Know how changes in the immigration environment may affect you if you’re traveling.
A January 25, 2021 Proclamation by President Biden continues the 14-day U.S. entry restrictions on individuals who were recently present in the Schengen Area, UK, Ireland, Brazil, China or Iran, and, effective January 30, 2021, adds South Africa to the list of countries.
Refer to NAFSA's Coronavirus Critical Resources page for more information.
Students with valid F-1 and M-1 visas, and their F-2 and M-2 dependents traveling from or otherwise physically present in the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, or Ireland during the preceding 14 days may travel to the United States while these Proclamations are in effect.
F and M visa holders subject to these Proclamations have been granted a national interest exception to travel and can be boarded without contacting CBP as long as all admissibility and document requirements are met. For details refer to the CBP Bulletin below.
On March 11, 2020, President Trump signed a proclamation restricting entry to the United States entry for those who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States, effective March 13, 2020. The proclamation will remain in effect until terminated by the president.
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.
For aliens not excluded by the ban, the proclamations direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish standards and procedures at and between all United States ports of entry to regulate the travel of persons and aircraft to the United States to facilitate the orderly medical screening and, where appropriate, quarantine of persons who enter the United States and who may have been exposed to the virus. "Such steps may include directing air carriers to restrict and regulate the boarding of such passengers on flights to the United States."
On Friday, May 29, 2020, President Trump signed a proclamation restricting entry to the United States on F or J visas for some students and researchers from China, effective June 1, 2020. The proclamation will remain in effect until terminated by the president.
The proclamation states that students or researchers from China who have connections to organizations in China that, in the judgment of the U.S. Department of State, implement or support that country’s “military-civil fusion strategy”, will not be issued F-1 or J-1 visas and will not be allowed to enter the U.S. in F or J status. “Military-civil fusion strategy” is defined as actions by or at the behest of China to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance China’s military capabilities.
Since the proclamation does not include a list of restricted organizations, it is not clear specifically who might be subject to the entry ban, at this time.
The potential impact of this proclamation on UB ‘s international population will not be clear until additional information from the Departments of State and Homeland Security is available, and until routine visa issuance, which is currently suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis, resumes. It is important to note that COVID based travel restrictions that disallow the entry of foreign nationals who have been physically present in China during the previous 14 days are also still in effect and may have an impact on students not otherwise banned by this new proclamation.
Note that the proclamation only applies to visa issuance and entry into the U.S. and not to other immigration benefits. International Student Services will continue to process requests for non-immigrant benefits such as OPT or CPT for all students as usual and the University will continue to issue initial I-20s for newly admitted incoming students.
The University at Buffalo is actively monitoring the situation. ISS will post additional information as soon as more specific details from official sources are available.
The University at Buffalo and International Student Services welcome and support all members of our international community. We will continue to advocate for policies that do not diminish the quality of our academic community, and will work to ensure that educational opportunities are available for all students regardless of nationality.
Detailed information on the travel restrictions related to COVID-19 can be found on NAFSA's Coronavirus Critial Resource page.
Latest updates on UB specific information is available on the UB Coronavirus page.
The Erie County Department of Health has created a hotline for COVID-19 related calls: 716-858-2929