COVID-19 Related Immigration Updates

Travelling to the United State and Immigration Updates Related to COVID-19


This page provides helpful updates and resources for students, faculty and staff looking for information on F1 and J1 (exchange student) visa and travel regulations during COVID-19.

Department of State and Center for Disease Control Announcements and Updates

Requirement for Air Travelers Coming into the United States (Most recent: October 25, 2021)

Please read the requirements for travelling into the United States as determined by the Center for Disease Control before making travel arrangements.

Requirements for travelling into the United States

Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19 | CDC

Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 Vaccinations and Testing for International Travel

Please note that these restrictions are evolving and may be updated at any time.  For updates please read US Visa News

Before making travel plans students should contact their airline for information on travel regulations.

Please note that entry into the United States is at the discretion of Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Spring 2022 Travel and Immigration Information to
CONTINUING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Please read these RECENT travel/immigration updates for CONTINUING students. Because non-immigrant policies are evolving, these answers may change prior to the beginning of the spring semester, please continue to check these FAQs at regular intervals.

Students must check updates from the Department of State regarding guidelines for traveling into the United States due to COVID-19 before making travel plans. Please review the links in the introduction on this webpage for specific protocols.

Please also check with the USA embassy or consulate in your country.

Before making travel plans please contact your airline for information on travel regulations.

Students are responsible for checking the Department of State website  (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/requirements-for-air-travelers-to-the-us.html ) and the American Embassy/Consulate in the country they are travelling to during the winter break( https://www.usembassy.gov/ ) for updated requirements to travel into the United States due to COVID before making travel plans.

Please note that travel restrictions and requirements due to COVID are constantly evolving and may be updated at any time. For updates please visit “US Visa News”  (check the right hand-side links) at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.html  and https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/requirements-for-air-travelers-to-the-us.html

For further information please visit the American Embassy/Consulate in the country where you will be during the winter break at https://www.usembassy.gov/

Please also check with your airline for travel restrictions/requirements before making travel plans

Please note that entry into the United States is at the discretion of Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

If you are currently abroad, your I-20 has been signed in the past 12 months from your scheduled entry date into the USA for spring 2022, you should not need a new signature on your I-20.  

If you are currently abroad, your I-20 has not been signed in the past 12 months from your scheduled entry into the USA for spring 2022, and you plan to return to the United States, please contact iss@bgsu.edu and request an electronic I-20 with an updated travel signature.

It is important to remember that entry into the US is at the discretion of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). There is always an assumed risk for students while crossing the border. Students should research travel plans, including layovers requirements. Students should ensure they have all needed documents pertaining to their immigration status. We suggest that students also have contact information from our office, which can be reached during normal business hours. During afterhours we suggest contacting the BGSU Campus Police, who can in turn contact one of our staff members.

        BGSU Campus Police: 419-372-2346
        International Programs and Partnerships: 419-372-2247 or international@bgsu.edu  

Documents:
For a complete list of documents to bring with you, please visit:

https://www.bgsu.edu/international-programs-and-partnerships/international-student-services/future-students/immigration/traveling-out-of-country.html

We also recommend a copy of this web page to show BGSU will have the following instructional models for Spring 2022: https://www.bgsu.edu/registration-records/class-search-help.html

BGSU students are NOT required to quarantine once they arrive on campus from abroad.

On November 26th, 2021, the United States government issued a new Proclamation suspending entry into the US for individuals who were physically present in the following countries during the 14-day period prior to their planned entry or attempted entry to the United States:

Republic of Botswana
Kingdom of Eswatini
The Kingdom of Lesotho
The Republic of Malawi
The Republic of Mozambique
The Republic of Namibia
The Republic of South Africa
The Republic of Zimbabwe

Please read the complete Proclamation at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/11/26/a-proclamation-on-suspension-of-entry-as-immigrants-and-nonimmigrants-of-certain-additional-persons-who-pose-a-risk-of-transmitting-coronavirus-disease-2019/

Please note that travel restrictions and requirements due to COVID are constantly evolving and may be updated at any time. For updates on requirements to enter the USA please visit “US Visa News”  (check the right hand-side links) at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.html and https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/requirements-for-air-travelers-to-the-us.html

For further information please visit the American Embassy/Consulate of the country where you will be during the winter break at https://www.usembassy.gov/

Please also check with the embassy of the country you are travelling to AND your airline for travel restrictions/requirements before making travel plans.

Please note that entry into the United States is at the discretion of Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Yes, all BGSU students will need to provide proof of vaccination or apply for an exemption.  For more information, visit the BGSU webpage on COVID-19 information

Students looking for on-campus employment for spring 2022 must start their search as soon as possible through Handshake (https://www.bgsu.edu/student-employment-services/handshake.html). Please note, however, that BGSU cannot guarantee employment opportunities.

Current undergraduate and graduate students on a F-1 visa who left the US and choose to remain overseas for the Spring 2022 semester will continue to have an active SEVIS record as long as:

  • They maintain a full course load (a minimum of 12 credit hours for undergraduates/8 credit hours for graduates)
  • They are making normal progress towards completing their degree

Please note, however, that BGSU has planned for the majority of courses to be in-person or blended.  Both of these formats require in-person attendanceTherefore, take this into consideration when planning your spring 2022 schedule.

Undergraduate students who plan to take classes from their home country in the spring must contact their advisors for assistance.

Graduate students who plan to take classes from their home country in the spring must contact their Graduate Coordinators for guidance.

Undergraduate International Students
Undergraduate international students who take classes from abroad and have the University Freshman Academic Scholarship or BG Success Scholarship will be able to receive their scholarships for Fall 2021 IF they maintain full-time status, that is, if they enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours (typically 4 classes) for the duration of the spring semester, and meet all the Terms and Conditions of the scholarship.

If they enroll in or drop to fewer than 12 credit hours, they will not be eligible for these scholarships in Spring 2022.  When they return in Fall 2022, their scholarship(s) can be applied again as long as the student files an appeal with Student Financial Aid, maintains full-time status (12 credit hours minimum) and meets all the criteria specified in the scholarship Terms and Conditions.

For more information please visit the Financial Aid during COVID-19 web page:

https://www.bgsu.edu/financial-aid/COVID-19-and-Financial-Aid.html

Graduate scholarships: Graduate students must contact their respective departments for inquiries.

Students who are not returning to BGSU in the spring must send an email to myhall@bgsu.edu with this request.  Please note that the health insurance fee will be reinstated upon your return to the United States.

Once the request is submitted, you will receive an email from the Student Insurance Office confirming the approval of your request. Please allow 2-4 business days for this process to take place.

Current undergraduate and graduate students on a F-1 visa who left the US and choose to remain overseas for the Spring 2022 semester and not take classes will have their SEVIS record terminated. To return to the US at a later date they will have to request for a new I-20 to be issued; this will also imply in submitting financial documents, as well as paying for the SEVIS fee again. Please note that remaining abroad for a semester or more will affect your ability to apply for an OPT and may also affect your scholarship(s). Please refer to question above

Undergraduate students who do not plan to take classes from their home country in the spring must notify their advisors.

Graduate students who do not plan to take classes from their home country in the spring must contact their Graduate Coordinators for all question regarding not taking classes in spring 2022.

Please be aware that COVID-19, other than a medical condition, is not considered a valid reason to drop below a full course load. Petitions that indicate COVID-19 or challenges directly related to COVID-19 as the reason for the request will not be approved.

International students should be aware that non-immigrant regulations can change at any time due to the uncertainty brought by COVID.  Please check the introduction of this webpage for the Department of State website for any updates on travelling to the US.  

If you have any questions, please contact the International Programs and Partnerships team at iss@bgsu.edu or call 419.372.2247

Spring 2022 Travel and Immigration Information to
INITIAL STATUS INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

INITIAL STATUS international students can find answers to their questions about Spring 2022 in this Frequently Asked Questions.  Because, non-immigrant policies are evolving, these answers may change prior to the beginning of the spring semester, so make sure to check these FAQs at regular intervals.

Please note that the term INITIAL STATUS STUDENT applies to the following students:

  • Students who are currently abroad, have never taken a class from BGSU and plan to be on-campus in person in the spring
  • Students who took BGSU classes online from abroad in Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and/or Fall 2021 and plan to be on-campus in person in the spring for the first time
  • Students who are currently in the USA but transferring to BGSU from another university to start their degree in person in the spring

Students must check updates from the Department of State regarding guidelines for traveling into the United States due to COVID-19 before making travel plans.  Please review the links provided in the introduction of this webpage for specific protocols.  

Please also check with the USA embassy or consulate in your country.

Before making travel plans please contact your airline for information on travel regulations.

It is important to remember that entry into the US is at the discretion of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). There is always an assumed risk for students while crossing the border. Students should research travel plans, including layovers requirements. Students should ensure they have all needed documents pertaining to their immigration status. We suggest that students also have contact information from our office, which can be reached during normal business hours. During afterhours we suggest contacting the BGSU Campus Police, who can in turn contact one of our staff members.

        BGSU Campus Police: 419-372-2346
        International Programs and Partnerships: 419-372-2247 or international@bgsu.edu  

Documents:
For a complete list of documents to bring with you, please visit:

https://www.bgsu.edu/international-programs-and-partnerships/international-student-services/future-students/immigration/traveling-out-of-country.html

We also recommend a copy of this web page to show BGSU will have the following instructional models for Spring 2022: https://www.bgsu.edu/registration-records/class-search-help.html

BGSU students are not required to quarantine once they arrive on campus from abroad.

Yes, all BGSU students will need to provide proof of vaccination or request to apply for an exemption. For more information please visit the University's COVID-19 Resource Website.

All UNDERGRADUATE students in initial status will be provided instructions for course registration upon arrival to campus.  UNDERGRADUATE international students will be registered in as many in-person or blended classes as available towards the required 12 credit hours for full time status. International Programs and Partnerships will send you further information regarding the registration process via email to your BGSU email closer to the start of the semester.

GRADUATE STUDENTS will be registered by their departments prior to their arrival.  We strongly encourage GRADUATE international students to be registered in as many in-person or blended classes as available towards the required 8 credit hours for full time status.  If you have any questions about your schedule, please contact your department/Graduate Coordinator.

PLEASE NOTE: BGSU has planned for the majority of Spring 2022 courses to be in an in-person or blended format.  The blended option requires partial in-person attendance. Therefore, take this into consideration when planning your schedule.  For more information on modes of instruction please visit https://www.bgsu.edu/registration-records/class-search-help.html

According to federal regulations, international students can work on campus up to 20 hours a week.  New students looking for on-campus employment for Spring 2022 can begin their search through Handshake (https://www.bgsu.edu/student-employment-services/handshake.html) after the semester has started.  Please note, however, that BGSU cannot guarantee employment opportunities.

BGSU has a webpage with specific information about COVID-19 and how the university is prepared for it: https://www.bgsu.edu/covid19.html

If unable to come to the US due to COVID 19, you may start your degree program online from abroad.  

Graduate Students MUST discuss the online option with their graduate advisors before choosing this option.

Please note: Undergraduate and graduate students who choose to remain overseas for the Spring 2022 semester and not take classes will have their SEVIS record terminated. To return to the US at a later date they will have to request for a new I-20 to be issued; this will also imply in submitting financial documents, as well as paying for the SEVIS fee again.

PLEASE NOTE: BGSU has planned for the majority of Spring 2022 courses to be in an in-person or blended format.  The blended option requires partial in-person attendance. Therefore, take this into consideration when planning to study from abroad.  For more information on modes of instruction please visit https://www.bgsu.edu/registration-records/courses-and-classes.html

No. If you take classes from abroad you will not need an I-20 or a visa. You will only need an I-20 and a visa when you decide to come to the USA. However, if you choose this option, you must notify our office, International Programs and Partnerships, by emailing iss@bgsu.edu to confirm your intentions. 

Undergraduate and graduate students who choose to remain overseas for the Spring 2022 semester and not take classes will have their SEVIS record terminated. To return to the US at a later date they will have to request for a new I-20 to be issued; this will also imply in submitting financial documents, as well as paying for the SEVIS fee again.

Undergraduate international students who take classes from abroad and have the University Freshman Academic Scholarship and/or BG Success Scholarship will be able to receive their scholarships for Spring 2022 IF they maintain full-time status, that is, if they enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours (typically 4 classes) for the duration of the spring semester and meet all the criteria specified in the scholarship terms and conditions.

If they enroll in or drop to fewer than 12 credit hours, they will not be eligible for these scholarships in Spring 2022.  When they return in Fall 2022, their scholarship(s) can be applied again as long as the student files an appeal with Student Financial Aid, maintains full-time status (12 credit hours minimum) and meets all the criteria specified in the scholarship Terms and Conditions.

For more information please visit the Financial Aid during COVID-19 web page:

https://www.bgsu.edu/financial-aid/COVID-19-and-Financial-Aid.html

PLEASE NOTE: BGSU has planned for the majority of Spring 2022 courses to be in an in person or blended format.  The blended option requires partial in-person attendance. Therefore, take this into consideration when planning to study from abroad.  For more information on modes of instruction please visit https://www.bgsu.edu/registration-records/class-search-help.html

Graduate international students MUST contact their respective graduate coordinators for any inquiries about graduate assistantships.

PLEASE NOTE: BGSU has planned for the majority of Spring 2022 courses to be in an in-person or blended format.  The blended option requires partial in-person attendance. Therefore, take this into consideration when planning to study from abroad.  For more information on modes of instruction please visit https://www.bgsu.edu/registration-records/courses-and-classes.html

If you have any questions, please contact the International Programs and Partnerships team at iss@bgsu.edu or call 419.372.2247.

Spring 2022 Travel and Immigration Information to
NEW J1/EXCHANGE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Students must check updates from the Department of State regarding guidelines for traveling into the United States due to COVID-19 before making travel plans.  Please reference the resources and links identified in the introduction of this webpage for specific protocols.

Please also check with the USA embassy or consulate in your country.

Before making travel plans please contact your airline for information on travel regulations.

It is important to remember that entry into the US is at the discretion of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). There is always an assumed risk for students while crossing the border. Students should research travel plans, including layover requirements. Students should ensure they have all needed documents pertaining to their immigration status. We suggest that students also have contact information from our office, which can be reached during normal business hours. During afterhours we suggest contacting the BGSU Campus Police, who can in turn contact one of our staff members.

        BGSU Campus Police: 419-372-2346
        International Programs and Partnerships: 419-372-2247 or international@bgsu.edu  

We recommend you bring the following documents with you on your trip:

  • DS2019 with DSO Signature (within the last 12-months upon arrival to the US)
  • Valid J1 Visa
  • Valid Passport (valid for at least 6 months into the future upon arrival to the US)
  • Financial Documents (proof of financial support used for DS2019 and visa interview)
  • Copy of your class schedule if you have one
  • Copy of this webpage to show BGSU will have the following instructional modes for Spring 2022: https://www.bgsu.edu/registration-records/class-search-help.html

BGSU students are not required to quarantine once they arrive on campus from abroad.

Yes, all BGSU students will need to provide proof of vaccination or apply for an exemption. For more information please visit the University COVID-19 Resource webpage.  

Exchange students will be registered by International Programs and Partnerships’ Education Abroad prior to arriving on campus.  You will be notified by Michelle Ploeger, Education Abroad Coordinator (mploege@bgsu.edu) of your schedule.

According to federal regulations, international students can work on campus up to 20 hours a week.  New students looking for on-campus employment for Spring 2022 can begin their search through Handshake (https://www.bgsu.edu/student-employment-services/handshake.html) after the semester has started.  Please note, however, that BGSU cannot guarantee employment opportunities.

BGSU has a webpage with specific information about COVID-19 and how the university is prepared for it: https://www.bgsu.edu/covid19.html

If you have any questions, please contact the International Programs and Partnerships team at iss@bgsu.edu or call 419.372.2247