Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about COVID-19

Updated: November 7, 2022

OISS COVID-19 Operation Changes

COVID-19 Testing Requirement for International Travelers [Updated]

Effective on June 12, 2022, the United States (U.S.) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will no longer require air passengers traveling from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight.

For more information, please see the CDC announcement. As a reminder, the CDC may reinstate this requirement in the future. Please be sure to check current CDC guidance before traveling and re-entering the U.S.  

Please note that vaccination requirements are still in place. Please see below for the vaccination requirements for non-immigrant travelers. 

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 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. Travel signatures on the form I-20 are valid for one calendar year. Students who travel through land border crossing (land ports of entry) are eligible to request a new travel signature every six months. 

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

It is strongly recommended that students report their departure of the United States 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 net ID and password. 

In addition, students should send a copy of their flight itinerary or send an email with their vehicle travel plans to [email protected] .  

 

Winter 2023 - Select your current student status below for more information:

  • A. I am a new incoming international first-year student.

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    1. New, initial international students planning to attend Eastern Michigan University (EMU) are eligible to apply for a visa and enter the United States (U.S.) because EMU is not fully online.
      • Per the current SEVP COVID guidance, new, initial F-1 students cannot have a fully online schedule to activate their F-1 status in the United States. 
      • Class schedules can be a variety of face-to-face, hybrid, or online. 
      • 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. Winter 2023 United Orientation is scheduled for Friday, January 6, 2023 and classes start on Monday, January 9, 2023. Please see above for CDC information regarding vaccination 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 2023 term.
  • B. I am an incoming international transfer student.

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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 winter 2023 semester. Your classes can be in-person, hybrid, or online.  Per SEVP guidance, as an F-1 student you cannot have a fully online schedule. As a reminder, below are the full-time credit hour requirements.

      • Intensive English Program (IEP, ESL) - 18 credit hours*
      • 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.
  • D. I am a current, continuing Eastern Michigan University international student.

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    1. Consult with your academic advisor to ensure that you are registered for full-time courses for the winter 2023 semester. Your classes can be in-person, hybrid, or online. Per SEVP guidance, as an F-1 student you cannot have a fully online schedule. As a reminder, below are the full-time credit hour requirements.

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

    Students eligible for Concurrent/Guest Enrollment or 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 do not plan to return back into the United States for the winter 2023 semester.

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    1. Per SEVP guidance, students outside the United States will not be able to maintain their Active SEVIS status.
    2. Students must be enrolled in at least one in-person class and be physically present in the United States to maintain their visa status.
    3. If you are unable to return to the United States, please email [email protected] to set up an appointment with an OISS advisor.