12.3.21: OISS Advisory: Winter Break travel

A message sent to international students.

Dear students,

As the semester comes to a close, we know that many of you are planning to travel over the Winter Break. Please read this e-mail completely, as it has some very important reminders and information for you.

Please note that OISS continues to advise that international students avoid non-essential international travel in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. International travel remains extremely complicated and risky, with frequent changes. If you are able to remain in the United States for Winter Break, we strongly encourage you to do so. For those students living on campus, you can request to remain on campus over the Winter Break. There is no additional housing charge for this. You do need to declare your intent to stay using the form on the Housing Services website. Any international student requesting to stay on campus over Winter Break will be approved. Please complete this as soon as possible and no later than December 12. OISS will be offering a variety of programming for all students remaining in Bethlehem over the Winter Break. If you have concerns about staying on campus over Winter Break that make you feel like you must travel internationally, please contact OISS so we can help you address those concerns.

When making your decision about traveling internationally over Winter Break, please remember that Lehigh will be offering limited remote courses in the Spring 2022 semester. Should you choose to travel and be unable to return to campus by the start of classes, you may be required to take a Leave of Absence for the Spring.

For students who feel they must travel internationally, please review our COVID-19 Travel Updates and FAQs page, which will be updated with any new developments. Travel restrictions can change very quickly, so it is very likely that if you do leave the US, travel restrictions may change while you are away. Currently, proof of full vaccination and a negative COVID test within 72 hours of your flight is required to travel to the United States. Updated CDC guidance states that as of December 6, travelers must have a negative COVID-19 test within 1 day of boarding their flight. You should also confirm travel/entry and quarantine requirements for your destination country. In light of the new Omicron variant, several countries have restricted entry and others have put new quarantine mandates in place.

If you are traveling internationally, please review the information on our website about what documents to bring when you travel. If you need an updated travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019, please request this through iHome. You do not need an updated travel signature to depart the United States. OISS will process travel signature requests within 3 - 5 business days and your updated I-20 will be sent to you electronically. DS-2019s must be picked up from OISS or mailed to you.

Late next week, OISS will send additional information about the events and activities we will be offering over Winter Break. We hope you will be able to join us! If you have questions about anything in this message, please contact us by e-mail (intnl@lehigh.edu) or phone at 610-758-4859.


Office of International Students & Scholars

I-20/DS-2019 Change or Reprint Request