The COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly transformed operations across IU, and has had particularly significant consequences for the international mobility of students, faculty, and staff.
COVID-19 and Global Mobility
These are challenging times for international affairs, but it has never been more important to stay globally engaged. As the outbreak has spread to every continent, we realize now more than ever how truly connected we are as global citizens.
While global mobility is put on pause, we strive to be responsive and continue meeting immediate needs and concerns across all areas of OVPIA. The information below addresses questions you may have regarding changes to university policy and practice as a result of COVID-19 response.
See Vice President Hannah Buxbaum's messages of support to all Hoosiers around the globe.
Travel policy updates
- The U.S. State Department’s global Level 4 health advisory, advising U.S. citizens to avoid international travel, remains in place. All international travel remains suspended, with the exception of travel for humanitarian purposes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This suspension of international travel will be reassessed at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester or when the State Department’s advisory is lifted, whichever occurs earlier.
- Through a series of presidential proclamations, the U.S. Government has suspended entry into the United States by foreign nationals who have been in certain countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival. U.S. citizens and permanent residents who travel into the United States after visiting those countries must arrive via selected airports that have the capacity to conduct additional health screening.
- The Council of the European Union has decided that Member States should gradually lift the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU as from 1 July 2020 in a coordinated manner for a list of specific countries that will be reviewed and updated every two weeks. Currently, residents of the United States are not allowed to enter the European Union unless they qualify for an exception.
The CDC has issued guidance for travelers returning from foreign destinations. As long as that guidance is in effect, any traveler, including students, faculty members, staff members, and visitors, arriving to Indiana University from a foreign location must spend 14 days at home monitoring their health and practicing physical distancing according to the following guidelines. This period may be spent at the traveler’s residence, including on- or off-campus housing.
- Remain out of public places.
- Do not attend in-person classes or engage in in-person work, research, or other activities on campus.
- Limit your interaction with others as much as possible and keep your distance from others (6 feet or 2 meters).
- Do not use public transportation, taxis, or ride sharing services (e.g., Lyft, Uber).
- You may go to grocery stores, dining halls, and pharmacies to obtain food (pick-up only) and other essential items, as long as you do not have symptoms. Please limit your time at these locations.
- Follow IU guidance on using cloth face coverings.
A statement issued by President Michael A. McRobbie announced the completion of a set of recommendations about the medical and public health measures that would permit IU to begin a phased reopening of research and teaching operations. Plans for the fall 2020 semester are now being developed in light of those recommendations.
We are continuing to process admissions for the Fall 2020 semester. Our websites will be updated as soon as more specific information is available about classes, residence and dining halls, hosting international visitors, etc.
Our offices continue to assist international students in maintaining their student visa status and to provide support services virtually. You can refer students to a collection of wellness and virtual activities and ways to maintain emotional wellness through COVID-19.
Most residence halls and other IU-controlled housing are currently closed, but international students who have no other place to go were offered the opportunity to remain.
Inbound undergraduate and graduate student exchanges are cancelled for the fall 2020 semester. Requests for specific exceptions, in light of unique circumstances related to the particular program or a particular individual, will be considered by a review committee. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any such requests.
Based on advisories issued by the CDC and the State Department relating to the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak, IU has suspended undergraduate study abroad programs for the fall 2020 semester. This suspension encompasses all IU and non-IU undergraduate programs. We will announce decisions regarding spring semester programs abroad by October 1.
As part of IU’s research restart, the J-1 visiting scholar program will resume for scholars with arrival dates scheduled for August 1, 2020 and after. Exception requests for scholars seeking earlier arrival, with the support of the host unit’s dean, will be considered. Please contact OIS (Bloomington and regional campuses) or OIA (IUPUI) with any such requests.
As long as the CDC’s current guidance is in effect, any visiting scholars arriving from international locations must stay home for 14 days pursuant to the self-quarantine guidelines described above. Host units must acknowledge those guidelines and obtain a written acknowledgment from the visitor of the same.
On June 22, the U.S. president signed a proclamation suspending the issuance of H-1B visas through December 31, 2020. The proclamation does not directly impact current H-1B status holders, those applying to extend their H-1B status while remaining in the U.S., or those applying to change to H-1B status while in the U.S. Learn more about how this order will apply to your specific situation.
The Fulbright organization has announced the suspension of the U.S. Fulbright program worldwide. Many Fulbright scholars currently in the United States are continuing on with their programs where possible. U.S. scholars abroad are being encouraged to return to the United States, and the organization intends to increase travel allowances to cover extraordinary costs where necessary.
Global Gateway Network
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in other countries, our Global Gateway offices in Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, New Delhi, and Mexico City are unable to host events for the time being. The gateway directors are working from home and continue to support international student services teams in their efforts to provide students and their parents with timely information, advice, and reassurance.
Gateway staff are also ready to provide faculty and staff any assistance required to help with rescheduling events, visits, communicating with partners, etc.
Like IU, our partner universities around the world are suspending instruction, canceling events, prohibiting international travel, and otherwise taking necessary action to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, there is little inbound and outbound mobility of students, faculty, and staff at the moment. However, we continue to work with our partners remotely and are planning to reschedule visits of delegations and workshops. We are working actively with partners on a variety of collaborative activities for the coming year.
Internationalization at home
Updated June 5, 2020