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Important Information

This page is meant as a general guide.
Due to the international COVID-19 pandemic, requirements and processes may be subject to change at any time.
Please make sure you stay up to date with the latest requirements for travel as it is your responsibility to make sure you are prepared for your flight to the USA

You can see the latest news and updates on our News pages

Pre-flight Check - Before you Travel

Make sure you have the right paperwork before you get on the plane!

In line with US Department of State and Embassy recommendations, we advise against making any firm travel plans until you have received your passport and visa back from the Embassy or Consulate.
Neither the US Embassy/ Consulate nor IST Plus can be held responsible for any delays or costs incurred should you book flights prior to receiving your passport and visa.

Once you have received your passport and visa (this is printed inside your passport) back from the US Embassy or Consulate, please check the details carefully.
Your Visa will normally be issued with an end date that matches the end date of your actual internship or traineeship - this is NOT necessarily the date you must depart the USA.
You will be allowed to remain in the USA until the end date as listed on your Certificate of Insurance. These details are also available to view on your online account.
If there is an error in the dates on your Visa it is VITAL you contact the US embassy direct to query this. You should not travel to the US unless your visa has been issued with the correct dates.

For UK applicants you should contact the embassy using their Visa Error Contact Form at

What to take with you on the plane (these items MUST be in your hand luggage and with you at ALL times)
  • Your Passport
  • Your DS2019 Certificate
  • You should also make sure you have a copy of your Confirmation of Insurance with you when you travel - we advise scanning this and saving online as well as keeping the hard copy with your passport and other documents
Registering in SEVIS

Once you are in the USA, you will need to make sure you register in SEVIS. We recommend doing this on the 1st day of your internship or traineeship.

It is a legal requirement that you register in SEVIS once you are in the USA. You must do this within 20 days of your DS start date or you risk having your programme terminated.

It's easy and should take just a couple of minutes - here's how you do it:

Call CIEE on their toll free number from any US based phone (international mobiles in the US won't work for toll free numbers):


Tell them you want to register in SEVIS - they'll need the address where you're staying and your SEVIS ID.

If at any time during your programme you change address it is VITAL you call CIEE to update your details!

COVID Pre-flight Testing and Contact Tracing - update

What You Need to Know

As of December 6th 2021, all air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the United States.

  • You must be fully vaccinated to travel to the United States by plane if you are a non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa).
  • You are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 when you travel to the United States by air.
  • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) traveling into, within, or out of the United States and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports).

All air passengers to the United States will also be required to provide contact information to airlines before boarding flights to the United States. This will allow US authorities to track any outbreaks, while helping to keep both you and those around you safe and up to date.

Keep up to date with travel guidelines

If you are in any doubt or have any questions regarding your flight or requirements for travel to the US, please check with your airline well in advance of travel.