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OIS NEWS – 3/09/2020


International Travel Guidance for the UIC International Community

The Office of International Services understands that many members of the international community may be feeling uncertainty and stress as a result of the coronavirus/COVD-19 outbreak and the ever-changing news and recommendations surrounding it. We are a global community with loved ones around the world and international travel is part of our lives. Know that OIS is always here to support you and help you navigate the resources you may need. Please call (312) 996-3121 or email (ois@uic.edu) us with any concerns you may have. We are here to listen, help and connect.

 

The remainder of this message is to share our international travel recommendations for the UIC international community. Please continue to check today.uic.edu/coronavirus which will be updated regularly to keep the UIC community notified with the most relevant information regarding COVID-19. Our OIS recommendations are made within the context of guidance from the University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, we have taken into account the possibility for additional international travel restrictions enacted by the U.S. and other governments along with disrupted visa services at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad. The immigration environment surrounding this outbreak is changing quickly and it is not possible to predict exactly when travel or visa restrictions will occur. 

 

In light of guidance and the volatile immigration environment, the Office of International Services is strongly discouraging all international students, scholars and employees from traveling outside the U.S. in the near future, including during the upcoming spring break period.

 

If you are considering international travel, review your immigration documents immediately. If your visa has expired, you will need to renew it while abroad. Consult the webpage of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest your destination and confirm that visa services remain open and note processing times. Review the OIS website for additional information about documents and travel.

 

Individuals who choose to travel outside the U.S. should closely monitor their symptoms upon returning to campus and contact UIC healthcare providers immediately if they experience fever, cough or shortness of breath. Students should contact Student Health at University Village (312) 996-2901 and employees should contact University Health Service at (312) 996-7420 during business hours or the University of Illinois Hospital at (866) 600-2273 after hours. Additionally, monitor the CDC Information for Travel page regularly and self-quarantine if your travel location is added to list of CDC Travel Alert Level 3 countries during your trip or within 14 days of your return to campus.

 

Individuals who choose to travel to a country with a CDC Travel Alert Level 3 (currently China, Iran, South Korea and Italy) should self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return, regardless of symptoms. Self-quarantine means staying home and avoiding contact with others even if you do not have a fever, cough or shortness of breath. If symptoms do present during the period of self-quarantine, contact UIC healthcare providers as listed above.

 

UIC students who must self-quarantine due to experiencing symptoms or as a result of travel to a CDC Travel Alert 3 country should notify their instructors via email or phone. UIC faculty and staff should notify their supervisors. Members of the UIC international community must also contact the Office of International Services via email (ois@uic.edu) or phone (312) 996-3121 for additional support and guidance with regards to maintaining immigration status.

 

Lastly, OIS cannot guarantee our ability to intervene on the behalf of international students, faculty or staff who choose to travel to a CDC Travel Alert 3 country and are unable to return to campus due to travel restrictions or visa delays. Currently, travel to the U.S. is only restricted from China and Iran but this list could likely change as the outbreak progresses.

 

We understand that the decision to travel is personal and circumstances are different for each case. If you absolutely must travel outside the U.S. with an intention to return to campus, please review the Office of the Provost’s recent message carefully and contact OIS with any questions or doubts.  

 

 

Questions? Feel free to contact the Office of International Services.