New students include students coming from abroad or who have changed to F-1 status for the first time in Fall 2021. All students who are transferring or changing levels should refer to the ICE Guidance Regarding Fall 2020 which has been extended through the 2021-22 academic year. Responses to a list of frequently asked questions are located below the video.
New students may come to campus for the Fall 2021 semester if the are:
- able to get a student visa (unless from Canada)
- not coming from or through a country the U.S. is currently restricting travel from (or they apply for/are eligible for an exception),
- not enrolled entirely in online courses for the Fall 2021 semester
New students may not come to the U.S. on an F-1 or J-1 visa to enroll entirely in online courses. If you plan to come to campus for the Fall 2021 semester as a new F-1 or J-1 student, you must take at least one in-person course.
Before you come to the U.S. you are not subject to the F-1 or J-1 enrollment requirements and therefore online enrollment is likely possible. However, NC State is unable to offer remotely-delivered educational services to international graduate students who are currently or normally resident in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Crimea (a region of Ukraine occupied by Russia) due to export control regulations. All other students may enroll full-time or part-time in online courses from outside the U.S. However, during this time you would not have an active SEVIS record (I-20 or DS-2019) and F-1 students would not be accruing time towards eligibility for practical training benefits (CPT, OPT). Also, graduate students are not eligible for a GSSP/assistantship without an active SEVIS record.
In order to give yourself the best chance to succeed academically, we always recommend that you arrive prior to the start of the academic term (for Fall 2021, that is August 16th). If this is not possible, you can arrive until August 27th with approval from your academic department. New students will not be allowed to arrive later than that date.
You can find details about the pre-flight test requirement on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, including the document airlines are using to determine whether a passenger satisfies the CDC requirement. Please note that Option B is only for passengers who have had COVID (and recovered) in the last 90 days. All other passengers will need to provide an appropriate negative test result as outlined in Option A.
NC State has implemented a COVID-19 testing protocol until further notice. Effective January 26, 2021, all international travelers will need to get tested no more than 3 days prior to travel by air into the United States and show negative results to the airline before boarding your flight, or in lieu of a negative test result provide proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the form of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or public health official that you were cleared to travel. In addition, all arriving international travelers must get tested 3-5 days after travel regardless of vaccination status.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their quarantine requirement and as of April 27, 2021, international travelers who have been fully vaccinated with a FDA-approved vaccine or a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) do not need to quarantine after arrival unless their post-travel test is positive (see below). A current list of vaccines approved for emergency use by WHO can be found under “Status of COVID-19 Vaccines within the WHO EUL/PQ evaluation process” tab on their website. Vaccines approved for use have an approval date listed in the right column. This list updates every two weeks.
For other international travelers (unvaccinated or vaccinated with something not approved for use by the FDA or WHO), you must stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel, even if your post-travel test is negative.
If you test positive after travel, you should isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected. In all circumstances, travelers are advised to avoid being around other people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days.
A helpful FAQ has also been provided by the CDC, in addition to guidance issued by the U.S. Department of State. OIS is unable to provide additional guidance regarding testing outside of the U.S. or requirements for boarding other than what is mentioned here.
All students and scholars are reminded of the COVID-19 community standards that require compliance with all directions given by university officials and public health authorities.
If you will be living off-campus, you should self-quarantine in your apartment and avoid contact with your roommates as much as possible. Otherwise, you will need to book lodging at a local hotel.
For students living on-campus, OIS has a meeting with University Housing in early June to determine campus self-quarantine policies and decide what services will be provided on campus. Once this meeting takes place and decisions are made, new students will be notified by email and this FAQ will be updated accordingly.
Yes. COVID-19 testing is available for free and an updated list of campus testing locations is available here. Students are allowed to come to campus during their self-quarantine in order to get the required post-travel test but must refrain from other campus activities until their self-quarantine period is over.
NC State does not currently require COVID-19 vaccination for the Fall 2021 semester. Any fall semester updates will be posted on NC State’s COVID-19 FAQ webpage.
Yes. COVID-19 vaccinations are available to students and will be available when students arrive prior to the Fall 2021 semester. COVID-19 vaccinations are free and more information can be found here. The vaccines available on campus are the ones currently approved for use in the United States. The specific vaccine administered will depend on what NC State has received for use that week.
For students already vaccinated or partially vaccinated with another vaccine, you will need to consult a medical professional to ask whether or not its advisable to receive a second vaccination upon arriving to the United States. OIS will not be able to answer that question for you.
New graduate students are automatically emailed the letter the same day their I-20 is issued by the Graduate School. Note: For students whose I-20 was issued before June 2, 2021, an email was sent to your preferred email address on June 2nd. If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate School at email@example.com for assistance.
New undergraduate students should contact Undergraduate Admissions for assistance. Undergraduate students can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty right now for many of our admitted students regarding whether or not you will be able to physically join us on campus in August. As a result, alternate options for Fall 2021 may include deferring your admission to a future semester or beginning your coursework online from home. Graduate students are encouraged to reach out to your particular academic department for Fall enrollment options. Undergraduate students may email Admissions at email@example.com to request a deferral of admission to a future semester.