Dear International Students and Scholars,

We hope this message finds you and your families safe and healthy. There is so much happening in the world right now, and you may be feeling overwhelmed with many different emotions. The United States tragic problems around race are once again in the spotlight as we witness nation-wide protests over the systemic racism and repeated violence against our African American community. The coronavirus pandemic has altered the way we live our daily lives and brought on unforeseen challenges that have taken a significant toll on people all across the world. Attempting to understand and navigate through these complex issues is really challenging, especially during a time when you may typically be with your family over these summer months. ISSS recognizes the challenges you may be experiencing from this. Please know that we are here for you to offer the best guidance we can to ensure you have the most up-to-date information to make the best decisions for yourself.

Below are a few key points to be mindful of as we await for the University to announce details on what our Fall semester will look like. We know it’s difficult to make any future plans right now given the variety of unknowns, but ISSS will always share all of the information we have with you in a timely manner as we receive it. It’s really important that you read all of our messages so you have the information on issues that could potentially impact your current or future immigration status.

There are several restrictions on U.S. visas and entry right now that make travel to and from the U.S. incredibly difficult, and in many cases, impossible. General guidance on travel and reentry will vary based on your country of citizenship and particular factors regarding your progress within your specific academic and/or professional program at WFU. Overall, ISSS is strongly encouraging you not to travel outside of the U.S. at this time if possible. Reentry will be impossible for some and incredibly risky for all. There are currently five different travel-related Presidential Proclamations in place that are banning entry to the U.S. from certain countries. These proclamations will remain in effect until terminated by the President. The President has the authority to ban additional countries from entering the U.S. at any time. The countries that are currently impacted by these proclamations are listed below:

  • China
  • Iran
  • The European Schengen Area, which includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
  • Ireland and the United Kingdom
  • Brazil

In addition to banned entry from these countries, the Department of State has suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. This means entry from anywhere outside of the U.S. would also be impossible if you needed a new F-1, J-1, or H-1B entry visa. The Department of State has not indicated when visa services will resume.

On June 3, 2020, the Department of Transportation released an order that will suspend passenger operations of all Chinese carriers to and from the United States. Further details on that order may be found here.

Another issue we want to bring to your attention is the increased reporting of scams specifically targeting the international community. We frequently alert you via our newsletters to be mindful of sophisticated scams. Unfortunately, we are hearing about more scams happening right now in the midst of the pandemic. Please remember each of the items below to ensure you don’t become victim of a scam:

A government agent will NEVER

  • Demand payment over the phone and demand a specific type of payment including gift cards
  • Ask for your SSN, debit/credit card information over the phone
  • Threaten arrest or deportation for non-payment
  • Remain anonymous, they must disclose their badge information

What should you do if you get a suspicious phone call or email?

  • Contact ISSS ( and Information Systems ( with a copy of the email or a transcript of the phone conversation
  • Contact University police (336-758-5911) if you shared any personal information or transferred money
  • If the scammer reached you online, report them to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center
  • Visit USCIS’s website on scams for more information

Your health and safety are our top concern. Some of you may be participating in protests and demonstrations right now, whether you are still in the Winston-Salem area, in other cities in the U.S., or abroad. Please be sure you are informing yourself with local information and resources that allow you to engage responsibly and safely. If you are involved in a situation with activities that appear to become threatening in nature, or if violence appears to be starting, you should leave the area. Any arrest in the U.S. could impact your current and future visa status.

It is vital that you have the most up-to-date information to ensure you make the best decisions for your specific situation. You can expect to receive more messages from ISSS over the next several days and weeks as more information is released and other decisions are implemented. As always, please be sure to email with any questions you have regarding your visa status.
Your ISSS Team