COVID-19 FAQs

General/Travel Related

How do I stay informed by Davis IC?

Check your Princeton email, Davis IC announcements, and do not hesitate to join us virtually during our scheduled walk in hours and advising appointments. We will also host information sessions as necessary.

 

What Restrictions are there on entry to the U.S. due to COVID-19?

Travel restrictions are often announced without much notice. Review the CDC before traveling to confirm that there are not changes to this list. Students and scholars who have been in any of the following countries during the past 14 days cannot enter the United States. This includes a short-stay or a layover that takes you to these countries.

Europe and Travel

On July 16 Department of State announced National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland including F-1 students and J-1 students and scholars. Please review the announcement here and confirm procedures with your local embassy or consulate as necessary. Procedure varies by visa category.

If you are not in F-1/J-1 category you can review the travel restrictions still in place here: European 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, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City) United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) Republic of Ireland

I am travelling from a restricted country, but plan to spend two weeks in a non-travel restricted country. Can I enter the U.S.?

There are risks in planning to enter the U.S. this way. There will be country specific travel restrictions and health and safety protocols that you will want to be familiar with before traveling. Davis IC advisors cannot provide detailed information on other country’s travel restrictions and policies. Additionally, U.S. entry restrictions are subject to change with little or no notice. We recommend weighing these risks before traveling to the U.S. via a non-travel restricted country.

I do not have a valid visa and I am outside the U.S. when can I get a visa to travel?

On July 13 U.S. Department of State made the following announcement on twitter: "US embassies and consulates are beginning the phased resumption of routine visa services. The dates for each embassy or consulate will depend on local conditions. We are unable to provide details for each location. Please monitor the embassy or consulate website for updates." Country specific information can be found here. Please keep in mind that COVID-19 travel restrictions may remain in effect even for those holding valid U.S. visas.

Are there additional websites/offices I should check before I travel to/from Princeton?

The university is urging the university community to exercise caution when it comes to travel and abide by the current policies in place. For additional information, please visit the travel tool kit.

Students can review our travel guidance page to confirm what documents you need with you when you travel internationally. We recommend that you also confirm travel plans with your academic department or employer in case your return is delayed for any reason.

University Health Services can assist students with asymptomatic testing requirements before travel. 

 

What are the COVID-19 testing requirements before traveling to the U.S.?

The CDC announced on January 13 that effective January 26 they will require all travelers arriving to the U.S. from abroad to obtain a negative viral test, or provide documentation of recovery before travel. You can review the details of this requirement here

Undergraduate Students

I am a first year undergraduate or returning from Leave of Absence undergraduate student when can I get updated documents?

Due to the July 24 ICE and June 25th Exchange Visitor Program guidance we are not able to issue new documents for students whose programs are 100% online. On November 24th it was announced that Princeton University can invite all undergraduate students back to campus. Davis IC will begin to reissue documents the week of November 30. Students who already have an unexpired visa in the same category (F-1 visa for F-1 status and J-1 visa for J-1 status) will not likely need a new visa for travel. You can confirm if your visa is still valid by contacting the consulate or embassy who issued the visa.  

Class of 2024 New Students and Students who Returned from Leave of Absence for Fall 2020 

Students who were enrolled for Fall 2020 can let us know that you are planning to study on campus in Spring 2021 by going to TigerNav. Click “Login.” Use your university netid and password. In the left-hand column, click “Pre-Arrival” and then “Undergraduate Students: Spring 2021 Document Request.” Click “Start a New Request” and complete/submit the form. 

Class of 2024 Transfer Students who have not activated their Princeton Record

Students who transferred their SEVIS record from another U.S. institution can let us know that you are planning to study on campus in Spring 2021 by going to TigerNav. Click “Login.” Use your university netid and password. In the left-hand column, click “Student Admission” and then “Transfer Student - Correction Request.” Click “Start a New Request” and complete/submit the form. 

Students returning from a Leave of Absence in Spring 2021

Students returning from a leave of absence for Spring 2021 should go to TigerNav. Click “Login.” Use your university netid and password. In the left-hand column, click “Student Admissions” and then “Application for Visa Certificate Undergraduate Return from LOA.” Click “Start a New Request” and complete/submit the form. 

Slides from Fall 2020 Information Session for First Year Students (Aug 7 2020)

I am a new undergraduate student transferring my SEVIS record. How does the guidance apply to me?

Since your record was active in SEVIS on March 9, 2020, you are eligible to remain in the U.S. and study 100% online. If you have travel plans in the near future please reach out to your International Student Advisor to confirm the status of your documents and your eligibility to enter the U.S. 

Class of 2024 Transfer Students who have not activated their Princeton Record

Students who transferred their SEVIS record from another U.S. institution can let us know that you are planning to study on campus in Spring 2021 by going to TigerNav. Click “Login.” Use your university netid and password. In the left-hand column, click “Student Admission” and then “Transfer Student - Correction Request.” Click “Start a New Request” and complete/submit the form. 

If I am not in U.S. will this impact my CPT/OPT eligibility?

Returning students who have remained active in SEVIS throughout the COVID-19 pandemic due to March 9, 2020 guidance remain eligible for CPT and OPT. Please note for OPT USCIS requires that students are in the U.S. to apply. Students are eligible to work remotely on CPT and OPT, but the exact work authorizations you will need will be up to your employer to align with their work policies. 

New students will have to wait until they have been in the U.S. for one year before they are eligible for CPT/OPT.

Students returning from a leave of absence should reach out to your International Student Advisor to discuss the reason for your leave (voluntary or suspension) to determine your eligibility.

I am in the U.S. and do not have any in-person classes am I eligible to stay in the U.S.?

As of July 24, students who were in active F-1 status on March 9 and who have not left the U.S. may enroll in all online study for Fall 2020 and remain in the U.S. 

I am a retuning student am I able to enter the U.S. even though my classes are all online?

As of July 24, students who were in active F-1 status on March 9 are able to re-enter the U.S. with their current documents and study 100% online. Students who need a new travel signature to re-enter the U.S. should go to TigerNav. Click “Login.” Use your university netid and password. In the left-hand column, click “Pre-Arrival” and then “"Travel Signature Request.” Click “Start a New Request” and complete/submit the form. We will begin processing documents on Monday, November 30. 

If I decide to take a leave of absence how does that impact my status?

Because your F-1/J-1 student status is tied to your enrollment status, we will terminate your SEVIS record if you take a Leave of Absence. If you are currently in the U.S., you would need to depart the U.S. You would not be able to return to the U.S. on your F-1/J-1 visa until your leave of absence ends and enrollment resumes. If you are already outside of the U.S. and are concerned about the 5 month rule, your time outside the U.S. will begin to count from the day you last attend classes. Students are no longer eligible for employment in the U.S. with a terminated record. For more information, please visit our Leave of Absence page.

Slides from Fall 2020 Leave of Absence Webinar

 

I will not be able to get a visa in time to arrive on campus in late January. Will I be allowed to arrive late to campus?

Possibly. You should make every effort to arrive on campus during the extended move-in period. Please contact your Davis International Center adviser and your residential college director of student life.

Graduate Students

I am a new graduate student or returning from a leave of absence how does the current guidance effect me?

The July 24 Guidance from SEVP and June 25 Guidance from Department of State require that students starting new programs in the U.S. have some in-person component to their study. The Graduate School continues to invite students to campus to work with professors, participate in laboratory assignments, access our libraries, use our study spaces, and participate in our academic culture. We recommend that students document in what ways they are participating in the hybrid components of their Princeton education when possible.

I am a returning graduate student do I need any special documents to enter the U.S.?

No, returning graduate students are eligible to return to the U.S. using their typical documents. Please review any travel restrictions noted above. 

I am a new graduate student with an approved remote start, how does this impact my documents?

The expectation from the Graduate School is that you will continue to make every effort obtain your visa and enter the U.S. to study. As such, we have developed a rolling start date process to accommodate these flexible entry dates. 

To request your new document go to TigerNav. Click “Login.” Use your university netid and password. In the left-hand column, click “Student Admissions” and then “Graduate Student Remote Starts - Request for I-20/DS-2019.” Click “Start a New Request” and complete/submit the form.