Rutgers Global Alerts

The information included here is intended to provide guidance and resources to all members of the Rutgers community regarding issues related to 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.

COVID-19 Testing Requirement for Air Travelers from the People’s Republic of China, 1/11/2023 +

Effective January 5, 2023, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require a negative COVID-19 test result for air passengers entering the U.S. from the People’s Republic of China. The test must be taken no more than 2 days prior to departure.    

This testing requirement applies to the following air passengers two years and older (regardless of nationality or vaccination status):

  • Air passengers boarding flights to the United States originating from the People’s Republic of China and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau; 
  • Persons traveling from the People’s Republic of China via third country transit and passengers connecting through the United States onward to further destinations; and  
  • Air passengers transiting Incheon International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport on their way to the United States if they have been in the People’s Republic of China in the last 10 days. 

Passengers who tested positive more than 10 days before the flight can provide documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in lieu of a negative test result.

For more information on the testing requirements, please visit the CDC’s website

Rutgers Statement Regarding Ebola Virus in Uganda, 10/28/22 +

Rutgers University is in close contact with the New Jersey Department of Health (NJ DOH) and is monitoring and assessing up-to-date information and recommendations from the NJ DOH and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the current Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in Uganda.

This guidance addresses travel to and visits from Ebola-affected regions with respect to students, faculty, staff, and other employees of Rutgers.

Travel to Ebola-Affected Regions
The CDC has issued a Level 2 Travel Health Notice due to Ebola virus disease in Uganda, currently present in the following districts: Mubende, Kassanda, Kyegegwa, Kagadi, and Bunyangabu. The CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to these regions at this time. This outbreak has been linked to the Sudan ebolavirus. No vaccines or therapeutics have been approved for prevention or treatment of the Sudan ebolavirus. 

Travelers to Uganda and neighboring areas should avoid contact with sick people and avoid contact with blood or body fluids from all people. Travelers should avoid contact with dead bodies, including participating in funeral or burial rituals. 

Travel for personal reasons to the above-listed districts is strongly discouraged. Personal travel is at your own risk. Be aware that evacuation may not be feasible.

Travel from Ebola-Affected Regions
All travelers entering the U.S. who have visited Uganda within the last 21 days are being screened at the airports. Travelers should isolate immediately if they develop signs and symptoms like fever, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising during or for up to 21 days after travel. They should also call their personal physician and inform them of their symptoms and that they recently returned from a region with an Ebola outbreak. Travelers who develop symptoms after arriving in the United States should also not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares, and they should not travel while sick. They can also contact their local health department to ask where to go for medical care. 

All students, faculty, staff, and other employees who have visited Uganda within the last 21 days should consult the CDC Guidance here and monitor themselves for the above symptoms after their return.

Students with additional questions or concerns may contact Student Health, and faculty and staff may contact Occupational Health at the numbers below: 

Employees:
•    Rutgers - New Brunswick, Rutgers - Newark, and Rutgers - Camden:  848-932-8254  
•    RBHS - Newark:  973-972-2900
•    RBHS - New Brunswick/Piscataway and University Correctional Health Care:  848-445-6200
•    RWJMS Faculty and Staff:  732-235-6559

Students:
•    Rutgers New Brunswick Student Health:  848-932-7402
•    Rutgers - Camden Student Health:  856-225-6005
•    Rutgers - Newark Student Health:  973-353-5232
•    RBHS - Newark Student Health:  973-972-8219
•    RBHS - New Brunswick/Piscataway Student Health:  732-235-5160


Milind Shah, MD, MPH
Director, Rutgers Occupational Health Department

Noa'a Shimoni MD, MPH 
Associate Vice President for Student Health and Wellness, Rutgers University

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

Temporary Protected Status and Special Student Relief for Ukraine and Afghanistan, 6/28/22 +

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated both Afghanistan and Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).  Individuals from Afghanistan are now eligible for TPS through Nov. 20, 2023 and individuals from Ukraine are eligible for TPS through Oct. 19, 2023.  

During the designated period, individuals who have been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are not removable from the United States; can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD); and, in some cases, may be granted travel authorization.  

To be eligible for TPS, individuals from Afghanistan must have continuously resided in the United States since March 15, 2022 and individuals from Ukraine must have continuously resided in the United States since April 11, 2022.

More information on the TPS eligibility requirements and application process can be found on USCIS’ website.  Additional information can also be found on NAFSA’s website.  

Those interested in applying for TPS are encouraged to carefully review the requirements and consult with a qualified immigration attorney. Before applying for TPS, we also recommend that international students (in F-1 or J-1 status) or international scholars contact the ISSS office:

ISSS - Faculty/Scholar Advising Services

ISSS - Student Advising Services

Special Student Relief (SSR)

Special Student Relief (SSR) is the suspension of certain regulatory requirements by the secretary of The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for F‑1 students from parts of the world that are experiencing emergent circumstances. Regulatory requirements that may be suspended or altered for an F-1 student include duration of status, full course of study and off-campus employment eligibility. 

The DHS has announced SSR or the suspension of certain regulatory requirements for F-1 students from Ukraine and Afghanistan who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a result of the emergent circumstances in their country of citizenship. According to the SSR notices, F-1 students may be able to apply for employment authorization based on economic need. Please review the notices carefully to understand if and how they may apply to you.

For F-1 Students from Afghanistan: 

Please note that the notice covers students who were lawfully present in the United States as of May 20, 2022 and need accommodations as a direct result of the current situation in Afghanistan. The suspension of the regulatory requirements under the SSR notice will remain in effect until November 20, 2023.

For F-1 Students from Ukraine:

Please note that the notice covers students who were lawfully present in the United States as of April 19, 2022 and need accommodations as a result of the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine. The suspension of the regulatory requirements under the SSR notice will remain in effect until October 19, 2023. 

For more information about SSR and to apply for employment authorization based on this notice, please review the information on the ISSS Economic Hardship Employment webpage and contact an International Student Adviser.
Please note: This special student relief is NOT automatic. You must first speak with an ISSS Adviser BEFORE you are able to receive any special student relief benefits. Do not drop course registration below full time until you have been approved by USCIS for this special work authorization.

Please also note that special student relief is separate from Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Other Resources

Those who are presently located outside of the U.S. (and are, therefore, not eligible for TPS or SSR) can find more information about consular operations, humanitarian assistance, and other visa information at:

For more information about other types of relief (including Asylum, Refugee Status, and Humanitarian Parole), please refer to the following links: 

 Those interested in applying for these other forms of relief are encouraged to consult with a qualified immigration attorney.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Travel (No Geographic Travel Bans Currently in Effect), UPDATED: 6/22/2022 +

With the lifting of travel restrictions from eight countries in Southern Africa on December 28, 2021, there are currently no geographic COVID-19 entry ban proclamations in effect.

Before making any travel plans, be sure to check NAFSA’s webpage to verify that no new proclamations have been implemented.

COVID-19 Testing Requirement for International Travel No Longer In Effect

As of June 12, 2022, the CDC is no longer requiring 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.  Before making any travel plans, check the CDC’s website for current updates. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Air Travel

  • Effective November 8, 2021, non-U.S. citizens who are not immigrants to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination status before flying to the United States.
     
  • Upon entering the U.S., the NJ Department of Health states that international travelers should get tested after travel and take the following precautions post-travel:
    • Fully Vaccinated: Travelers who are fully vaccinated should get tested with a PCR or antigen test 3-5 days after travel and self-monitor for symptoms.
    • Not Fully Vaccinated: Travelers who are not fully vaccinated should get tested with a PCR or antigen test 3-5 days after travel and self-quarantine for a full 7 days upon returning even with a negative test result, unless able to provide documentation of COVID-19 recovery within the last 90 days.

Who is Covered? 

This new vaccination requirement applies to “noncitizens who are nonimmigrants” (i.e., F-1 students, J-1 exchange visitors, H-1B employees, etc.) traveling to the U.S. by air.  It does not apply to U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, or those traveling to the U.S. on an immigrant visa.  See below for more information on land/sea travel.

This Proclamation does not affect visa issuance.  Someone who is not fully vaccinated can still be issued a visa by a U.S. consulate.  However, they would need to show proof of vaccination in order to board an aircraft to the U.S.

Are There Exceptions? 

The full list of exceptions can be found on the CDC’s website.

Exceptions are available for: 

  1. Citizens of a foreign country where the availability of COVID-19 vaccination is limited [with the exception of B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourist) visa holders]
  2. Noncitizens for whom a COVID-19 vaccination is contraindicated or inappropriate
  3. Children under 18 years of age

Additional post-entry requirements apply to those who seek to enter under one of the exceptions.  These requirements are detailed on the CDC’s website.  

Which Vaccines will be Accepted for Purposes of Air Travel to the U.S.?  What Proof Must I Show? 

Accepted COVID-19 vaccines include those approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and those listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization.  A list of accepted COVID-19 vaccines (along with acceptable forms of proof) can be found on the CDC’s website.   

What are the Requirements for Entry Through a Land or Ferry Terminal?

Non-U.S. travelers entering the U.S. through a Land Port of Ferry Terminal are required to possess proof of an approved COVID-19 vaccination as outlined on the CDC’s website.  Please refer to the Department of Homeland Security's Frequently Asked Questions for more information on accepted vaccines and exceptions. 

There are currently no COVID testing requirements to enter the U.S. through a Land Port of Ferry Terminal.

For the latest guidance on air, land, and sea travel, we recommend visiting NAFSA’s webpage

 Helpful Resources

DHS Announces Updated STEM Designated Degree Program List and CIP Code Nomination Process, 1/21/2022 +

On January 21, 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a Federal Register notice announcing the addition of 22 Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes to the DHS Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Designated Degree Program List.

The DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List is a complete list of fields of study that DHS considers to be STEM for the purpose of the 24-month STEM optional practical training (OPT) extension. After reviewing nominations submitted by interested parties, including members of the public, DHS is adding 22 fields of study, as identified by a unique CIP code, to the list. No CIP codes or fields of study have been removed from the list as part of this update.

For additional information about the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List and fields of study that qualify for the STEM OPT extension, please refer to:

For more information visit this website.