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For international students hoping to study in the U.S., this week brought very good news.

Two international students wearing masks stand in an airport terminal and point toward a departure gate

The Biden administration has announced the international student travel ban policy will no longer be in effect: Students from banned countries are now eligible to return to the United States effective August 1, 2021, and consular operations will resume in these countries very soon.

The International Student Travel Ban Is Lifted
Here are the official details: 
  • International students with valid F-1 and M-1 visas intending to begin or continue an academic program starting on or after August 1, 2021, do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual National Interest Exception (NIE) to travel.  They may enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before the start of their academic studies.  
  • Students seeking to apply for new F-1 or M-1 visas should check the status of visa services at the nearest embassy or consulate; those applicants who are found to be otherwise qualified for an F-1 or M-1 visa will automatically be considered for a NIE to travel.
How U.S. Universities Are Preparing for Fall 2021
U.S. universities are ready, having implemented safe and effective policies that will protect students while on campus as they return to in-class instruction. International students planning on coming to the U.S. this fall should have a high level of confidence knowing that their safety is their school’s numberone priority.
Each week, we see increased guidance from the CDC as they issue new and updated instructions helping Americans navigate staying safe and healthy. Each day, thousands of Americans are getting vaccinated — which means schools and businesses can continue to reopen, and the rhythms of daily life can soon fully resume. And international students are also eligible to get vaccinated on campus. 
Make Preparations Early
If you are planning to study in the U.S. this fall, do not delay. 
  • Embassies around the world are in the process of reopening and appointments will fill up quickly. We recommend students make appointments as soon as possible.
  • May is an ideal time for students to get their visas: Data has shown that visa success rates are higher earlier in the enrollment process.
  • Confirm your enrollment as soon as possible: Early enrollment comes with multiple benefits, including first choice of housing options.
International Students Are a Priority in Washington
Early in his administration, President Biden clearly outlined his top priorities, and many support international education:
  • Effective Covid-19 response, economic recovery, climate change, education, and immigration
  • Freeze on proposed polices that were unfavorable to international students
  • Guidance on safe travel policies
  • Possible expansion of OPT and H-1B
  • Executive Order directing federal agencies to create national school reopening guidelines
Additionally, Biden demonstrated support for international students through the appointment of key cabinet members with demonstrated histories of global cooperation, including Secretary of State, Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, among others. 
We expect to see continued support and meaningful progress as new policies and appointments are announced. 
It has been a long road, but we are proud to be in a position to welcome international students this fall. We can’t wait to host you on our campuses across the country!


Have a question? Let us know a little bit about you. Our enrollment advisors are here to answer your questions about programs, applying for a student visa and more.