U.S. Immigration Updates

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

The availability of visa processing services remains unpredictable and varied across U.S. Department of State Embassies and Consulates. Please monitor the site associated with your embassy or consulate to ensure you have the most up to date information for scheduling a visa appointment. Ultimately, it is the federal government's decision as to when visas will be processed at the various embassies and consulates. 

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.

Executive Orders and Impact

On December 2, 2021, the CDC updated their testing requirements and now require travelers planning to enter the U.S. to present a negative COVID test within 24 hours of their intended departure. 

On November 26, 2021, President Biden signed a proclamation suspending the entry of certain travelers who were physically present within eight countries, including the Republic of Botswana, the Kingdom of Eswatini, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Malawi, the Republic of Mozambique, the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of South Africa, and the Republic of Zimbabwe, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. There is currently no indication that F-1 or J-1 students are eligible for a National Interest Exception to this Proclamation, so if students and scholars must travel through any of these countries, they should plan to quarantine in a non-restricted country for at least 14 days before attempting to reenter the U.S.

On October 25, 2021, President Biden signed a proclamation revoking the previous geographic travel ban restrictions with a global requirement that noncitizens who are nonimmigrants traveling by air to the U.S. from any country must be fully vaccinated, with some limited exceptions. A separate CDC order also continues to require all air travelers (regardless of citizenship) to present results of a negative COVID test taken within three days (if fully vaccinated) before departing for the U.S.

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.

Executive Orders, 2017 - 2020