Davis International Center updates international students on summer travel

May 6, 2021

In an email sent to international undergraduates, graduate students and scholars on Wednesday, April 28, the Davis International Center addressed the below concerns related to international travel. 

Please visit the Davis Center's FAQ page for the most up-to-date information.

Dear International Students and Scholars,

We are writing with an update regarding personal international travel for summer 2021. While we understand that this pandemic has been incredibly long and difficult and many of you wish to travel home to visit loved ones, international travel remains risky. Below, we have highlighted some of the concerns related to international travel. However, please note that the situation could change quickly with little or no warning. Do not hesitate to reach out to a Davis IC advisor and review the Global Safety & Security Travel Toolkit to learn more about the risks of international travel this summer. As a reminder, the University’s summer permissible travel guidelines must be followed for University-sponsored international travel, as well as for personal international travel by undergraduates remaining on campus during the summer months. 

COVID-19 Vaccination

Princeton University will require all undergraduate and graduate students to demonstrate vaccination with an FDA-Approved vaccination. Questions relating to vaccines and the vaccine requirement should be directed to covidvaccines@princeton.edu. Please refer to the announcement webpage for information and FAQs. The University has not yet decided whether to require faculty, staff, and others working or otherwise present on campus during the 2021-22 academic year to provide proof of having received an authorized vaccine. However, the University highly recommends vaccinations for all employees and other members of the campus community.

  • Availability of FDA-approved vaccines around the world remains limited. 
  • Those who receive a non-FDA approved vaccine may also need to receive an FDA-approved vaccine once they return to campus. 
  • Try getting vaccinated before leaving the U.S. 

U.S. Embassy and Consulate Closures/Delays

To re-enter the U.S. after traveling internationally, you must have a valid visa unless your country is visa exempt. If your visa is expired or will be expiring, you would need to apply for a new visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad before returning to the U.S. If you decide to travel this summer and need to apply for a new visa, there is no guarantee that you will be able to obtain a visa to return in time for the fall semester.

  • Consular operations remain severely impacted by the pandemic. 
  • Some U.S. embassies/consulates are closed, and others are only offering limited emergency appointments depending on in-country conditions. 
  • Embassies/consulates are frequently canceling and rescheduling visa appointments as conditions change. 
  • Embassies/consulates that do have available visa appointments may be experiencing severe backlogs. 

Entry Restrictions into the U.S.

As of now, individuals who have been in China, Iran, Brazil, or South Africa during the past 14 days cannot enter the United States. 

  • Includes a short-stay or a layover that takes you to these countries. 
  • Starting August 1, there will be a National Interest Exception that exempts F-1 students from this travel restriction. 
  • Other visa holders including J-1 students and scholars must contact their local U.S. embassy or consulate to request an exemption. 
  • Please refer to this Department of State announcement for further details. 

Additionally, there is an entry restriction on individuals who have been in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Schengen area within the past 14 days. 

  • F-1 students are currently exempt from this entry restriction.
  • Other visa holders including J-1 students and scholars must contact their local U.S. embassy or consulate to request an exemption. 
  • Please refer to this Department of State announcement for further details.

Additional travel restrictions or removal of exemptions to travel restrictions may be announced with little or notice. We anticipate these announcements to follow the pattern of spread of the virus and its variants. Please refer to the Covid-19 Country Specific Information from the Department of State to learn more about US evaluations of in-country conditions. 

Required Negative COVID-19 Test

As of now, the CDC requires that all individuals arriving into the U.S. by air be tested for COVID-19 no more than 3 days prior to departure and present proof of a negative test to the airline. Further details on this requirement can be found on the CDC website.

Lockdowns and Movement Restrictions Abroad

Governments the world over continue to employ lockdowns and other movement restrictions as public health measures to manage the pandemic. These restrictions may include suspending all inbound and outbound international flights that prevent people from leaving. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to your assigned international student or scholar advisor.