Travel Alerts

Know how changes in the immigration environment may affect you if you’re traveling.

COVID Country Specific Travel Restrictions

Several COVID-19-related proclamations limit entry to the United States by individuals who were physically present in a covered country during the 14-day period prior to their planned entry or attempted entry to the United States.

  • Brazil
  • China
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Schengen Area (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)
  • United Kingdom
  • South Africa
  • India (effective May 4, 2021)

For additional information see NAFSA COVID-19 Restrictions on U.S. Visas and Entry page for an overview of each of these restrictions. 


COVID travel restrictions are still in place at the U.S./Canadian land border. We strongly recommend that you review these resources to determine if your proposed trip is permitted under current COVID travel restrictions. Restrictions vary depending on the way in which you are arriving/departing Canada and the U.S. (land arrival vs. arrival by airplane). 

>Canadian Government COVID Travel Restrictions

>U.S. Department of State U.S./Canadian Land Border Restrictions

>U.S. Department of State COVID Travel Restrictions (Air travel & travel by land)

Changes to U.S. Travel at Canadian and Mexican Borders

Effective in November 2021, fully vaccinated travelers from Canada and Mexico will be permitted to enter the U.S. at land borders and ferry crossings. Specific details, including the official start date, have not yet been announced. Until November the above-mentioned restrictions are still in place. 

>Read the announcement

National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from China, India, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland

The US Department of State updated its National Interest Exception (NIE) page to expand waivers to some people (including F-1 international students) impacted by the travel restrictions. NIE waivers are now possible for all countries covered by a geographic COVID-19 entry ban. Key eligibilities include:

  • Students with valid F-1 visas intending to begin or continue an academic program commencing August 1, 2021 or later do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual NIE to travel.  They may enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before the start of their academic studies.  Students seeking to apply for new F-1 visas should check the status of visa services at the nearest embassy or consulate; those applicants who are found to be otherwise qualified for an F-1 visa will automatically be considered for an NIE to travel.
  • Travelers "who are seeking to provide vital support for critical infrastructure; journalists; students and certain academics covered by exchange visitor programs"
    • "Travelers in categories described above who have a valid visa in the appropriate class or who have a valid ESTA authorization for travel under the Visa Waiver Program and seek to travel for purposes consistent with ESTA authorization, should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling, if they believe they may qualify for a National Interest Exception.  If a National Interest Exception is approved, they may travel on either a valid visa or ESTA authorization, as appropriate."

> Learn more on NAFSA's page

COVID-19 Related Travel Restrictions

Detailed information on the travel restrictions related to COVID-19 can be found on NAFSA's Coronavirus Critial Resource page.

Before planning any travel, please review the U.S. State Department Travel Advisories and the ISS COVID-19 FAQs page. Be sure to also read the CDC Domestic Travel warnings.

Latest updates on UB specific information is available on the UB Coronavirus page.

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.