Travel Policy Updates

This page collects updates on U.S. Government policy changes regarding travel and visas. 

For the near future, Berkeley International Office recommends minimizing international travel due to the changing nature of the new administration's policies on visas and U.S. entry. Should you have concerns about immediate or essential international travel or visa renewal, contact BIO to consult an advisor. 

Special Airline Boarding Requirements for Flights to China

November 12, 2020

Starting on November 6, 2020, all Chinese and foreign passengers bound for China will be required to take nucleic acid and IgM anti-body tests and apply for a green health code with the "HS" mark or a certified health declaration form before boarding the flight.Please review the Notice on Airline Boarding Requirements information carefully from the Chinese Embassy in the U.S., follow any necessary instructions, and check with your airline carrier if you need to make

Presidential Proclamation: Brazil Travel Suspension

May 24, 2020

Effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on May 26, 2020, the entry into the United States of any foreign national (except immediate family members of U.S.

U.S. Travel Restrictions Announced for Canada & Mexico

March 20, 2020

A Federal Register notice announces the decision to temporarily limit the travel of individuals from Canada into the United States at land ports of entry along the United States-Canada border to “essential travel.” “Essential travel” includes “Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions; Individuals traveling to work in the

Suspension of Routine Visa Services At U.S. Embassies and Consulates

March 20, 2020

In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of State is temporarily suspending routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Embassies and consulates will cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020.

Presidential Proclamation: United Kingdom and Ireland Travel Suspension

March 14, 2020

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time, the entry into the United States of any foreign national (except immediate family members of U.S.

Presidential Proclamation: Europe Schengen Area Travel Suspension

March 12, 2020

Effective Friday, March 13 at 11:59 p.m. eastern standard time, the entry into the United States of any foreign national (except immediate family members of U.S.

Presidential Proclamation: Iran Travel Suspension

March 2, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE:  Effective Monday, March 2nd at 5 p.m. eastern standard time, the U.S. government will deny the entry into the U.S. of any foreign national (except immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents) who were physically present within the Islamic Republic of Iran within the last 14 days. This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time on March 2, 2020.

Presidential Proclamation: China Travel Suspension

January 31, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE:  Effective Sunday, February 2nd at 5 p.m. eastern standard time, the U.S. government will deny the entry into the U.S. of any foreign national (except immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents) who has traveled in China within the last 14 days (excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau).

Jan 31, 2020 Presidential Proclamation "Travel Ban" Does Not Impact Student Visa Category

January 31, 2020
On January 31, 2020 President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation entitled Proclamation on Improving Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry to take effect on February 21, 2020. This Presidential Proclamation restricts entry on immigrant visas for citizens and nationals of Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria and entry as Diversity Immigrants for citizens and nationals of Sudan and Tanzania. Note that this DOES NOT include F or J student or scholar visa categories.

4/10/2018- Chad Removed from Travel Ban List

April 16, 2018

 Presidential Proclamation on April 10, 2018 , has removed Chad from the Travel Ban list effective April 13, 2018 due to a Department of Homeland Security review which found that "that Chad has made marked improvements in its identity-management and information-sharing practices."

12/04/2017 - Travel Restrictions in Effect after Supreme Court Decision

December 4, 2017

On December 4, 2017 the Supreme Court of the United States issued  stays on 2 previous preliminary injunctions impacting the September 24, 2017  

Non-Immigrant Visa Processing Resumes in Turkey

November 8, 2017
US non-immigrant visa services have resumed at the U.S. embassy and consulates in Turkey,on a limited basis with a reduced number of available appointments
For the near future, Berkeley International Office recommends minimizing international travel due to the changing nature of the new administration's policies on visas and U.S. entry. Should you have essential travel that requires a visa application, please information available from from the U.S. Mission in Turkey:

Continuing Litigation Upholds Blocks on Enforcement of Proclamation 9645

November 3, 2017

Preliminary injunctions from U.S. District Courts in Hawaii and Maryland continue to block enforcement of travel bans for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia, but leaves in place the Proclamation's bars on Venezuela and North Korea.  The U.S. government is expected to continue appeals. See NAFSA's Entry Ban Litigation Updates for more information.

10/9/2017 - Suspension of U.S. Non-Immigrant Visa Services in Turkey

October 9, 2017

This is to alert you of the suspension of visa services at the U.S. embassy and consulates in Turkey. Until further notice, it is not possible to apply for a non-immigrant visa in Turkey. 

Sept 24, 2017 - Proclamation: Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats

September 26, 2017
On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation entitled Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats (click here for BIO's detailed summary) . This Proclamation partially or fully restricts entry into the United States for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia. The proclamation contains specific provisions for each impacted country, as summarized below. The new restrictions established by the proclamation take effect October 18, 2017.

8/21/17 DOS Suspends Nonimmigrant Visa Operations in Russia

August 21, 2017

The U.S. diplomatic mission to Russia announced on August 21, 2017, that "Due to the Russian government-imposed cap on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia, all nonimmigrant visa operations across Russia will be suspended on August 23. Operations will resume in Moscow on September 1; visa operations at the U.S. consulates will remain suspended indefinitely.

6/28/17 - Department of State Clarifies Exemptions, DHS & CBP Issue FAQs for Travelers

June 29, 2017

June 28 U.S. Department of State cable provides guidance for consular officers regarding implementation of Executive Order 13780 (E.O.) in visa issuance and exemptions from the suspension of entry. Notably, the cable seems to indicate that F-1, J-1, H1-B, TN, O-1, and Permanent Residents would appear to be exempt from the travel ban.

6/26/17 - Supreme Court Decision on Executive Order 13780 “Travel Ban.”

June 26, 2017
On June 26, 2017 The Supreme Court of the United States granted the U.S. government’s request for a stay of the previous lower court preliminary injunctions to the Executive Order 13780 “Travel Ban.” The Supreme Court will hear the final case in October 2017. The current Supreme Court decision upholds the travel ban for nationals or citizens of the 6 designated countries of Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen- but creates an important exception for “foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” which appears to include UC Berkeley students, scholars, and employees.

3/06/17 - Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States

March 6, 2017

On March 6, 2017 President Trump issued an Executive Order entitled Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States  scheduled to take effect on March 16, 2017. This Executive Order replaces and revokes the prior Executive Order 13769 which had been issued on January 27, 2017.

Travel Policy Updates

This page collects updates on U.S. Government policy changes regarding travel and visas. 

For the near future, Berkeley International Office recommends minimizing international travel due to the changing nature of the new administration's policies on visas and U.S. entry. Should you have concerns about immediate or essential international travel or visa renewal, contact BIO to consult an advisor. 

3/17/17 - Increased Screening of Visa Applicants

March 17, 2017
On March 17, 2017, the U.S. Dept. of State issued cables to all diplomatic and consular posts providing instructions for increased scrutiny for visa applicants. Individuals subject to these security clearances can expect extremely long visa processing times ranging from 2-6 months or more.