For information regarding Covid-19, please visit the main university website and the Rutgers Global Alerts page.

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 coronavirus, including travel advisories, immigration policies, and other regulatory updates that impact international students and scholars, as well as domestic students and faculty traveling abroad.

For further information regarding travel, please visit the Rutgers Global Travel Resources page. (https://global.rutgers.edu/travel-resources)

Update on Tax Filing Extension and Safety Tips, 4/3/20 +

Federal Tax Filing Deadline Extended to July 15, 2020

Based on an announcement by the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Federal tax filing deadline for 2019 has been extended to July 15, 2020. Please review the information on our website for more detail.  

Safety Tips from the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD)

The Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) has shared some safety tips for students. Please know that RUPD is here to assist in any way they can, please feel free to reach out to them if you need any assistance. 

Safety Tips (PDF)
 

FAQs for International Students on F-1 and J-1 Visas Re: COVID-19, 4/2/20 +

We realize our international and exchange students have many questions about the impact of the coronavirus. Please click on the link below for a PDF with more information.

FAQs for International & Exchange Students (PDF)

U.S. Citizenship Services (USCIS) Clarification, 3/20/20 +

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) CLARIFICATION - Testing, Treatment, and Preventative Care Related to COVID-19 will not be Considered as Part of Public Charge Inadmissibility Determinations

On March 14, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, USCIS issued issued new guidance encouraging those with symptoms that resemble Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), including fever, cough, shortness of breath, to seek necessary medical treatment or preventive services. According to USCIS, “Such treatment or preventive services will not negatively affect any alien as part of a future Public Charge analysis.” 

U.S. Federal laws have stated that foreign nationals generally must be self-sufficient and not need to receive the U.S. Government's public benefits. However, under the current circumstances, USCIS has relaxed this rule in recognition of hardships which foreign nationals might be experiencing related to COVID-19, such as, costs related to testing, treatment, etc. For that reason, USCIS will neither consider testing, treatment, nor preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine becomes available) related to COVID-19 as part of a public charge. This means that the use of public benefits during this crisis will not impact your application negatively when seeking admission into the U.S.or applying for immigration benefits such as an extension of stay, change of status, permanent residency, etc.
 
See https://www.uscis.gov/greencard/public-charge for more information.

Important Update on Courses, Events, and Commencement, 3/17/20 +

On March 17, President Robert Barchi sent a message to the Rutgers community stating, in part: "... [T]oday I am announcing that Rutgers University is suspending all in-person instruction, with the exception of clinical instruction, for the remainder of the spring semester. All events scheduled at the University through the month of May are suspended." 

Click here to read the full message

Rutgers University Update on COVID-19 +

For all current updates, including travel recommendations and FAQs, from Rutgers University please visit: https://coronavirus.rutgers.edu/

Additional Guidance from the U.S. Department of State for J-1 Visitors, 3/12/20 +

The Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has acknowledged that Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) sponsors may need to consider and implement alternate arrangements for current J-1 exchange visitors in order to help prevent the unnecessary exposure to the disease and its spread.  Examples of alternate arrangements cited by the ECA include: telework, online classes, or other arrangements.  The ECA has clarified that a temporary modification to the exchange program along these lines for exigent circumstances beyond a sponsor’s control does not undermine a program’s consistency with the regulations. 
 
This guidance only applies to current J-1 visitors.  It is not intended for new or initial-status exchange visitors who have not yet entered the United States.   
 
We encourage all J-1 scholars and their host departments to comply with university policies with respect to the COVID-19 health crisis.  If this requires a change in site activity or alternate arrangements (i.e., telework), this can be accommodated in accordance with this new guidance.  We ask that any J-1 scholars and/or host departments considering temporary alternate arrangements contact Rutgers Global – International Student and Scholar Services as soon as possible so that these accommodations can be noted in the visitor’s record.  

ECA recognizes that the situation is fluid and rapidly changing therefore advises that exchange visitors traveling through or from affected countries to refer to guidance from the U.S. Department of State (https://travel.state.gov), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry) for travel restrictions and health notices, as well as specific port-of-entry screening processes.

Important Information for International Faculty & Scholars, 3/4/20 +

Travel Advisory

Rutgers University is closely monitoring the updated guidance coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) regarding COVID-19. Regarding the most recent updates by the CDC, we want to strongly discourage international faculty and scholars from travelling internationally until such time as the COVID-19 situation has normalized and the CDC has lifted restrictions.
 
For further information, please review travel advisories available from the U.S. State Department and the CDC. We are asking that you please be mindful of potential government-imposed travel restrictions if you consider travel outside of the United States, as there may be restrictions on returning to the U.S. Again, university administrators are closely monitoring the situation and providing regular updates to the university community. Please consult the University website addressing issues related to the coronavirus epidemic (https://coronavirus.rutgers.edu/) and the Rutgers Global website, which notes relevant alerts.

Please be aware that some countries are imposing travel restrictions that could impact programs that have no direct connection to locations with COVID-19 cases. Please continue to review not only flights, but also travel rules for admission or transit through a country.

If you are making travel plans abroad and have any questions about traveling, please contact an international faculty and scholar adviser by email at isss-facultyscholars@global.rutgers.edu. You may also call our office at (848) 932-7800 to talk to an international faculty and scholar adviser (IFSA).

The Department of State has issued the following guidance for J-1 Exchange Visitors who may be impacted by these recent developments. 

Exchange visitors who are currently outside of the U.S.: The Department of State recommends delaying program start dates beyond at least April 1, 2020. 

Exchange visitors who are currently inside the U.S.: Wherever needed, the Department of State recommends that exchange visitors with upcoming end dates extend their programs until at least April 1, 2020.

The Department of State has acknowledged that a significant number of exchange visitors currently in the U.S. are at the maximum duration of their current J-1 category and their programs cannot be extended.  The Department of State has suggested that USCIS may allow a change of visa status in light of this special situation.  However, USCIS has not yet provided guidance on this.

Exchange visitors who are in this situation are encouraged to contact advisers at the International Faculty and Scholar Services office by sending an inquiry to isss-facultyscholars@global.rutgers.edu. You may also contact us by phone at (848) 932-7800.

Rutgers University COVID-19 Preparations and Study Abroad, 3/2/20 +

On March 2, 2020, President Robert Barchi sent the following message:   

“In keeping with guidance by the CDC, today we made the decision to cancel Rutgers-sponsored study abroad semester programs, international spring break programs, and Rutgers faculty-sponsored study abroad programs.  We also recommend that Rutgers faculty and staff curtail Rutgers-sponsored international travel, particularly to those areas identified by the CDC as areas in which COVID-19 has been identified.  

We recommend to students in partner university or other third-party programs to consider ending participation in those programs and returning home as soon as practical.  While we are making this strong recommendation, please know that the final decision on participation in those programs is up to the affected students and their families.” 

You can find the full statement here: https://president.rutgers.edu/public-remarks/letters/update-covid-19-preparations-and-study-abroad

Please know that Rutgers University does not make the decision to recommend leaving a program location lightly.  We understand the disappointment and the challenges this situation brings. Study abroad educational experiences are life-long and life-changing. But our top priorities are to take necessary steps to ensure your personal health and safety and your academic success.  

Travel Arrangements: For those who wish for assistance to depart, we are coordinating with STA Travel to help students with booking flights to return home. You may access this option by calling the sales team directly using the following number +1-800-781-4040. Identify yourself as a Rutgers University student studying abroad and representatives at STA Travel can begin to provide assistance. 

Although Rutgers University strongly recommends that students make plans to depart, the final decision rests with students and their guardians. Those who wish to remain in-country despite this strong recommendation should contact ru_abroad@global.rutgers.edu.   

Academics: We understand that departing your country of study at this time may affect your academic plans at Rutgers. The academic options and recommendations will vary by program and student. If you have further questions related to credits, please contact Assistant Dean for Curriculum Integration Dr. Fang Du fdu@global.rutgers.edu and your Rutgers home school and department.  Please note that in order to make this transition, there may be paperwork you will be required to fill out with your host institution prior to your departure.  

Students Returning from COVID-19 Affected Areas & Self-Isolation Period: The CDC has provided guidance suggesting that persons returning from affected areas should self-isolate at home for 14 days. Once the 14-day period is complete and no symptoms are present, returning to campus is permitted. Recommendations for self-isolation are published at https://academichealth.rutgers.edu/coronavirus 

Specific health-related questions can be directed to Rutgers Student Health at 848-932-7402. 

Housing: For students continuing their studies and coming from countries that do not require self-isolation, Rutgers University may be able to assist in finding appropriate on-campus housing where possible.  Housing cannot be guaranteed. Please contact ahellauer@global.rutgers.edu for housing related questions.  

Financial Implications: Rutgers Global is working to limit unanticipated financial burdens. We are sensitive to the impact this has on students and any financial aid already offered. We will be working with the students in each program to address any financial concerns related to a potential return home. Further details will be coming in future correspondence. 

Please do not hesitate to contact the Rutgers Global – Study Abroad office by phone (848-932-7787) or email (ru_abroad@global.rutgers.edu; pwelsh@global.rutgers.edu) with any questions or concerns.

Spring Break Travel Advisory for International Students, 3/2/20 +

Rutgers University is closely monitoring the updated guidance coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) regarding COVID-19. Regarding the most recent updates by the CDC on February 29, we want to strongly discourage international students from travelling internationally for spring break. 
 
For further information, please review travel advisories available from the U.S. State Department and the CDC. For students without U.S. citizenship, please be mindful of potential government-imposed travel restrictions if you consider travel outside of the United States, as there may be restrictions on returning to the U.S. Further, the U.S. State Department has stated that U.S. citizens should not rely on government repatriation efforts if they are under potential risk of quarantine by local authorities.
 
If you have any questions about travelling during spring break, please stop by the International Student & Scholar Services office and talk to an international student adviser (ISA). Please visit our website for information on Advising Services.  
 

Rutgers University Update: Italy, 2/29/20 +

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated travel advisories for Italy elevating Italy to Level 3, Avoid Non-Essential Travel.  The U.S. Department of State has elevated all of Italy to Level 3, Reconsider Travel and parts of Italy (Lombardy and Veneto) to Level 4, Do Not Travel.

Based in part on this guidance, Rutgers University strongly recommends that all students in Italy make plans to depart Italy by Friday March 5th.

ISI Florence is suspending its semester activities effective immediately; students in the ISI Florence program should make plans to return home.

Please know that Rutgers University does not make the decision to recommend leaving a program location lightly.  We understand the disappointment and the challenges this situation brings. Study abroad educational experiences are life-long and life-changing. But our top priorities are to take necessary steps to ensure your personal health and safety and your academic success. This strong recommendation to depart Italy addresses both of these priorities.

Travel Arrangements: To assist with travel, we are coordinating with STA Travel to help students with booking flights to return home. You may access this option by calling the sales team directly using the following number +1-800-781-4040. Identify yourself as a Rutgers University student studying abroad in Italy and representatives at STA Travel can begin to provide assistance.

Although Rutgers University strongly recommends that students make plans to depart Italy, the final decision rests with students and their guardians. Those who wish to remain in-country despite this strong recommendation will be required to sign the this waiver.

In the meantime, we strongly recommend that students refrain from non-essential travel in Italy (including spring break travel) and follow CDC health recommendations for Italy - https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/coronavirus-italy

Please do not hesitate to contact the Rutgers Global – Study Abroad office by phone (848-932-7787) or email (ru_abroad@global.rutgers.edu; pwelsh@global.rutgers.edu) with any questions or concerns.

COVID-19 Update Regarding Study Abroad Programs in South Korea & Italy, 2/26/20 +

South Korea: As of February 24, the Centers for Disease Control raised its travel advisory for South Korea to a Level 3 warning. Due to concerns about the health and safety of its students, Rutgers has made the decision to suspend our spring programs in South Korea and request that all students leave South Korea. 

Italy: As of February 23, the Centers for Disease Control raised its travel advisory for Italy to a Level 2 warning. Due to our concerns about the health and safety of its students, Rutgers has made the decision to suspend our spring program in Ferrara (northern Italy).  

Regarding study abroad programs in Florence and Rome, we are closely monitoring the health situation there in collaboration with our academic partners working in Italy, iSOS (our partner medical & travel security services company), and with Rutgers administrators, including Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences leadership. 

We strongly recommend that students refrain from non-essential travel in Italy (including spring break travel), and follow the CDC health recommendations: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/coronavirus-italy

As always, Rutgers seeks to support our students in their academic experiences, while keeping student safety as a paramount concern. We realize that changing plans mid-semester will impact students’ academic programs.  The Rutgers Global – Study Abroad office will work with students directly, as well as with the students’ host universities in South Korea and Italy, and the Rutgers home departments to try to devise an academic transition plans.  

For those whose academic program is impacted such that students cannot finish some or all of their semester coursework, and thus obtain appropriate credits for work accomplished, we will arrange to refund part or all of the study abroad tuition. We are committed to helping provide academic and financial guidance regarding available options for our students during this global health crisis. 

Please reach the Rutgers Global – Study Abroad office by phone (848-932-7787) or email (ru_abroad@global.rutgers.edu; pwelsh@global.rutgers.edu) with any questions or concerns. 
 

Coronavirus Impacts Travel To/From China and Consular Processing in China, 2/7/20 +

Consular Posts in China Temporarily Closed

In light of the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the U.S. Embassy and all consulates in China have been closed in accordance with Chinese government guidance.  The Mission China website reports that the consular posts will be closed through at least February 7, 2020.  Visa processing services will likely be unavailable in China until the consular posts reopen.

Presidential Proclamation Coronavirus Travel Ban

The Administration has also issued a Presidential Proclamation suspending entry of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants who were physically present within China, excluding Hong Kong and Macau, 14 days prior to their entry or attempted entry into the United States.  

  • In general, foreign nationals (other than immediate family of U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and flight crew) who have traveled in China within 14 days of their arrival, will be denied entry into the United States. 
  • U.S. citizens who have been in Hubei province within 14 days of their return will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine. 
  • U.S. citizens who have been in other areas of mainland China within 14 days of their return will undergo proactive entry health screening and up to 14 days of self-quarantine with health monitoring.  

Inbound flights with individuals who have been in China will also be diverted to one (1) of eleven (11) airports where enhanced health protocols have been implemented.

Airlines Temporarily Cancelling Flights to China

Many U.S. airlines have announced that they have temporarily cancelled flights to China in response to the Department of State’s issuance of a Level 4: Do Not Travel Advisory.  

Guidance from Department of State for J-1 Exchange Visitors

The Department of State has issued the following guidance for J-1 Exchange Visitors who may be impacted by these recent developments. 

  1. Exchange visitors who are currently outside of the U.S. and are in China -  The Department of State recommends delaying program start dates beyond at least April 1, 2020. 
  2. Chinese Exchange visitors who are currently inside the U.S. – Wherever needed, the Department of State recommends that Chinese exchange visitors with upcoming end dates extend their programs until at least April 1, 2020.  If this is not possible, the Department of State notes that there are flights from the U.S. to China on foreign airlines and code-shares with U.S.-flagged airlines for exchange visitors who prefer to return to China.  

The Department of State has acknowledged that a significant number of exchange visitors currently in the U.S. are at the maximum duration of their current J-1 category and their programs cannot be extended.  The Department of State has suggested that USCIS may allow a change of visa status in light of this special situation.  However, USCIS has not provided guidance on this.

Exchange visitors who are in this situation are encouraged to contact advisers at the International Faculty and Scholar Services office by sending an inquiry to isss-facultyscholars@global.rutgers.edu. You may also contact us by phone at (848) 932-7800.