J1 visiting scholars can fly directly to the U.S.
On April 26, 2021 the U.S. State Department officially lifted the 14-day travel restriction for F, J, M visa holders from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, Schengen visa countries, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. This allowed international students holding F1, M1 or J1 visas who start school on August 1 or later to fly directly from to the United States up to 30 days before school starts, without having to go to a third country for 14-day quarantine. For details, please refer to the link: US official announcement. This pronouncement didn’t help J1 scholars or other J1 visa categories. On May 12, 2021 the visiting scholar travel ban was lifted.
Visiting Scholar Travel Ban Lifted May 12, 2021
On May 12, the U.S. State Department issued a new notice to supplement the April 26 policy. The May 12 supplement broadened who is eligible to fly directly to the US to include other J1 visa categories. In addition to foreign students, J1 visa holders in the categories: professor, research scholar, short-term scholar, or specialist categories are now eligible to travel directly to the US. These categories are now eligible for the National Interest Exemption (NIE), which means that visiting scholars holding a J visa are not restricted by the 14-day immigration quarantine policy and can fly directly to the United States! For details, please refer to the link: May 12, 2021 COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Exceptions You can see the relevant information highlighted here:
Visiting scholars Travel Ban Lifted for J2 Visa family members
On May 13th, the U.S. State Department also approved the National Interest Exemption (NIE) status for the immediate family members of international students and visiting scholars, which means that these immediate family members are not restricted by the 14-day immigration quarantine policy and can fly directly to the United States! For details, please refer to the link: May 13, 2021 Covid-19 Travel Restrictions and Exceptions
The relevant content is highlighted as follows:
Travel to the US is Safe Again
Vaccines are now easily available in the United States and the epidemic is now well controlled. Universities will resume normal teaching and research in the fall. Many are opening up now. This is good news for many of our visiting scholars who have been delayed by the epidemic.
Visiting Scholars Insurance – Discount for Individuals or Families
Many US consulates have reopened, but some have not yet reopened. You will have to check for availability near you. Visiting scholars and others seeking a J visa to go to the United States should prepare as soon as possible, and watch for local availability of a visa interview. Taian Company of the United States provides insurance that meets the requirements of DS2019. Many J visa holders visiting the US without family members like the Taian Group plan with a 10% discount compared to individual plans. You can find details here: 10% discount. J visa holders visiting the US with a child under 10 like the Taian plan that offers coverage for a child under 10 free with an adult purchasing coverage: Child Free