International Student and Scholar Updates

Updated: 11/18/2021


On October 25, 2021, President Biden released a Presidential Proclamation stating that any student on an F/J visa must meet the CDC’s requirements for travel, including proof of COVID-19 vaccination and a negative test. Learn more about these requirements. There are limited exceptions to these requirements if you are eligible.

New or newly returning students who have an initial I-20 or a new DS-2019, remember the following requirements:

  • Enroll in at least one (1) in-person course, where the primary portion of the class is in-person. An in-person lab or in-person discussion will not satisfy this requirement and is firmly enforced.
  • Carry the most recent I-20/DS2019 that ISSS has issued. A travel signature is not necessary.

Continuing Students who have been in active SEVIS status over the fall term or longer, remember the following:

  • Enrollment does not need to include an in-person course for winter quarter.
  • You will need a valid travel signature on your I-20/DS2019.

Students traveling away from campus during the remote instruction period

The situation is changing daily and we encourage everyone to monitor the travel options to and from their home country. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. The Department of State provides updates on travel safety and restrictions.


ISSS continues to offer advising services remotely advising model. Please view the advising webpage for updated information.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information 

UC Santa Cruz requires all students who live on campus or come to campus for any reason to be vaccinated unless they have a reason that qualifies for an exemption. For additional information, to learn about which vaccinations qualify, and about where and how to get your vaccine once you arrive in the US, please consult Student Health Center website and Health e-Messenger

Unvaccinated students may be subject to COVID tests and will be required to wear a mask when present on campus.


New Students

We appreciate that you have chosen UC Santa Cruz and we recognize the potential difficulties you may face in arriving here given the current world events and the COVID-19. 

Students who enter the U.S. for winter 2021 in SEVIS Initial status will be required to enroll in at least one in-person course. 

Continuing Students

US Universities will continue to follow the March 9, 2020 guidance and March 13, 2020 guidance offered by SEVP, which allows continuing students who are presently in the U.S. to continue their studies, even if they will pursue a remote course of study.

Continuing students who are outside the U.S. may keep their SEVIS records active so long as they are otherwise maintaining the conditions of F-1 status.

Resumption of In-person Instruction

We recognize the difficulty in following a course remotely from another time zone. Some of the accommodations that may be available to make this easier include: alternative meeting times, class recordings, or duplicate engagement activities. Students should consult their individual course instructors to find out what alternatives will be made available. We expect that Spring and Summer quarter course offerings will be hybrid.

For additional information and resources related to remote learning, please visit the UC Santa Cruz Keep Learning page.

Visas and Consulates

We recognize that you have a lot of unanswered questions surrounding your visa and your travel to the US. and we are doing our best to support you during this time of uncertainty.

Consulates are open but subject to extended delays.  Please continue to search the  Department of State’s Visa Appointment Wait Time to see if your local consulate is now offering visa appointments. You must have a valid I-20 in order to apply for a visa appointment.

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