Department of State announces National Interest Exceptions for F-1 and J-1 travel from Schengen Area, U.K. and Ireland 7/17/20

Friday, Jul 17, 2020
by Joanne Bateup Thomas

The following email was sent to select students and scholars on July 17, 2020:


Please do not respond to this email. Should you have any questions, please email or contact your assigned advisor


We are happy to announce that late yesterday, Department of State confirmed reports that certain business travelers, investors, treaty traders, academics, and students from the Schengen Area, U.K. and Ireland may qualify for national interest exceptions to travel even though travel restrictions remain in place. According to their message, “Students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 and M-1 visas, do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel. Students from those areas who are traveling on a J-1 may contact the nearest embassy or consulate to initiate an exception request.” We encourage students who plan to travel under this exception in the near future to carry a copy of this notice with them, along with all their travel documents.

For J-1 scholars who are outside the U.S. and would like to travel under this exception, we recommend confirming procedures with your U.S. Embassy or consulate to seek an exception.


Joanne Bateup Thomas
Associate Director for International Students
Davis International Center
Princeton University
Louis A. Simpson International Building
+1 (609) 258-5006