image of travel planning with a map, camera
Welcome back!  Please take a look at the important announcements related to international travel and immigration below.
  • Presidential Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry into the United States
  • COVID Test Required for All Travelers into the United States
  • Reminder: Online Course Allowance for International Students
  • Status of Study Abroad Programs
Good luck this semester!  

Blair McElroy
Senior International Officer & Director of Study Abroad
white house

New Presidential Proclamations Expected

We expect changes to many immigration regulations over the next few weeks and will update the UM community when relevant.  The Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry into the United States was a welcome change effective January 20, 2021.
This Proclamation rescinds several executive orders and proclamations from the past four years that, together, constituted what was commonly referred to as the "Muslim ban."  The travel ban was country-specific, but generally it prevented entry into the United States by individuals of certain nations without a bona fide relationship with the US (such as entering as an F-1 student or J-1 scholar), and in some cases it banned all citizens of specific countries regardless of intent.  This sadly did not prevent individuals from these countries with valid visas from being subject to increased scrutiny at ports of entry.  Many of these countries are Muslim-majority or African nations.
How does this affect the UM community?
Citizens from those previously-banned countries will now be able to apply for visas to enter the US beyond only as students or scholars.  For example, our international students and scholars from the countries previously subject to the travel ban will now be able to invite their families to share in their achievements and joyous events in the United States, such as commencement.  Another example includes speakers from those countries who can now apply for and enter on a tourist visa to speak on campus. 
For further reading, NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, maintains a comprehensive review of the travel ban.
bernie at the airport

COVID Test Required for All Travelers Entering the United States

Effective January 26, 2021, air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection such as a PCR test) within the 3 days before their flight to the United States departs and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19.  Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board.  If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.

The CDC recommends that travelers be tested again within 3 – 5 days of arrival in the United States, and stay home for 7 days after arrival.
This requirement is for every traveler over 2 years of age entering the United States, regardless of citizenship.  
For further reading: CDC Order - PDF
Note that this order and requirement does not override the Presidential Proclamation prohibiting entry for certain foreign nationals who have been in any of a list of countries 14 days prior to entry into the United States.  This proclamation is still in effect.  
masked students in classroom

Spring 2021 Online Course Allowance and Registration

Now that spring semester is upon us, here is a reminder about the course load requirements for international students.  
International Students Enrolled in Classes during Spring 2020 and Before: 
International students who have been at the University of Mississippi or have been taking classes within the United States since Spring 2020 are allowed to continue to take classes fully online if needed.  Students should still opt for in-person or hybrid sections if available, but it is acceptable for students to exceed the 3 hours of remote/online/web sections for the spring semester, up to a full online course load. 

International Students who started at UM in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021:
Generally, international students who entered the United States to start a new degree program at UM in Fall 2020 or will be a new student entering the United States and starting a new degree program in Spring 2021 must enroll in at least one 3-hour in-person or hybrid course for Spring 2021.  These students are allowed to take online courses but cannot be enrolled in a full online course load.  There are nuances to this rule, so please contact with specific immigration questions.  For graduate students, dissertation hours count as in-person hours.

Status of Study Abroad

Even with the many moving parts to international travel at this time, the Study Abroad Office is recruiting for summer 2021 programs.  

We will continue to update the "Study Abroad Planning by Country" spreadsheet which gives information on entry requirements and location possibilities.  Final decisions about summer program viability will be communicated to applicants by late March 2021.

  • With the temperature being cooler, you may be looking for some comfort food.  Try out some of these New York Times Cooking recipes from around the world (looking at you, Arroz Caldo).
  • We look forward to when the Nepalese Students' Association can once again hold Nepal Night, but in the meantime, we'll put Nepal on our travel bucket list.  Amazing!
visit nepal video
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