What's New

June 21, 2022

If you are an incoming student or scholar who is applying for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, please make sure to update any visa appointment booking, visa appointment cancellations, and visa approvals with the HIO using our online reporting form. You may submit this form multiple times to update previously-reported information. We will use your reporting anonymously to help your fellow students at the University as they navigate the visa application process.

As a reminder, U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide are working through backlogs from the pandemic, and may be operating at reduced capacity, making obtaining an appointment more difficult. You may view the current operating status of a given U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the U.S. State Department website.

 You may find more detailed instructions for the visa application process this year, including updates on 2022 Embassy protocols and instructions on requesting an emergency visa appointment, in the Student visa applicationScholar visa application, and Student Intern visa application pages of the HIO website.

June 13, 2022

As of 12:01AM ET on June 12, 2022, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) will no longer require air passengers traveling to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight. For more information, see Rescission: Requirement for Negative Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Result or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19 for all Airline or Other Aircraft Passengers Arriving into the United States from Any Foreign Country. All travelers to the U.S. will still need to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

Newly arriving students and scholars can find arrival information, including the documents needed to show to Customs upon first arrival to the U.S., here

Continuing students and scholars may find a full list of documents needed to travel to the U.S. from a trip abroad here

May 20, 2022

As of Monday, May 23, 2022 the HIO will move the daily document pickup and travel signature services to the 8th floor of the Smith Campus Center, outside suite 864. The daily service will take place Monday through Friday from 12pm to 1pm, excluding holidays. You do not need to make an appointment for this walk-in service.

If you need a travel signature or to pick up a document, please review the applicable instructions below. Note that this service is not intended for advising questions. HIO Advisors are available via email, phone, zoom appointments, and daily virtual advisor on call hours for advising questions. 

  • If you are in the Cambridge area and have available space on your Form I-20 or DS-2019 for a new travel signature, please attend the walk in hour for a signature.
  • If you are in the Cambridge area and do not have available space on your Form I-20 or DS-2019 for a new travel signature, and/or need a new document for any reason, you must contact your HIO Advisor first to request a reissuance of your document. Once you have confirmation from the HIO that your document is ready for pick up, you may then come to the Smith Campus Center for this walk-in service.
  • If you were informed by the HIO that a document is ready for pick up, you may attend the walk in hour with a photo ID to pick up the document. 
  • F-1 students who are not in the Cambridge area may contact their HIO Advisor via email to request an updated travel signature on your Form I-20. The HIO will respond to your request by sending you a new Form I-20 via email.  
  • J-1 Students and Scholars who are not in the Cambridge area will need to request a new document with a new travel signature to be shipped via FedEx. To request this service, please follow the steps to purchase a FedEx label using eShipGlobal.  

Personal Stories

The spirit and energy of the program is unparalleled, and there is something really special about a group of international students from such different places (from literally all over the world), but who feel so connected.

Lisa van der Sluijs - Netherlands - Harvard College

Remain true to who you are. Don't feel like you have to suddenly become "American" now that you're here. Be proud of your cultural and national identity! There's always so much to share and learn.

Woojin Lim - Canada - Harvard College

Represented at Harvard this year

International population over time

International population this year