Office of the Spokesperson

Media Note (July 7, 2020)International Students Are Welcome in the U.S.

The United States has long been the destination of choice for international students, and we are pleased that many international students who had planned to study this fall in the United States may still have the opportunity to do so.

The Department of Homeland Security has announced its plan for temporary modifications to F-1 and M-1 nonimmigrant visa requirements for the fall 2020 semester. This will allow a mixture of both in-person and some online coursework to meet the requirements for nonimmigrant student status. This temporary accommodation provides greater flexibility for nonimmigrant students to continue their education in the United States, while also allowing for proper social distancing on open and operating campuses across America.

International students will still have to obtain the appropriate visa and may still be subject to other visa processing or travel restrictions due to COVID-19. Students should check with the local U.S. embassy or consulate for information specific to their country.

U.S. Citizen Services Overseas

The Department of State’s highest priority is to protect the lives and interests of U.S. citizens overseas through routine and emergency services to Americans at our embassies and consulates around the world. The Bureau of Consular Affairs serves American citizens during their most important moments – births, deaths, disasters, arrests, and medical emergencies. More Information

Study Abroad for Americans

The Department of State supports initiatives to expand and diversify U.S. study abroad opportunities for Americans and provides scholarships for more than 7,000 U.S. high school, undergraduate and graduate students and young professionals to go abroad each year through our exchange programs, including Fulbright, Gilman, and Critical Language Scholarships. More Information

International Student Recruitment

The EducationUSA network promotes U.S. higher education and provides strategic guidance to U.S. institutions seeking to reach international student audiences. The network also offers comprehensive and unbiased information to students interested in U.S. study, including information on State- Department sponsored exchanges for students and faculty. Explore this website and https://exchanges.state.gov

Visa Application Process

The United States supports international education and welcomes foreign students and exchange visitors. Before applying for an F, M, or J visa, students and exchange visitors must be accepted by their schools or program sponsors. There are additional requirements that must be met to qualify for a visa. A consular officer at a U.S. embassy or consulate will make the determination. More information 

The Exchange Visitor Program

The Office of Private Sector Exchange is responsible for the regulatory and administrative oversight of the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP). The Office drafts and clears all required EVP regulatory documents and Guidance Directives. The Office also reviews and evaluates requests of academic institutions, public and private-sector organizations, and government entities for designation as an EVP sponsor. The Office monitors sponsors’ compliance with EVP regulations, provides recommendations for program improvement and sanctions sponsors, as appropriate. Additionally, the Office actively collaborates with Department-designated EVP sponsors to help safeguard exchange visitors’ health, safety, and welfare through the incident and complaint reporting process. More Information

Government-to-Government Science and Technology Agreements (STAs)

The Department of State maintains 58 bilateral umbrella STAs that facilitate a range of international science and technology cooperation. More Information 

Export controls

The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) regulates the export and temporary import of defense articles and defense services involving items on the U.S. Munitions List (USML) described in Part 121 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) in the interest of protecting national security and foreign policy. The USML generally covers items specially designed or modified for military applications, and its 21 categories extend from firearms and protective gear to bombers and fighter jets. The ITAR covers hardware as well as technical data and defense services, but excludes basic research and information that is in the public domain. Under the ITAR, an “export” includes not only an actual shipment or transmission of a defense article out of the United States but also “releasing or otherwise transferring technical data to a foreign person in the United States.” It also includes “performing a defense service on behalf of, or for the benefit of, a foreign person, whether in the United States or abroad.”

The DDTC website, www.pmddtc.state.gov, has a reference library of defense trade policies and updates, including links to the latest version of the ITAR and the USML, a list of debarred parties, sanctioned and embargoed countries, and other useful information. Contact the DDTC Response team with questions at TEL (202) 663- 1282 or EMAIL DDTCResponseTeam@state.gov.

China Policy Briefings

For leadership from the higher education community planning to travel to China, the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs (EAP/CM) can provide briefings to the visitors. Contact EAP/CM with questions at TEL (202) 647-6796.

Diplomacy Simulation Kit from The United States Diplomacy Center

Currently under development at the State Department in Washington, D.C., the United States Diplomacy Center will be the country's first museum and education center dedicated to telling the story of American diplomacy. It will focus on diplomacy’s role in promoting our national security, prosperity, and global leadership. Visitors can explore what diplomacy is, who does it, and how it has impacted American lives throughout history.

The Diplomacy Center also trains educators to run simulations using free materials available on its website.

Materials include a teacher’s guide with links to instructional videos, scenarios with background information, and short video links featuring topic experts. Educators in turn can teach students about the art and challenges of diplomacy.