NAFSA has assembled these resource links to help you navigate issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The following executive declarations and determinations are currently active:
- One-Year Presidential Declaration of National Emergency: Effective until March 1, 2023
- 90-Day HHS Secretary Determination of Public Health Emergency: Effective until April 11, 2023
On January 30, 2023, news outlets reported that the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in a statement that the Administration's plan is to extend both declarations again, but only until May 11, 2023, at which point both declarations would be terminated. See NAFSA's page COVID-19 Executive Declarations and Determinations for details on these determinations.
ICE and SEVP
Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) COVID-19 guidance and FAQs for F-1 and M-1 schools.
Department of State COVID-19 guidance and FAQs for J-1 Exchange Visitor Program sponsors and participants.
Latest COVID-19-Related Updates
Looking for non-COVID-19-related immigration news? Go to the Adviser's Manual 360 Home Page.
USCIS Extends COVID-19 RFE Response Flexibility until March 23, 2023. On January 24, 2023, USCIS extended until March 23, 2023 the COVID-19 flexibilities it established for responses to Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and other similar response-based notices and requests, and filing date requirements for filing Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.
CDC Requires COVID Test for Passengers on Flights Originating in PRC. Under a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) order effective January 5, 2023, passengers on flights originating in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) must take an acceptable COVID test no more than 2 days before their departure to the United States, and present a negative test result to the airline upon departure.
COVID Levels Impact Visa Appointments in China. In a December 15, 2022 alert message, U.S. Mission China Consular Services announced: "All routine Visa Services, with the exception of some previously scheduled for Consulate General Shanghai - are temporarily suspended; all regularly scheduled appointments at Embassy Beijing and the other Consulates General have been canceled." A December 27, 2022 update, though, announced: "Consular Sections at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and Consulates Guangzhou and Shenyang will resume routine consular services on January 3. Consulate General Wuhan has resumed providing limited U.S. citizen services. Shanghai will continue operating in emergency operations status until further notice. Please note that the number of appointments available for routine services will be based on staffing."
DOS Extends Visa Interview Waiver Policy For Certain Nonimmigrants Until December 31, 2023. In a December 23, 2022 announcement, the Department of State (DOS) extended until December 31, 2023 the discretionary authority given to consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for certain "F, M, and Academic J Visa Holders" and "Petition-Based H, L, O, P, and Q Visa Holders."
DOS Update on Worldwide Visa Operations. On October 21, 2022, DOS reported that "Worldwide Visa Operations Are Recovering Faster than Expected from the COVID-19 Pandemic," and said, "Ninety-six percent of our embassies and consulates are again interviewing visa applicants, and we are processing nonimmigrant visa applications at 94 percent of pre-pandemic monthly averages and immigrant visa applications at 130 percent."
DHS Extends Form I-9 Flexibilities until July 31, 2023. On October 11, 2022, DHS extended its COVID-19 Form I-9 flexibilities until July 31, 2023, due to "continued safety precautions related to COVID-19." Starting May 1, 2022, however, employers must only accept unexpired List B documents.