U.S. Travel Restriction from Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland Lifted for Certain Visa Types
On July 16, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs officially announced that individuals traveling to the U.S. from the Schengen area, United Kingdom, and Ireland in certain visa statuses may enter the U.S. with a “National Interest Exception” to the Presidential Proclamations that created the 14-day travel restrictions from these countries.
Student visa holders do qualify:
“Students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 and M-1 visas, do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel. Students from those areas who are traveling on a J-1 may contact the nearest embassy or consulate to initiate an exception request.”
Note: As indicated above, J-1 visa holders do need to contact your local U.S. Embassy/Consulate to make the exception request. F-1 visa holders do not need to contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.
While no additional documentation is officially required to present upon entry to the U.S. showing thus exception, we strongly recommend that you print out a copy of the official announcement from the State Department, available here.
Students are reminded they must still carry all documentation verifying their student visa status: valid passport, valid Form I-20, valid entry visa (F-1 or J-1) from U.S. Consulate in passport, proof of financial support.
Given that Summer session at MIT is virtually remote, we advise that students plan to arrive no earlier than 30 days prior to the start date for the Fall term (enter no earlier than August 1, 2020). If students need to return earlier for required on-campus research, they should obtain a letter from their academic program that confirms the student must return early for in-person required research.