Please check the following pages for enrollment requirements by academic term:
Documentation for Departure
Students who plan to travel outside of the U.S. should check with each country where they will visit regarding any testing or quarantine requirements.
Students Traveling to China must take a nucleic acid and IgM anti-body test within 48 hours of boarding starting November 6. More information and detailed instructions can be found on the Chinese Embassy website.
Documentation for Reentry
All F-1 and J-1 international students must have the following documentation for reentry to the U.S.: passport valid 6 months into the future, valid visa (unless you are a Canadian citizen), and valid I-20 or DS-2019 with travel signature. Travel signatures are valid for one year; validity of travel signatures is reduced to 6 months while on OPT. Students with pending or approved OPT should also carry the receipt notice (if pending), EAD (if approved), and employment letter (optional). We also recommend having documentation showing that Iowa State University will be offering in-person and hybrid coursework for Fall 2021.
Read more about necessary documentation and preparing for travel on our Travel Outside the U.S. frequently asked questions pages:
Travel restrictions are subject to change. Starting on November 8, 2021, all air travel into the United States will be subject to the Presidential Proclamation: A Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please review the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) website for general information on Non-U.S. citizen, Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States.
All non-citizen, non-immigrant travelers will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling by air to the Unites States from abroad. Please review the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) website for information on the accepted COVID-19 Vaccines and acceptable proof of COVID-19 vaccination that can be used to enter the United States.
Review the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) website for information on the list of foreign countries with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability that are excepted from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for air travel and to review a full list of qualifying COVID-19 vaccine candidates that meet CDC criteria for the exception.
Negative COVID-19 Test Requirements
All air passengers ages 2 or older, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, must show a negative result of a COVID-19 viral test no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States. A negative COVID-19 test result must be shown to the airline before you board your flight. More information can be found on the Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19.
Department of State (D.O.S.) has temporarily expanded the ability of consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for individuals applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification. Previously, only those applicants whose nonimmigrant visa expired within 12 months were eligible for an interview waiver. The Secretary has temporarily extended the expiration period to 24 months. This policy is in effect until December 31, 2020. Read more about this on the Department of State website.
Travelers are encouraged to review the website of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for detailed information on what services are currently available as well as eligibility information and instructions on applying for a visa without an interview. See some country-specific D.O.S. pages below:
Malaysia: https://ustraveldocs.com/my/my-niv-visarenew.asp (not available for F or J students)
Saudi Arabia: https://ustraveldocs.com/sa/sa-niv-visarenew.asp
Expedited Visa Appointments
F-1 and J-1 students may be eligible for an expedited visa appointment if the purpose of travel is to begin or resume a valid program of study in the United States within 60 days when no regular visa appointments are available. This option is limited only to students and exchange students who are within 60 days of their start date. It is also limited only to applicants who have not been refused a visa within the last six months at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Check the U.S. consulate or embassy's website where you plan to apply for more information.
All ISU students must follow the United States Center for Disease Control guidelines for self-quarantine upon arrival in the U.S. (See: CDC guidance). See the ISU Self-Quarantine Requirements FAQ for more information.