Study in the US: Travel Guide for International Students


Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Jul 20, 2022 05:17 PM IST

As the Covid-19 restrictions have eased in the USA, Indian students are applying to US universities or are returning to their universities. However, before you travel to USA from India, know the travel rules and regulations.

Study in the US: Travel Guide for International Students

Travel Guide for Indian students travelling to US: After more than 2.5 years, the US is now taking major steps in uplifting its Covid-19 restrictions. Indian students who are planning to travel from India to US will no longer need to get tested for Covid-19 travelling by air. In addition, they no longer need to abide by the strict rules and regulations related to the global pandemic.

The mask mandates have also been lifted in the US. International students can now freely travel to the US without travel restrictions. The US government was influenced to take the decision because of lobbying by the countrys travel industry.

The government has been relentlessly working to vaccinate people and this has encouraged them to walk an extra mile in uplifting the Covid-19 restrictions. Let us now take you through the travel guidelines for international students entering the US in the upcoming intakes.

Travel Guideline in US for Indian Students

Without compromising on public safety, the US has opened up restriction-free travel, in a bid to welcome travellers to the country. Earlier, international students needed to show a negative Covid-19 test report taken shortly before travel or proof of recovery from the Covid-19 in the past 90 days.

If you are planning to travel from India to US for higher studies, you have to be aware of the travel guidelines set by the US government for international students.

  • No need for a negative Covid-19 test report to fly to the US.

  • No recovery report from Covid-19 is needed to be shown before boarding the flight.

  • Non-US citizens who are non-immigrants need to show their full vaccination status before they travel from India to US.

Note: The travel rules and guidelines are subject to change at the discretion of the US government. Therefore, before you fly to the US, check the latest rules to enter the country.

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Study in US: Entry Requirements for International Students

Once you buy a flight ticket, you will have to undergo a series of requirements that will make you eligible to enter the US. The process will ensure that you do not have to take additional hassles once you reach the country. The entry requirements for international students in US are:

  • International students need to get a visa to enter the US.

  • They also need to be fully vaccinated. Any vaccine approved by the World Health Organisation or by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is accepted.

  • Students, including those below 17 years, do not need to follow quarantine rules once they get into the US.

  • The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that students take booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccines.

Note: The Covid-19 virus keeps coming back from time to time in form of the new variants. So, the entry requirements may change from time to time.

USA Travel Guide: Fully Vaccinated Travellers

Being fully vaccinated is an important criterion for entry to the USA. Students must note the circumstances under which a person is considered as fully vaccinated.

  • All international students and travellers who will travel from India to the US must have received two doses of any of the accepted vaccines.

  • One dose of Janssen/Johnson and Johnson/Convidecia is also valid.

  • Students/travellers should receive a vaccination at least 14 days before travelling to the US.

  • A booster dose is not required to meet the status of full vaccination.

  • Students who have received only one dose of vaccine of 2-dose vaccine series and have recovered from Covid-19 are not considered as fully vaccinated.

  • It is necessary to carry the proof of vaccination that must contain the name, date of birth, name of the vaccine and the number of doses. The certificate should be in English or translated to English.

One dose of vaccination doesn't make you eligible to travel to the US.

List of Accepted Vaccines in USA

The US considers a person to be fully vaccinated only if they have received a vaccine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organisation (WHO). It can be a single-dosed or double-dosed vaccine. The list is given below:

  • Janssen/ Johnson and Johnson single dose

  • Comirnaty

  • Spikevax

  • Vaxzevria

  • Covaxin

  • Covishield

  • BIBP/Sinopharm

  • CoronaVac

  • Nuvaxovid

  • Covovax

The accepted proof of vaccines is digital or paper verifiable records.

USA Travel Guide: Entry Checklist for International Students

If you are an international student who is planning to travel from India to US and has met all the entry requirements, you have to ensure an entry checklist. The entry checklist contains the documents that you need to show at the international border. Here is the list of documents:

  • Valid Passport that contains an expiry date that is long enough for you to finish the course in US

  • An I-20 form signed by Designated School Official (DSO)

  • Offer letter or acceptance letter from the US university

  • I-901 Sevis Payment receipt

  • Document of financial support for education

  • Copy of transcripts and certificates

  • Standardised test score reports

Study in USA: Things You Should Keep in Mind on Entry

Students can now enter the USA with ease but they should keep in mind some important points when they come to the USA. Here are some of the tips to follow when you travel to India from US:

  • You must bring sufficient funds to cover your education and living expenses for the first year. If you are required to show financial sufficiency proof, show your financial documents.

  • Do not carry any prohibited items along with you.

  • The US Customs and Border Protection Police may ask questions to you when you will be travelling to the US. You should explain to them the purpose of travel which could be study or research.

  • When asked about your intentions after studying, you must say that you want to return to your home country.

  • Follow the mask mandates of particular places and transports.

Students must check the entry requirements and other rules regarding entry so that they do not face any difficulty later. You should make preparation for travel well ahead of time. Travelling from India to US as an international student can be an enthralling experience and following proper rules and regulations can help one easily enter the country.

If you have doubts regarding travel to the USA, let our study abroad consultants help you out. Reach out to us at

Know the Current Travel Requirements in US!


Is a Covid test required for Indian students travelling to USA?

No, according to the latest regulations of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, a Covid test is not required for Indian students travelling to the USA. Earlier a negative Covid report was mandatory before arriving in the US, which the US government has now scrapped.


Is full vaccination mandatory for travel to the USA?

Yes, full vaccination is mandatory for travel to the USA. In order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus and to create protection against it, it has been made mandatory by the USA that students should travel to the country only if they are fully vaccinated with one of the approved vaccines.

Is it necessary to remain in quarantine on arrival to the USA?

No, it is not recommended anymore to remain in quarantine on arrival to the USA. However, the US government has recommended taking a viral test after 3 to 5 days of arrival in the USA. You may be required to follow some of the territorial rules within the state.

Is it necessary to wear a mask in the USA?

No, it is no longer necessary to wear a mask in the USA while travelling or in transportation hubs. However, some universities like the University of California Los Angeles, the University of Hawai and Penn State University have reinstated the mask mandate. The CDC recommends people wear masks in indoor settings to prevent the spread of the virus.

How much money can international students carry to the US?

International students can carry a large amount of money to the US with them. The money can be carried in cash, traveller’s cheque or money order. Any amount exceeding USD 10,000 must be written in Form 6059B and FinCEN 105 when it will be provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Which university documents are needed to be carried as an international student to USA?

International students should carry admission letters, letters of financial aid and original transcripts of academic certificates. Apart from that I-20 form, immunisation form and SEVIS fee receipt are also required. Certificates of standardised exams like SAT/ACT/GRE/GMAT and language proficiency tests with letters of recommendation are also needed.

How much luggage is allowed to be carried to the USA?

Students are allowed to carry two luggage bags. One is regarded as the checked-in item and the other is a carry-on bag. The weight of the luggage should not exceed 23 kgs per bag. Some airlines allow more than two bags and some airlines charge for the excess number of bags.

What should you not bring while travelling to USA as an international student?

International students should not bring unnecessary stuff while travelling to the USA. They should avoid bringing unnecessary electronics, books, clothes, illegal substances and arms and ammunition that are considered unlawful. Avoid taking cooked food items. Try packing as light as you can if you do not want to keep dragging the luggage.

What questions do CBP officers ask international students?

The questions asked by the Customs and Border Protection officers are related to your purpose for coming to the US, your school and course of study, your intention after completing your education and your finances for supporting education. The interview generally lasts for 5 to 10 minutes and the answers must be given correctly.

What documents do you need to re-enter USA?

If an international student is out of the USA for more than five months then they will have to show certain documents to the CBP officers. The first one is a passport which should have 6 months of validity in the future. Apart from this, a valid F-1 visa, SEVIS form I-20, evidence of financial support and student status.

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