHINA: On January 31, 2020 President Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation to suspend entry for certain individuals travelling to the United States from China. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued supplemental instructions for impacted travelers, which can be accessed here. This restriction applies to nonimmigrant visa holders (for example, F, J, H-1B and B) who were physically present in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) during the 14-day period preceding entry.  

TRAVEL FROM IRAN: On February 29, 2020 an additional Presidential Proclamation suspended entry for nonimmigrant visa holders traveling to the U.S. from Iran due to the spread of the novel Coronavirus. This restriction applies to nonimmigrant visa holders (for example, F, J, H-1B and B) who were physically present in Iran during the 14-day period preceding travel to the U.S. 

TRAVEL FROM SCHENGEN AREA: On March 11, 2020 President Trump announced a new Presidential Proclamation suspending entry for nonimmigrant visa holders traveling to the U.S. from countries in the European Schengen Area. This restriction applies to nonimmigrant visa holders (for example, F, J, H-1B and B) who were physically present in the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding travel to the U.S. Note: the European Schengen area includes: 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.  Although President Trump reportedly said this entry ban would last 30 days (from its effective date of 11:59pm on March 13), the proclamation language itself states that it “shall remain in effect until terminated by the President.”

TRAVEL FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM AND REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: A March 14, 2020 Presidential Proclamation has suspended entry for nonimmigrant visa holders traveling to the U.S. from Ireland and the United Kingdom, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe. This restriction applies to nonimmigrant visa holders who were physically present in the UK or Ireland during the 14-day period preceding travel to the U.S.

TRAVEL FROM CANADIAN AND MEXICAN LAND BORDERS: Homeland Security published Federal Register notices on March 24 temporarily limiting travel from Canada and Mexico to the US through land ports of entry to “essential travel.”  According to these notices, essential travel does include travel to attend educational institutions and travel to work in the U.S. This restriction has subsequently been extended “until the CDC Director determines that the danger of further introduction of COVID-19 into the United States from covered aliens has ceased to be a serious danger to the public health.”

TRAVEL FROM BRAZIL: A Presidential Proclamation and amendment on May 24 and 25, 2020 has suspended entry for certain travelers to the U.S. from the Federative Republic of Brazil. This restriction is effective at 11:59pm on May 26, 2020 and applies to nonimmigrant visa holders who were physically present in Brazil during the 14-day period preceding travel to the U.S.

Please note that these are public health travel restrictions based on the origin of travel, not the nationality of the traveler. Students and scholars with valid, multiple-entry visas, regardless of country of citizenship, may still be able to travel internationally, though as with any international travel, we recommend consulting with OIS prior to departure.

International students, scholars and family members with questions about how these restrictions impact them should contact OIS at ois@ncsu.edu. Please continue to monitor NC State’s response to the coronavirus here and OIS’ FAQ here.

Travel Ban 4.0

A Presidential Proclamation expanded the Trump Administration’s current travel ban on January 31st. Travel Ban 4.0 will become effective on February 21, 2020 and is expanded to include visa and entry restrictions on immigrant visa holders from six additional countries including Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Myanmar, Sudan and Tanzania. Please note, this does not apply to nonimmigrant F, J or H-1B visa holders. Travel Ban 3.0 is still in effect for certain citizens of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia. Note that the restrictions in both Travel Ban 3.0 and 4.0 are country-specific. A detailed summary of both travel bans is available through the Association of International Educators.

As always, international students and scholars are encouraged to consult with OIS before travelling internationally and applying for a new visa.