Vaccine and Testing Information

Effective June 12, 2022, the U.S. Government is no longer requiring international air passengers to show proof of COVID Testing. Vaccination Requirements are still in effect. See Non-U.S. Citizen, Non-U.S. Immigrants: Travel to and from the United States for official information. For vaccination requirements, also check with your airline before boarding your flight for requirements and procedures. Keep in mind that rules are subject to change. Check the link above frequently for updates.

For George Mason immunization requirements, see https://shs.gmu.edu/immunizations/covidvaccinerequirement/ and send any questions to immunize@gmu.edu.

 

Vaccination Requirements for F-1 and J-1 Visa Holders and other Non-Citizen, Non-Immigrant Travelers to the U.S

Under Presidential Proclamation 10294 , effective November 8, 12:01 A.M., departure flight time,  non-citizen, non-immigrant travelers to the United States are required to prove that they are fully vaccinated before boarding their flight. This includes F-1 students, J-1 students and scholars, and F-2 and J-2 dependents over the age of 18.

OIPS is providing a summary, including FAQs, of requirements covered under the proclamation. However, for official information on vaccination, testing, quarantine requirements, and exceptions, students should visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at Non-U.S. citizen, Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States. Students should also contact their airline for specific requirements and procedures that must be followed before they are allowed to board their flight.

Key Points

  • F-1 and J-1 visa holders, their adult dependents, and other non-citizens/non-immigrants are required to show proof of full vaccination, effective November 9, 12:01 A.M.
  • All travelers to the U.S. over the age of 2 are still required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result.
  • Visa applicants are not required to show proof of vaccination for visa appointments, but they should expect a delay in visa processing.
  • The proclamation replaces the country specific travel bans and, most likely, the national interest exceptions that are in effect until November 8, 2021. Individuals who are eligible for National Interest Exceptions should follow the proclamation’s new vaccine and testing requirements if their flight departs on or after 12:01 a.m. on November 8, 2021. Currently, a list of national interest exceptions under the new proclamation is not available.
  • There are exceptions to the new vaccine requirement. See the links and the FAQs below.

 

FAQs on the New Vaccine Requirements

REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO MUST FOLLOW NEW VACCINE REQUIREMENTS BEFORE FLIGHT DEPARTURE

 

Who needs to show proof of full vaccination?

Non-citizen, non-immigrant travelers to the U.S., including F-1 students, J-1 students and scholars, and their adult dependents over the age of 18, are required to prove that they are fully vaccinated before boarding their flight unless they meet one of the exceptions listed by the CDC.

What is the definition of “fully vaccinated?”

Generally, you are vaccinated if two weeks have passed since your vaccination. See the Are you fully vaccinated for air travel to the U.S? section at Non-U.S. citizen, Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States for more information.

When do you need to show proof of full vaccination?

The new vaccine requirements go into effect November 8, 12:01 a.m., departure flight time. If your flight departs on or after 12:01 a.m. on November 8, you are required to show proof of full vaccination before boarding your flight. Check with your airline for specific requirements and procedures, including how to determine departure flight time for connecting flights.

What vaccinations are accepted?

The CDC has confirmed that only vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization will be accepted. See the CDC list of Accepted COVID-19 Vaccines.

What documents can I use to show that I am vaccinated?

See the CDC Acceptable Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination information and check with your airline on specific submission requirements.

Will the vaccination requirements affect my ability to get a visa?

You are not required to show proof of vaccination to get a visa. However, you should expect delays in visa processing since there will be more opportunities for travel into the U.S. Check with the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest to you to find out more about requirements and processing times. Keep in mind that you should plan to arrive by the start of the semester.

The Department of State recently expanded visa interview waivers for certain F and J visa holders, however the policies vary by consular posts. Check with the nearest consulate to see if you are eligible.

What are the COVID-19 testing requirements for individuals who can show proof of full vaccination?

The CDC has updated requirements for COVID testing. The new requirements state, "If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight."

How do the new vaccine requirements affect the travel bans under previous presidential proclamations?

Presidential Proclamation 10294 replaces the country specific bans under previous presidential proclamations. On November 8, 2021, there will no longer be bans for individuals traveling from specific countries. Instead, all non-immigrant, non-U.S. citizens are required to show proof of full vaccination before boarding a flight unless they qualify for an exception.

Am I eligible for a National Interest Exception to enter the U.S?

Since the proclamation replaces the country specific travel ban, most likely, it also replaces the national interest exceptions that are connected to those bans. The country specific bans and National Interest Exceptions (NIE) are in effect until November 8, 2021, 12:00 a.m. Students who are eligible for an NIE under previous proclamations should follow Presidential Proclamation 10294  vaccine and testing requirements if their flight departs on or after 12:01 a.m. on November 8, 2021. Currently, a list of national interest exceptions under the new proclamation is not available.

Are there different requirements for entry through land borders, such as Canada and Mexico?

The new vaccine requirements under the new proclamation apply only to air travel. A separate Canada and Mexico land border travel policy should be released in the near future.

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO DO NOT HAVE TO MEET VACCINE REQUIRMEENTS BEFORE FLIGHT DEPARTURE

There are exceptions to the requirements to show proof of full vaccination for certain individuals. If you answer YES to the questions below, you are eligible for an exception. However, you must follow additional requirements regarding testing and documentation. You should see your additional requirements based on your visa type and/or situation at the CDC Technical Instructions for Implementing Presidential Proclamation. See this specific section: CDC Procedures for Confirming Documentation of Excepted Covered Individuals Who Do Not Present Proof of Being Fully Vaccinated. You can find the same information at the CDC FAQ section on exceptions.

The list below does not cover all exceptions. See the CDC list of exceptions for a full list.

Am I eligible for an exception from the requirement to show proof of full vaccination based on one of the following categories?

  • U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or Permanent resident………………………….......................................................Yes, you are eligible
  • Diplomatic (A-1/A-2) visa holder……………………………………………………................................................Yes, you are eligible
  • Under the age of 18………………………………………………………...............................................................Yes, you are eligible
  • Cannot be vaccinated for certain medical reasons……………………………....................................................Yes, you are eligible
  • From a country where the vaccine is not widely
    available and NOT a B1/B2 visa holder. See the CDC list of
    Citizens of Countries with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability with Non B-1 or B-2 Visa ….........................Yes, you are eligible
  • Not vaccinated for moral or religious reasons…………………………………....................................................No, you are not eligible

If I am eligible for an exception, what are my COVID-19 testing requirements?

All air passengers 2 years or older, including U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and permanent residents are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 result.

US. Citizen, U.S. National, Permanent Residents 2 years or older

The CDC has updated requirements for COVID testing. The new requirements state, "If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight."

F-1/F-2 and J-1/J-2 Visa Holders and other Non-Immigrant Visa Holders who are eligible for an Exception and are 2 years or older

  • You are required to show proof of a negative COVID test no earlier than one day before your flight departure
  • You are also required to get tested 3-5 days AFTER your arrival.

For questions about how to determine testing requirements based on connecting flights, how to show proof of recovery from COVID-19 instead of showing a negative COVID-19 test result, and other testing questions, see CDC requirements at the Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19

What are my quarantine requirements after I enter the U.S?

Stay at home and self-quarantine for seven days, even if you test negative after arrival in the U.S. However, if you have documentation showing you have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days, you are not required to quarantine. If you test positive or develop COVID-19 symptoms, isolate yourself from others. See the CDC Non-U.S. citizen, Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the U.S. information, After Arrival in the U.S. section

If I am qualified for an exception, do I need to get vaccinated after I enter the U.S?

Yes, if you stay in the U.S. for 60 days or longer, you must become fully vaccinated no later than 60 days after your arrival. However, you are not required to be vaccinated if you are too young or you cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons.

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List of Resources mentioned on this page and other resources:

Presidential Proclamation 10294 – U.S. Government Air Travel Policy, effective November 8, 2021, requiring proof of full vaccination for travelers to the U.S.

CDC Non-U.S. citizen, Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States – Requirements for F-1/J-1 Holders and dependents and other non-immigration visa holders, covering before travel, during travel, and after travel requirements

CDC list of Accepted COVID-19 Vaccines

CDC Acceptable Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination

CDC Technical Instructions for Implementing Presidential Proclamation and CDC FAQ section on exceptions – list of individuals who are eligible for an exception to the requirement to show full vaccination and documentation required based on their situation

CDC list of Citizens of Countries with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability with Non B-1 or B-2 Visa – list of citizens from countries where COVID-19 vaccines are difficult to find who have an exception to the requirement to show full vaccination. B-1/B-2 visitor visa holders who are citizens of these countries are NOT eligible for an exception.

CDC COVID-19 testing requirements for U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and permanent residents who are boarding a flight to the U.S.

CDC Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19 – COVID-19 testing requirements or, alternatively, proof of recovery from COVID-19 documentation requirements

The Department of State’s January 26, 2021 announcement – statement requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test for all air travelers to the U.S., age 2 and over

Department of State visa interview waivers for certain F and J visa holders – announcement regarding eligibility for interview waivers for F, M, and academic J visa holders, dependent on policies of specific consular posts

Department of State: Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 Vaccinations and Testing for International Travel

Student Health Services has created detailed FAQs to help you understand vaccination and quarantine requirements.

See https://shs.gmu.edu/immunizations/covidvaccinerequirement/ for answers to the following questions:

  • What are George Mason University’s vaccination requirements?
  • How can I get an exception?
  • How do I submit proof of COVID vaccination?
  • How do I schedule an appointment to receive a vaccine?
  • How do I request an extension to the August 1 deadline to provide proof of COVID vaccination?

See https://shs.gmu.edu/immunizations/covidvaccinerequirement/#internationalvaccinefaq for answers to the following questions that international students might have:

  • Do I need to quarantine?
  • Do I have to wear a mask?
  • What other actions can I take to protect myself and others?
  • Can I come to campus?

Campus Resources

See George Mason University’s FAQs for a Safe Return to read more about the university’s plan to re-open campus safely.

If you have additional questions, please contact one of the email addresses provided below:

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