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Note that the information below is provided by the Tufts International Center for the benefit of Tufts' new and prospective international students, scholars, and their dependents. For the latest updates and announcements by Tufts University on its COVID-19 coronavirus response, visit

Current Status Summary

[March 23, 2020]

International Center Virtual Operations

The Tufts International Center remains open during normal business hours (9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday). However, as of March 16 we have temporarily closed our physical offices and are transitioning to online and remote services. During this time, we will continue to advise and process visa document requests for new students, scholars, and employees. International Center staff will be available by email and for phone appointments. Please contact us at with your questions or to schedule a phone appointment with an International Center advisor.

US Visa Services

As of March 20, 2020, routine US visa services at US consulates worldwide have been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Center is monitoring this development and its impact on Fall 2020 arrivals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I am expected to start my program at Tufts later this summer (June - August 2020) or fall (starting September). What are my options?

The worldwide COVID-19 outbreak has created unprecedented uncertainty. For students, we are talking with your admissions offices and programs to track developments closely and to advise on options. Actual options will depend on the course of the pandemic within the US and in individual countries and regoins, as these will affect when US visa services resume normal operations. Please refer back to this page for ongoing developments.

For scholars and employees, we will work with your individual departments on a case-by-case basis to determine options, including possible delayed start dates. Because every situation is different depending on country of origin and local country conditions, no general advice can be given. However, the US State Department is currently urging all new J-1 programs to be delayed until at least mid-May at the earliest, with further delays being possible depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic evolves within the US and in other countries. Please send an email to with as much detailed information as possible so we can assist you regarding your specific questions.

Q. Will the International Center's processing of visa documents (I-20 or DS-2019) be delayed because of the coronavirus?

The International Center remains open and will process visa document requests for students, scholars and employees throughout the spring semester. However, please note the following:

For J-1 Scholars: Due to current conditions, we are encouraging all scholars and their host departments to consider delaying arrival at Tufts to mid-May at the very earliest with later start dates recommended if possible. Depending on how the current pandemic evolves, further delays may be necessary or expected. While you may request a DS-2019 for an earlier start date, we may be required to defer your arrival until later depending on local and worldwide conditions evolve.

For F-1 / J-1 Students: The International Center will start I-20 / DS-2019 visa certificate processing by mid- to late-March 2020. However, please note that US consular services remain closed as of March 20 for the foreseeable future. Travel and visa processes worldwide are being deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and conditions for summer and fall program arrival is being monitored. The International Center is monitoring these conditions and working with Tufts admissions offices to advise applicants and arrivals about these developments.

Q. I heard about US visa services being suspended. Will I be able to apply for my visa so that I can arrive by the time my program starts?

Unfortunately currently routine US visa services worldwide are temporarily suspended as of mid-Mach. We are monitoring this development carefully. While we hope that routine US visa services will resume normal operations in the near future, we cannot offer firm predictions as they will depend on how the COVID-19 pandemic evolves over the coming spring and summer months. For F-1 and J-1 visa applicants, we recommend that you submit your application for a I-20 or DS-2019 visa document from Tufts as soon as possible so that you can schedule a visa appointment (if possible), even if US consulates are temporarily closing their non-immigrant visa operations.

Q. I am attending another school in the US right now but will starting at Tufts in the summer or fall. Do I have to leave before my Tufts program starts? I am worried about being able to come back.

In most cases, if you are currently in valid F-1 or J-1 student status at another school, you do not need to leave the US before your program at Tufts begins. You may be able to arrange for a transfer of your visa sponsorship from your current school / program to Tufts without needing to get a new visa from a US consulate abroad. Talk to your international advisor at your current school about your plans and also let us know your specific details by emailing us your information.