International Students and Scholars Office
Review this page for ISSO operations, FAQs, updates, and resources.
Resources for students, researchers, and faculty
The Office of International Students and Scholars stands ready to support our international students, faculty, and scholars.
Summer Health Guidelines
All Columbia affiliates must continue to wear masks at all times in indoor settings in Columbia facilities, regardless of vaccination status. Vaccinated individuals may remove masks and not physically distance only in outdoor settings on Columbia’s campuses. Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks both indoors and outdoors. However, individuals may choose to continue to wear masks outdoors on Columbia’s campuses, thus, no assumptions should be made regarding why an individual chooses to mask outdoors.
Until September 8, only vaccinated individuals do not need to distance indoors. After September 9, when we are a fully vaccinated campus, there will be no distancing requirements, including for those with approved vaccine exemptions.
Required Protocol for Returning to Campus
You must follow all University Public Health Protocols, which include masking and distancing where appropriate.
Individuals unable to complete vaccination with FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccines before campus arrival will be offered a vaccine upon arrival. Read these guidelines for more details.
Other Checklist To-Do's
Prior to Arrival
Upon Arrival to Campus
- Complete quarantine if unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
- Quarantine for 7 days after return from international travel is required for any Columbia affiliate who is not fully vaccinated with an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine, in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation. This will include a test at day 3-5 after return. International arrivals fully vaccinated with an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine are required to test on day 3-5 after return but are not required to quarantine. Your day 3-5 travel test also serves as your gateway test, so you do not need to do this twice.
- Read these FAQs for help completing your checklist.
What to Do If You Failed to Meet the Vaccination Mandate Deadline
News and Policy Updates
April 7, 2021—Bollinger joined 16 Presidents and Chancellors of New York State colleges and universities in a letter sent to the U.S. Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Jan. 14, 2021—Effective Jan. 26, 2021, Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board.
Dec. 2, 2020—In an open letter to the president-elect, Columbia’s president says that “costly and consequential” federal policies have damaged American universities’ ability to attract top academic talent from around the globe.
Oct. 27, 2020—Congress members express concern about the Department's new proposed fixed term period of admission and extension of stay rules for international students and scholars.
Oct. 26, 2020—Replacing the current Duration of Status policy for international students and scholars with a fixed two-to-four-year term and an uncertain extension of stay process hinders the University's ability to recruit and retain the most talented students.
Oct. 14, 2020—Presidents and chancellors of several major research institutions in New York State express alarm over difficulties students, faculty, and scholars are facing in trying to secure U.S.-entry visas.
Oct. 6, 2020—Letter requests that DHS and ICE extend the 30-day comment period for the Student Visa Rule v.6 and provide at least 60 days for public participation in the process.
Oct. 6, 2020—Letter states that the September 25, 2020, rule unfairly limits length of student visas and places arbitrary restrictions on students based on their country of origin.
All affiliates arriving from abroad or from states with high prevalence of COVID-19 will quarantine for 14 days as required by New York. See the current list of restricted states.
All international Columbia-related travel is suspended for all affiliates until further notice.
Global Travel is dedicated to supporting the health, safety, and security of University travelers engaged in Columbia Travel abroad.