On December 9, 2020, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) indicated to the journal Inside Higher Education that for the spring 2021 semester F-1 students should abide by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance originally issued in March 2020, which was also applied to the fall 2020 semester.
Due to the fluid nature of the Coronavirus outbreak, ISS recommends that students weigh the urgency of travel. In addition, with the increase in COVID-19 cases and entry restrictions in the U.S. and abroad, students should prepare for any event if they plan to travel, domestically or internationally.
What to Do Before You Travel
|Inform ISS/UH||Log your travel through the Travel Signature Request so we know where you are, in case you're not able to return. If you do not need a new travel signature, write "Report Only" in the Optional Notes at the bottom of the form.
You must also follow requirements for reporting to UH officials as directed on the UH Travel Policy FAQ.
|Inform a friend||Provide your travel and contact information to a friend or family member in case you are stopped, delayed, quarantined, or fall ill and need medical attention.|
|Check your airline||Check with your airline about refunds or adjustment fees due to travel restrictions or bans that might occur while traveling. Ask about flight insurance. Can you change tickets or get a refund? What if your flight is canceled or suspended? If you haven't purchased your tickets, consider getting refundable tickets.|
|Check the news||Look for travel restrictions and Coronavirus outbreak in the areas to which you will be traveling. Avoid high impact areas. National and local governments may change travel policies at any time. Be ready.|
|Check your health insurance||Carry your insurance information with you. Make sure your insurance covers your travel period and travel locations. Do you have separate policies for inside and outside the U.S.? Check for medical providers in those areas that accept your insurance. Does your insurance cover illness caused by the Coronavirus (Covid-19)? If you fall ill, you don't want to recover and face a large medical bill.|
|Keep a record||Keep a record of people and places you have interacted with. This may be valuable information should you fall ill.|
|Have a plan||Have a plan if something happens to you that impacts your travel. Will you be able to change your travel easily? Is there somebody you can call who can help you?|
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- SEVP Covid-19 FAQ (pdf)
- U.S. Department of State Exchange Visitor Program Covid-19 Information
- U.S. Department of State COVID-19 Information by Country
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- University of Hawaii at Manoa: Coronavirus Updates
- University of Hawaii Emergency Information
- University of Hawaii COVID-19 Health and Community Resources
- University Health Services Manoa
- University of Hawaii Travel Information
- U.H. Manoa, Counseling & Student Development Center (CSDC)
- University of Hawaii at Manoa Food Vault Hawaii
Travel and Visa Resources
- U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories by Country
- Check if the visa services at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country is available.