Preparing for Your Arrival to the U.S.

The ISSO is pleased that you have decided to join the Brandeis community! 

To help answer some of your questions about your arrival to Brandeis, the ISSO has prepared the following information:

USDOS Provides Updated Guidance on National Interest Exemptions for Certain Travelers from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, and India

On May 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of State provided updated guidance regarding certain individuals traveling to the U.S (including those in F and M student visa status and certain academics in J exchange visitor programs) from the restricted countries mentioned below.” 

On April 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of State announced that certain individuals (including those in F and M student visa status and students and certain academics covered by J exchange visitor programs) traveling to the U.S. from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, and Ireland may be eligible for a “National Interest Exemption” (NIE) to the current 14-day travel restrictions from those countries under various Presidential Proclamations related to COVID-19. However, eligible students and exchange visitors traveling from China, Iran, Brazil, or South Africa may only qualify for an NIE as of August 1, 2021, or later. Based on the guidance provided, eligible travelers from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland continue to be eligible for the NIE based on the July 16, 2020 guidance for those countries.

On April 30, 2021, USDOS announced that students and certain “academics” from India have been added to the National Interest Exemption eligibility list with China, Iran, Brazil, and South Africa effective August 1, 2021.

J-1 and J-2 visa holders, and scholars in other visa statuses (e.g. H-1B, O-1), should contact their local U.S. Embassy/Consulate to make an NIE request and receive written approval, prior to travel to the U.S. Please note that once granted, NIEs are only valid for 30 days, for a single entry into the U.S.

Additional resources on NIEs and COVID-19 related travel restrictions are available on the NAFSA: Association of International Educators website here.

The ISSO will be sure to notify students/scholars via email and News and Announcement page with any updates or clarifications issued by the U.S. Department of State on the travel restrictions.

If any questions arise, please feel free to contact us at scholars@brandeis.edu.