Rutgers Global Alerts: COVID-19

The information included here is intended to provide guidance and resources to all members of the Rutgers community regarding issues related to the Covid-19, including travel advisories, immigration policies, and other regulatory updates that impact international students and scholars, as well as domestic students and faculty traveling abroad.

See the Rutgers Global Travel Resources page for additional information about international travel.

Visit the Rutgers Universitywide COVID-19 website for the latest updates from the University.

Dept. of State Permits Waiver of In-Person Visa Interview Requirement for Certain F, M, & Academic J Visa Applicants, 9/17/21 +

The Department of State has authorized consular officers, in their discretion, to waive the visa interview requirement for certain F, M, and academic J visa applicants. This new policy will be effective through the end of 2021.

The interview waiver is only available to F, M, and academic J visa applicants who:

  • Were previously issued any type of visa, and who have never been refused a visa unless such refusal was overcome or waived, and who have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility; or
  • Are first-time F, M, and academic J visa applicants who are citizens or nationals of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), provided they have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility.  

In order to qualify, applicants must apply in their consular district of residence (with limited exceptions).  

This new policy is discretionary. Some consular posts may still require F, M, and academic J visa applicants to appear for an in-person interview.  

Academic J visa applicants include: secondary school students, college and university students, professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, and specialists.  

We encourage applicants to check the website of the relevant U.S. embassy or consulate to confirm the level of services currently offered and to find guidelines for applying for a visa without an interview.  For more information visit this website.  

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Remain in Effect

Thirty three (33) countries are still subject to COVID-19 travel restrictions.  F, M, and academic J visa applicants are eligible for National Interest Exceptions (NIEs).  For more information on NIEs, please visit this website.  

COVID Vaccine Guidance for International Students, 7/8/21 +

A message from Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH, Chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs

Rutgers previously announced that COVID-19 incidence rates were dropping rapidly in New Jersey and so, for international students who could not receive United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorized (EUA) vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Janssen-J&J) and who have been vaccinated in their country, Rutgers would accept proof of vaccination using a World Health Organization (WHO) authorized vaccine, while continuing to monitor the situation. 
While rates of COVID-19 remain wonderfully low in New Jersey, the Delta variant is now spreading rapidly across the world and in New Jersey. Fortunately, all the FDA EUA vaccines remain protective against the Delta variant. As such, we continue to strongly encourage people to get fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. For those vaccinated with other vaccines, we strongly suggest that you consider the same, in consultation with your health care provider. It bears noting that Canada and Germany have already moved to recommend a dose of one of the mRNA vaccines after a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.  
As a reminder, Rutgers currently is a vaccine administration site and offers FDA-authorized vaccines at no cost at all three of our campuses. Please register for your appointment(s) as soon as possible to facilitate your participation in campus activities. You may register for an appointment via the Rutgers Vaccination Portal
As always, the relevant vaccination records should be uploaded to the Rutgers Student Immunization Portal at rutgers.medicatconnect.com
Additional information including timing and deadline guidance and other FAQs can be found on the University-wide COVID-19 vaccination information site, the COVID Related International Student FAQ page, and through the Rutgers Global Alerts. Please continue to check your Rutgers email for information and updates.  

FAQs on Geographic COVID-19 Proclamations Affecting Entry from Certain Countries, 7/8/2021 +

There are several geographic-based COVID-19 Presidential Proclamations in effect that restrict nonimmigrant visa issuance and travel to the U.S.  We have updated these FAQs based on the travel restrictions that are effective as of 6/10/2021.

FAQs on Geographic COVID-19 Presidential Proclamations--Updated 7/8/21 (PDF)

Guidelines for Fall 2021 Funding Support of International Doctoral Students who are Outside the United States, 6/16/2021 +

This guidance outlines the process of providing some accommodations for supported international doctoral students who are unable to make it to Rutgers in-person in fall 2021 due to COVID-19 related disruptions.

Graduate Funding Policy for 2021-2022 (PDF)

UPDATED: Vaccination Policy Update for International Students, 06/29/2021 +

Rutgers has updated its vaccination policy as of May 28, 2021. 
COVID-19 incidence rates in New Jersey have markedly decreased and are likely to continue to decrease in the coming weeks.  Therefore, for international students outside of the US who cannot receive a US FDA EUA-authorized vaccine (currently Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Janssen-J&J), and who have been vaccinated in their home country, Rutgers will now accept proof of vaccination by a World Health Organization (WHO) authorized vaccine (e.g., AstraZeneca, SinoPharm BIBP). The relevant vaccination records must be uploaded to the Rutgers Immunization Portal at  
Rutgers will also continue to offer US FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines to international students upon arrival at no cost, as previously noted, for those that have not yet been vaccinated with an US FDA-authorized vaccine. International students (in F-1 and J-1 visa status) may enter the country no more than 30 days prior to the start of the fall term. To ensure that students who need to be vaccinated upon arrival are able to do so and to allow for necessary vaccination wait times and quarantine, the university is in the process of developing interim housing space in August. 
Rutgers continues to closely monitor both the science of COVID-19 vaccination (including the effectiveness of WHO-authorized vaccines and the safety/effectiveness of boosting with an FDA-authorized vaccine), as well as COVID-19 rates regionally and globally. This information may inform future changes or updates of the Rutgers vaccination or re-vaccination policies. 
The health and safety of our students and all members of the Rutgers community is the driving force behind the Rutgers vaccine policies. We encourage all eligible international students abroad to seek out and receive COVID-19 vaccines that are internationally approved, if at all possible. 

The following Q&A addresses some of the most common questions that have arisen from the University’s decision to require COVID-19 vaccinations for fall 2021 for students who will be attending Rutgers at one of our campus locations or participating in programs offered through the university.



Updated: COVID Related International Student FAQs, 6/29/2021 +

COVID Related International Students FAQs Webpage (New Brunswick and RBHS)

Students enrolled in the Newark and Camden campuses, please contact the international student services office on your campus:

•    Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISS) – Newark  
•    Office of International Students and Global Programs (OIS) – Camden