Frequently Asked Questions for International Students Spring 2022

The Department of Homeland Security has  issued updated guidance for the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters, and the information on this page represents our best understanding of these requirements.  If new or different information is received, this page will be updated as soon as possible, and an email sent to students with the updated information.

Page last updated 11/19/2021 11:37 AM

Continuing students may choose to take a fully online course load, regardless of their physical location.  Please note that not all courses are available online, so you should work carefully with your advisor to understand what options you have for online study.

If you are a new student, arriving in the U.S. for the first time, you’ll be required to take at least one face-to-face or hybrid course, but the rest may be taken online.  Please note that not all courses are available online, so you should work carefully with your advisor to understand what options you have for online study.

We look forward to welcoming you to New York! When you are ready to begin study in the U.S., you must obtain an F-1/J-1 student visa prior to entry. Visas are issued by the U.S. Department of State, and unfortunately, there is never a guarantee that a visa will be issued; the decision lies entirely with federal officials.

Continuing students must continue to take classes full-time online from home in order to maintain their visa status. If you are in your final semester and you do not require a full-time course load to complete degree requirements, you can enroll part-time and maintain status.

Students who are new to St. John’s and do not already have an F-1 visa (from attending another U.S. school, for example) cannot apply for or receive an F-1 visa if they remain at home and study online during the fall semester.

YES.  All non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrants traveling to the United States by air are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, travelers must have a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of departure.  Learn more about this requirement.  

Currently accepted vaccines:

  • Janssen/J&J
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • AstraZeneca
  • Covishield
  • BIBP/Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

It is also St. John’s policy to require all students and staff to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, and to provide proof of vaccination before coming to campus.  For more information, please visit this page.

Plan your vaccination well in advance of your trip.  You are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose COVID-19 vaccine OR
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series COVID-19 vaccine

Most travelers to the U.S. need to be vaccinated, with rare exceptions. 

Currently, there is no quarantine requirement for vaccinated individuals; however, this may change.  Please continue to monitor the CDC website, this page, and your email for changes to this policy.

Unvaccinated international travelers must quarantine upon arrival to the United States.

If you are not fully vaccinated and allowed to travel to the United States by air through an exception:

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after arrival, unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
  • Stay at home or in your hotel room and self-quarantine for a full 7 days, even if you test negative, unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
  • Isolate if your test result is positive or you develop COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If you intend to stay in the United States for 60 days or longer, you must become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within 60 days of arriving in the United States or as soon as medically appropriate, unless you have a medical contraindication or are too young to be vaccinated.

Plan to arrive in the U.S. with enough time to quarantine and/or be tested for COVID if necessary.

You do not need to maintain health insurance if you are studying outside of the U.S.

To request a health insurance waiver for spring 2022 please email [email protected] . 

Continuing students who remain enrolled full-time and are in Active status in SEVIS will continue to  accumulate credit towards OPT eligibility, regardless of their physical location.

Unfortunately, F-1 regulations require you to be physically in the U.S. at the time you submit your OPT application. For more information on submitting your OPT application, please visit our page on our Optional Practical Training page.

While we have not yet received updated guidance for spring 2022, we believe students can have “on campus” employment from abroad, whether this is a continuation of a previous job or a new job. This includes graduate assistantships; however, you must speak with your academic department about your plans.

Merit-based scholarships will be honored, regardless of physical location or mode of instruction.

Ozanam and Catholic Scholars will be accommodated if they need to participate remotely and should be in touch directly with their programs about this.

In addition, athletes should be in touch directly with their coaches for specific guidance.

While we have not yet received updated guidance for spring 2022, we believe continuing students studying full-time outside the U.S. in spring 2022 will remain in Active status in SEVIS, and therefore the 5-month rule will not apply.

You need to report a change of your U.S. residential address in UIS (under the “personal information” tab) so we can update your SEVIS record as required by the Department of Homeland Security.

We encourage you to contact the International Student and Scholar Services Office (ISSSO) at [email protected] for more information or schedule an appointment for individual advising. Please note that appointments will take place online.