Covid-19 Information for New and Current Students

As UMSL prepares to welcome back students for the Fall 2021 with support services and events held in person, it may be helpful to review the Covid-19 policies relevant to new international students.

Start Safe, Stay Safe

For the latest information on UMSL Covid-19 policy including safety expectations, daily health screening, face covering and social distancing, hygiene expectations and much more, visit the Start Safe. Stay Safe portal.

National Interest Exceptions for F-1 and J-1 international students

On June 29, 2021, the Department of State extended the Department of State extended the validity of National Interest Exceptions (NIE) for travelers subject to restrictions under Presidential Proclamation. According to the latest State Department guidance, international students departing from Brazil, China, India, Iran, South Africa, the Schengen area, the United Kingdom and Ireland are currently eligible to fly directly to the United States without quarantining in a third country.

International travel and arrival guidance

Certain international travelers are prohibited from entry to the United States. However, international students in F-1 or J-1 students are exempt from this restriction under the National Interest Exceptions.

International students should follow all CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you plan to enter the United States, you are required to have a negative Covid-19 test completed in 1-3 days before you arrive. For the latest information, please consult the guidance on International Travel During Covid-19 as published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Quarantine Requirements

UMSL currently not expect international students to quarantine after arrival. You are expected to following the UMSL safety expectations which includes monitoring your daily health and wearing face coverings if you are not fully vaccinated with a WHO approved vaccination. You may be expected to wear a face covering or mask while on-campus even if you have been fully vaccinated, depending on the circumstances. For example, masks will be required to wear masks during orientation.

SEVP guidance for new and continuing students

On April 26, SEVP announced that the guidance from March 2020 will remain in effect for both the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semester. The guidance relaxes the online course limitation, allowing international students to enroll in online courses as listed below:

-If you were in F-1 or J-1 status during the Spring 2020 semester, you are eligible to take 100% of your coursework online for both the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semester. 

-If you first arrived as an F-1 or J-1 student during the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semester, you will need to have at least one course that requires students to meet on-campus, commonly known as a blended or hybrid course.

If you plan to remain outside the U.S. and enroll in online courses, you must email Lenka Garimella at to confirm your plans so we can update your SEVIS record accordingly.