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Spring Break Travel 2020

Dear Students,

As we approach the start of Spring Break, we advise all international students in F-1 or J-1 visa status planning to travel outside of the United States (US) to have everything required to re-enter the US and consider the unknowns related to international travel at this time. In order to re-enter the US, you will need:

  • An unexpired I-20/DS-2019 with a travel signature dated within the past one year;
  • An unexpired passport valid at least six months into the future; and
  • An unexpired F-1 or J-1 entry visa (unless traveling to Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands).

Re-entry to the US is never guaranteed, but having these core documents will ensure you meet all minimum requirements for US Customs and Border Protection inspection when you arrive at a US port-of-entry (i.e., airport).

There are many unknowns related to international travel due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please note the following:

  • If the country to or through which you will be traveling is at a “Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel - Widespread Community Transmission” by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you would not be allowed to return to the Virginia Tech campus, pursuant to University Policy 1070: Global Travel Policy, until you can demonstrate that you have been asymptomatic for a period of 14 days from the date of entering/re-entering the United States. Travelers should self-quarantine and follow CDC and local health authority guidelines. Travelers with additional questions or concerns related to self-quarantining or COVID-19 should contact Schiffert Health Center at health@vt.edu or +1.540.231.6444.
  • Warning Level 3 countries currently include China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea; this could change at any time and could impact your ability to return to campus to complete the Spring semester.
  • There are currently US government travel restrictions in place for travel from/through China and Iran, as well as other restrictions imposed by other countries to which you may be traveling. These restrictions are also subject to change at any time, including while you are abroad. If the US government imposed travel restrictions from the country you plan to visit while you are abroad, that could prevent you from returning to the US and/or to campus.
  • There is no way to predict the likelihood of changes in CDC warning levels or governmental travel restrictions, so your decision to travel must be based on your own risk tolerance.

We encourage you to review the information at Virginia Tech's COVID-19 website, which includes the following regarding spring break travel (and much more):

Spring Break Travel

Virginia Tech strongly recommends that travelers do not embark on personal travel to (or through) CDC Warning Level 3 travel notice areas. All travelers should think carefully about any planned personal and business travel, especially in domestic and international areas where COVID-19 has been confirmed. Official information is updated regularly by the CDC and may change up to and during travel.

Decisions to travel need to be carefully considered as the self-isolation 14-day period will be required before returning to campus locations should the CDC Travel Warning Level change.

Spring break travelers are encouraged to:

  • Minimize time in densely crowded spaces.
  • Check the local news of your destination before departing.
  • Have multiple means of communication available when traveling (cell phone, email, etc.).
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat regular meals.
  • The Virginia Tech Police Department also shares these important spring break safety tips.

We trust this information is helpful, and encourage you to come to Cranwell International Center (international undergraduate students) or the Graduate School (international graduate students) to discuss any questions or concerns prior to departing the US.

Cranwell International Center | international@vt.edu | +1.540.231.6527

Graduate School (Graduate Student Immigration Services) | igss@vt.edu | +1.540.231.8486