Scholars & Employees


COVID Travel Guidelines

Quarantine Requirement

International Scholars who will be arriving at the University of South Florida for the Fall semester from a country outside of the United States and who are unvaccinated will be required to quarantine for 7 days and test for COVID-19 on day 6 after arrival.

If a scholar does not get tested, they will need to isolate for a full 10 days.

If a scholar is fully vaccinated they do not have to quarantine but they will need to get tested on day 6 after arrival.

You are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after the second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the FDA authorized Pfizer BioNtech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines; or the WHO authorized EU sites - Astra Zeneca (AZD1222), SK Bio - Astra Zeneca (AZD1222), Serum Institute India - COVISHIELD, BIBP - Sinopharm, and Sinovac - CoronaVac vaccines.
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the FDA and WHO authorized Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
    If a student arrives in the US and is having symptoms of COVID-19 they should continue quarantining and contact Student Health Services for a telehealth appointment to be evaluated.

To schedule an appointment for telehealth, please call 813-445-4976 or 813-974-2331. You can also request an appointment for telehealth by clicking here.

Compliance Concerns

If an international scholar needs to attend to immunization or insurance compliance issues, they should contact the compliance office prior to their US arrival date to inform of their arrival date in the US. The compliance office will provide a temporary waiver if there are pending compliance issues until quarantine is completed.

To contact the Compliance office please call or email at the following:



Testing Requirement

In order to schedule an on campus Covid 19 test at the Student Health Services Annex to complete quarantining, a scholar should schedule in advance the test on or after DAY 6 of quarantining.

To schedule an appointment for testing please call 813-445-4976 or 813-974-2331. You can also request an appointment for testing by clicking here.

COVID 19 Vaccine (recommended/optional)

International Scholars who would like to receive the COVID 19 vaccine (Pfizer vaccine (2 doses) or Janssen vaccine (1 dose) can contact Student Health Services after July 1, 2021 to schedule an appointment for a date after the scholar’s quarantine period has been completed. Vaccinations will be available on campus at the Argos Study Lounge on the second floor of the RAR building.

Please contact SHS by calling 813-445-4976 or 813-974-2331. You can also request an appointment for the Covid 19 vaccination by clicking here.

International Travel Guidelines Chart

National Interest Exceptions (NIE)

Please read more about the Presidential Proclamation regarding this here.

For scholars the NIE process is not automatic and must be requested through the local Embassy or Consulate.

J scholars may travel outside the US for periods not to extend 30 days. The scholar and dependents will need the following for re-entry into the US:

  • A valid passport (if subject to passport requirement)
  • A valid J-1 visa (if subject to visa requirement)
  • A travel signature from International Services.
  • Proof of financial support as indicated on the DS-2019
  • Dependents: Dependent J-2 spouse and children must have their own DS-2019 and follow the same procedure as the exchange visitor for re-entry.

Travel Signatures

J scholars may request a travel signature for travel of less than 30 days by submitting the Travel Signature Request E-Form. Documents will be signed within 5 days. Scholars with urgent travel may obtain a travel signature during Walk In Hours.

Travel Outside the US for 30 Days or More

Travel outside the US for 30 days or more that is unrelated to the exchange program activity will result in termination of immigration status.

J scholars in the Research Scholar or Professor category who will be participating in their exchange program during an absence outside the US of 30 days or more must request “Out-of-Country” approval prior to leaving the US. To request “Out-of-Country” Approval, the scholar must submit the Travel Signature Request E-Form in iStart and include the following:

  • Expected date of departure from US
  • Expected date of return to US
  • Name of foreign institution in which the scholar will continue to pursue the program activity while outside the US.
  • Foreign institution full address
  • An explanation of how the scholar will be an active participant in USF’s J Exchange Visitor Program and will be pursuing the original program objective/activity outside the US.

After the Travel Signature Request E-Form is submitted the scholar's department will be asked to confirm that the scholar will be an active participant in USF’s J Exchange Visitor Program.

If the “Out-of-Country” is approved, International Services will create a SEVIS “Out-of-Country” and sign the DS-2019 for travel. Upon return to the US, the scholar should report to International Services.

Non-USF Sponsored Exchange Visitors

J scholars and visitors with a non-USF DS-2010 should contact their sponsoring agency for travel signatures on the DS-2019.

Obtaining a New J-1 Visa

New visa stamps are issued at a US Embassy or Consulate outside the US. J scholars will need a valid passport, signed DS-2019, evidence of financial support, and a letter from their department detailing their research for the visa application. Scholars should contact the US Embassy or Consulate directly for additional requirements since the procedures and protocols may vary from Consulate to Consulate. Visit the US Embassy's website for a current list of all US Embassies and Consulates.

Automatic Revalidation

Some exchange visitors travelling to Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean countries excluding Cuba for fewer than 30 days may be eligible for automatic revalidation of their expired J-1 visas.

For information see here.