International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA) will use this page to share updates with students and scholars in F-1, F-2, J-1 and J-2 status whose I-20 or DS-2019 were issued by Notre Dame. When appropriate, we will also publish notifications from General Counsel for Notre Dame-sponsored H-1B visa holders. Though drafts of future executive orders and policy updates may circulate, we will not address their content here until a finalized document is available. Please note that ISSA is not authorized to provide counsel beyond the information on this page, and the information and resources on this page should not be understood& as legal advice. If you have questions, please consider speaking with an experienced immigration attorney.
Visa Processing Impacted
As of March 2020, the U.S. Department of State suspended visa processing services, and though some embassies have begun processing services again, the availability is unpredictable and varied across sites. We are a member of a number of professional educational organizations that have actively and publicly encouraged the government to expedite the visa process for international students so they can begin their programs on time throughout the U.S. this academic year. Ultimately, it is the federal government's decision as to when visas will be processed again, and until we receive that guidance, we must wait.
Please check the Department of State's websites for updates and monitor the visa services available in your home country. ISSA is closely monitoring and will provide updates here as they are made available.
On January 25, 2021, President Biden signed a proclamation continuing the suspension of entry of certain travelers from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Brazil, China, and Iran, and expanding restrictions to include travelers from South Africa. The Department of State has confirmed that the National Interest Exceptions to this Proclamation still apply for F-1 visa holding students. J-1 visa holding students will need to apply to the U.S. Embassy for a national interest waiver in order to reenter the U.S.
On January 21, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order requiring all air travelers to comply with the recently announced CDC measures. According to the order, "to the extent feasible, travelers seeking to enter the United States from a foreign country shall be: (i) required to produce proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test prior to entry; and (ii) required to comply with other applicable CDC guidelines concerning international travel, including recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after entry into the United States."
On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order, Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to The United States, ending travel restrictions imposed by executive orders signed by the previous administration.