Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about COVID-19

Updated March 28, 2022

OISS COVID-19 Operation Changes

Vaccination Requirements for Non-Immigrant Travelers

On October 25, 2021, the President of the United States (U.S.), issued a Proclamation to “suspend and limit entry into the U.S. for non U.S. citizens who are nonimmigrants seeking to enter the U.S. by air travel and are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.” This proclamation revokes the regional travel bans restricting students traveling from China, Iran, India, Brazil, South Africa, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland.

On the same day, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order to implement the President’s direction. Per the (CDC), “If you are a noncitizen nonimmigrant and are fully vaccinated, make sure your vaccine and proof of vaccination are acceptable to board a flight to the United States. 

*Please note the Presidential Proclamation and CDC order only applies to air travel only and not to land border crossings. This Proclamation went into effect at 12:01am EST on November 8, 2021. For more information, please visit the CDC website here

Exceptions - New, Initial Students

Exceptions under the Proclamation and CDC's Order include persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 or B-2 visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability. Per the CDC website: If you travel by air to the United States under this exception, you will be required to attest that you are excepted from the requirement to present Proof of Being Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 based on one of the exceptions listed above. Based on the category of the exception, you may further be required to attest that:

  1. You will be tested with a COVID-19 viral test 3–5 days after arrival in the United States, unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days;
  2. You will self-quarantine for a full 7 days, even if the test result to the post-arrival viral test is negative, unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days; and
  3. You will self-isolate if the result of the post-arrival test is positive or if you develop COVID-19 symptoms.

Based on the category of the exception, if you intend to stay in the United States for longer than 60 days you may additionally be required to attest that

  • You agree to be vaccinated against COVID-19; and
  • You have arranged to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within 60 days of arriving in the United States, or as soon thereafter as is medically appropriate.

COVID-19 Testing Requirement for International Travelers

Effective on November 8, 2021, all international travelers will be required to submit negative COVID-19 test results in order to board a flight into the United States. Travelers must take a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

For information on EMU COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics, or other local Vaccine Clinics, please see the EMU SAFE website.

Travel Signatures

Please check that your most recent I-20 has a valid travel signature. While the OISS recommends a new travel signature every six months, travel signatures on the form I-20 are valid for one calendar year.

Students who do not have a valid travel signature will need to request a new I-20 with travel signature.

The OISS recommends students traveling into the U.S. to print out a copy of your student schedule to show your full-time course enrollment. Go to directions on how to print your schedule [PDF].

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

OISS Departure Notification Form

Students who plan to depart Michigan or the United States will need to report their departure on the OISS Departure Notification Form . Please be advised you will need to log out of all Google accounts prior to accessing the link as you will be required to log in with your EMICH credentials. 

In addition, please be sure to send a copy of your flight itinerary to [email protected] 

What if there is another Stay at Home order?

If EMU moves to an all virtual/online delivery during the semester due to the COVID-19 situation, international students will continue to maintain their status and be able to remain in the United States.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Summer 2022 - Select your current student status below for more information:

  • A. I am an incoming international first-year student.

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    1. New international students planning to attend Eastern Michigan University (EMU) for the first time are eligible to apply for a visa and enter the United States (U.S.) because EMU is not fully online.
      • Per the current SEVP guidance, new, initial F-1 students are required to have at least one in-person (face-to-face) class in order to activate their F-1 status in the United States.
      • If you do not have at least one in-person class on your schedule, please do NOT enter the United States. The office will not be able to register your SEVIS record and you will be required to depart the United States.
    2. Continue your effort to secure a visa appointment as soon as possible. You can locate the consulate wait times and contact information on the Department of State website.
    3. Notify Eastern Michigan University Office for International Students & Scholars ([email protected]) of your visa appointment date and receipt of your visa.
    4. Arrange your flight/travel arrangements to the United States. Summer 2022 United Orientation is scheduled for May 6, 2022 and summer 2022 classes start on May 9, 2022. Please see above for CDC information regarding vaccination and testing requirements.
    5. Updated information about SEVIS check-in and Orientation will be emailed to all new students' emich.edu email addresses.
    6. Students with on-campus housing contracts should work with the Housing and Residence Life Office for move-in information.
    7. If you do not believe you will receive your visa in time to start classes at Eastern Michigan University, or if you are restricted from traveling to the United States at this time, please email the Office for International Students and Scholars ([email protected]) and International Admissions ([email protected]).
      • Be advised: students who are unable to enter the U.S. to begin their studies will not be able to take online classes under an F-1 status.
      • Students will be able to defer their admission and start the process of receiving a new I-20 in preparation for the fall 2022 term.
  • B. I am an incoming international transfer student (currently inside the U.S.).

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    1. Be sure to activate your EMICH email account to receive important updates from the university and from the OISS.

    2. Consult with your academic advisor to ensure that you are registered for full-time courses for the summer 2022 semester. Your classes can be in-person, hybrid, or online. There is no limit on the number of online classes you can take for this summer 2022 semester. As a reminder, below are the full-time credit hour requirements.

      • Undergraduate - 12 credit hours

      • Graduate/Doctoral - 8 credit hours

      • Undergraduate students may also be eligible for concurrent enrollment. Please see the Concurrent Enrollment/Guest Letter Request form on the OISS website.
    3. Updated information about SEVIS check-in and Orientation will be emailed to all new students' emich.edu email addresses.
    4. Students with on-campus housing contracts should work with the Housing and Residence Life Office for move-in information.
  • C. I am an incoming international transfer student (currently outside the U.S.).

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    1. Before traveling back to the U.S., email [email protected] for a new I-20 with updated remarks.

    2. Ensure your immigration documents (passport, U.S. visa) are valid and unexpired.

      • If your visa is not valid, you are eligible to apply for an F-1 visa if needed to re-enter the U.S.

    3. Arrange your flight/travel arrangements to the United States.  Summer 2022 United Orientation is scheduled for May 6, 2022 and summer 2022 classes start on May 9, 2022. Please see above for CDC information regarding vaccination and testing requirements.
    4. Be sure to activate your EMICH email account to receive important updates from the university and from the OISS.
    5. Consult with your academic advisor to ensure that you are registered for full-time courses for this summer 2022 semester. Your classes can be in-person, hybrid, or online. As a reminder, below are the full-time credit hour requirements:
      • Undergraduate - 12 credit hours
      • Graduate/Doctoral - 8 credit hours
      • ESL - Intensive English Program (IEP) - 18 credit hours*
      • Students may also be eligible for concurrent enrollment. Please see the Concurrent Enrollment/Guest Letter Request form on the OISS website.
    6. Updated information about SEVIS check-in and Orientation will be emailed to all new students soon.
    7. Students with on-campus housing contracts should work with the Housing and Residence Life Office for move-in information.
  • D. I am a current, continuing Eastern Michigan University international student present in the United States.

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    If the summer 2022  semster is NOT your first or last term, it is considered your annual vacation and are not required to enroll in classes. The OISS strongly recommends you consult with your academic advisor to ensure that you are registered for full-time courses for the fall 2022 semester. As a reminder:

    • Undergraduate - 12 credit hours
    • Graduate/Doctoral - 8 credit hours
    • ESL - Intensive English Program (IEP) - 18 credit hours*

    Please note that the Student and Exhange Visitor Program (SEVP) has not issued guidance for the 2022 - 2023 academic year. As such, out of an abundance of caution, the OISS strongly encourages students to register for classes according to regulations prior to the COVID guidance. This means students should not register or more than (1) 3 credit online course towards full-time enrollment. 

    Undergraduate students may also be eligible for concurrent enrollment. Please see the Concurrent Enrollment/Guest Letter Request form on the OISS website.

    Students eligible for Reduced Hours can find the request forms on the OISS website.

    *IEP students need to to follow-up with the ESL department.

  • E. I am a current, continuing Eastern Michigan University international student outside of the United States and planning to return for the fall 2022 semester.

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    1. Ensure your immigration documents (passport, U.S. visa) are valid and unexpired.
      • If your visa is not valid, you are eligible to apply for an F-1 visa if needed to re-enter the U.S.
    2. Consult with your academic advisor to ensure that you are registered for full-time courses for the fall 2022 semester.  As a reminder, below are the full-time credit hour requirements:
      • Undergraduate - 12 credit hours
      • Graduate/Doctoral - 8 credit hours
      • ESL - Intensive English Program (IEP) - 18 credits hours*
        Students may also be eligible for concurrent enrollment. Please see the Concurrent Enrollment/Guest Letter Request form on the OISS website. Students eligible for Reduced Hours can find the request forms on the OISS website. *IEP students need to to follow-up with the ESL department.
    3. Arrange your flight/travel arrangements to the United States.  Fall 2022 classes are set to start on August 29, 2022. Please see above for CDC information regarding vaccination and testing requirements.
    4. Fill out the I-20 request form to receive a new I-20 from the OISS verifying that you are registered full-time for the fall 2022 semester and to receive a travel signature (if needed). Please note that the OISS processing time may be delayed more than 10 business days. If you are unsure, email [email protected] for verification.
    5. Students with on-campus housing contracts should work with the Housing and Residence Life Office for move-in information.