With the Fall 2021 semester approaching and foreign universities returning to in-person classes, international students including students from India have been waiting to get fully vaccinated against Covid-19. An increasing number of US, UK, Canadian universities have made it mandatory for international students to get vaccinated with WHO-approved jabs before travelling.
In the current circumstances, each new development may seem like a new stumbling block to your study abroad dream. Moreover, the CBSE board has announced that it will consider either only Grades 10 and 12 together, or the final exams from Grades 10 and 11 in addition to the Grade 12 internal assignments to mark Grade 12 students. At this hour, it is important to not just keep track of these developments but also to make sure that you are meeting all the international travel/vaccine requirements before flying overseas.
In this article, we will look at how the Indian government and state governments have been trying to get students with study abroad plans fully vaccinated, what are these vaccination requirements to study abroad and what are the vaccination requirements in countries like the US, UK, Canada, Germany, and more.
Steps Taken by India to Get Study Abroad Students Vaccinated
If you are from India and 18+, you already have an idea of how difficult it was to book a vaccination slot on the CoWin website, although it has become relatively easier since the beginning of June.
Commenting on these technical issues, a student from Chennai pointed out how it was not an easy task to book a slot on the CoWin portal or anywhere else for that matter. But this could not be a good reason to miss out on another academic session and that visa applications and getting marksheets have already become quite difficult. State governments should implement a mass vaccination drive for students with study abroad plans.
States including Delhi, Telangana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka have started conducting special vaccination drives for students with plans to travel abroad this Fall. However, students in the rest of the Indian states have been struggling with booking vaccination slots.
Telangana has already started with their special vaccination drive to help students leave the country within the next two months and be on time for the Fall 2021 semester. For the same, students will be required to carry their passport, student visa and official confirmation of admission.
The Kerala government has also announced that there will be an early administration of the second dose if need be. Meanwhile, the Central government has relaxed the gap between Covishield shots from 84 to 28 days.
Requirements for Quick Vaccination of Indian Students Flying Abroad
All students planning on studying abroad this Fall, who have applied to a special vaccination drive in their state, should carry the following documents:
I-20 or DS-160 form
Valid government identification card, like Aadha card or driving license
Confirmed and verified confirmation of admission to the foriegn university
Are You Prepared to Travel Abroad?
US Universities' Vaccination Requirements for International Students
Here are the latest updates about the Covid-19 vaccination requirements of US Universities:
Don Heflin, the Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs at the US embassy, recently said that US-bound students will not require any proof of Covid-19 vaccination to trave to the US. They will only need a negative Covid-19 test report taken within 72 hours prior to their departure.
Since March, over 400 universities in the US such as Stanford, Cornell, Rutgers, Brown, Columbia, Duke and Yale, to name a few have asked students from outside of the US to get fully vaccinated before the Fall 2021 semester begins.
The University of California has asked all its international students to get USFDA- or WHO-approved vaccines. However, if they fail to get the same, they will be allowed on campus with added restrictions or asked to be revaccinated before coming back to campus.
Some US colleges and universities are planning on making arrangements to make the shots available for students when they arrive. One such university is Rutgers that is firmly committed to assisting students in joining the campus safely. Read more...
UK Universities' Vaccination Requirements for International Students
Here are the latest updates about the Covid-19 vaccination requirements issued by UK Universities:
In the UK, most of the universities have advised international students to get vaccinated. However, countries like Wales, Ireland, England and Scotland have not mandated such a requirement and asked international students coming in from non-Green countries to undergo quarantine.
Some of the UK universities have also started offering on-campus vaccination.
The UK was the first country to approve and start vaccinations from December 2020. It is likely to get fully vaccinated by Summer 2021, with Autumn/September 2021 completely safe for the community.
The Department of Health and Social Care has said that international students in the UK will be able to access vaccinations just as they access healthcare.
Canadian Universities' Vaccination Requirements for International Students
Here are the latest updates about the Covid-19 vaccination requirements for international students issued by universities in Canada:
Although Canada has not yet announced such a requirement, students and their parents want to get fully vaccinated before travelling in order to stay safe and be ready in case rules change.
Depending on the university and province, one may be asked to go for a mandatory 15-day quarantine at a hotel.
International students need to carry a RT-PCR negative certificate while travelling to Canada and self-isolate themselves upon reaching the country. To make this process easier, Canadian universities are offering airport pick-up, self-quarantine facilities, discounts on flight tickets, food, etc.
For Indian students, however, there are some travel restrictions in place in view of the ongoing second wave of Covid. But, they will be allowed to travel to Canada as soon as the situation gets back to normal. Read more...
Ireland Universities' Vaccination Requirements for International Students
Here are the latest updates about the Covid-19 vaccination requirements for international students issued by universities in Ireland:
Ireland is allowing all passengers including international students from 62 countries to enter the country. They must however complete a mandatory hotel quarantine of 14 days upon arrival.
Those fully vaccinated against Covid-19 do not need to self-isolate. But, they will still have to produce a negative RT-PCR test report taken within 72 hours of landing in Ireland.
International students who have already booked campus accommodation can quarantine there for 14 days.
Students will be considered fully vaccinated after the given period for each vaccine:
Covishield Vaccine/Oxford-AstraZeneca: 15 days after the second dose
Pfizer - BioNtech vaccine: 7 days after the second dose
Moderna vaccine: 14 days after the second dose
Scotland Universities' Vaccination Requirements for International Students
Here are the latest Covid-19 vaccination requirements for international students issued by universities/government of Scotland:
The Government of Scotland announced in June 2021 that all international students will be vaccinated against Covid-19 and included in the national vaccination program.
Although many countries have already started their vaccination drives, Scotland will make sure to vaccinate all those international students who are yet to be vaccinated or have not received the second jab yet.
German Universities' Vaccination Requirements for International Students
Here are the latest Covid-19 vaccination requirements for international students travelling to Germany:
The vaccination of international students at the vaccination centres in Germany is free of charge. Those who have a German registration certificate or German health insurance can automatically get a free Covid-19 vaccination in the country.
The German Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek said that international students should get priority in Covid-19 vaccination across Germany and let them return to in-person classes for the Winter semester.
Australian Universities' Vaccination Requirements for International Students
Given below are the Covid-19 vaccine requirements for international students in Australia:
Covid-19 vaccine rollout in Australia is ongoing. The Australian government has announced that international students in the country will also have access to the vaccination when it is their turn.
Covid-19 vaccines are voluntary and free for international students in Australia. They do not have to carry Medicare care to get their vaccination at Commonwealth/state/territory vaccine clinics.
Australian universities may have their own specific requirements for international students travelling to Australia.
Other countries have not issued any vaccination requirements as of June 2021. However, every country would require a negative RT-PCR test report taken not less than 3 days before the date of departure.
1. Can the second dose of Covishield vaccine be taken after 28 days?
The Indian government has recently relaxed the gap between two Covishield shots from 84 to 28 days. This means that one can get the second Covishield jab after a gap of 28 to 84 days.
2. Which vaccines administered in India are approved by WHO?
Only Covishield which is produced by the Serum Institute of India is approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
3. Is Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for international students travelling this Fall?
Not all universities or countries have mandated Covid-19 vaccination of all international students. However, most US and UK universities have issued such a requirement for students joining this Fall. Students are requested to contact their respective universities to learn about their vaccination requirements.
4. Which vaccines administered in India are recognised in the US?
Only Covishield, which is approved by the WHO, is recognised in the USA.
5. Do all US universities need international students to get fully vaccinated?
Since March, over 400 US universities have asked international students joining this Fall to get fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
6. Do all UK universities need international students to get fully vaccinated?
Although not all, most UK universities do require international students to get fully vaccinated before engaging in in-person classes.
7. Do all universities in Canada require international students to get fully vaccinated?
As of June 2021, Canada does not require international students to get fully vaccinated. However, all students arriving in Canada should produce a negative RT-PCR report taken within 72 hours of boarding the flight.
8. Which Indian states have started vaccination of students flying abroad for higher studies?
Indian states including Telangana, Delhi, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka have started conducting special vaccination drives for students travelling abroad in Fall 2021.
9. What is a vaccination passport?
A vaccination passport is an international concept under which only those who are fully vaccinated will be allowed entry to another country. It is the user’s approved immunisation record.
10. Are US universities asking Indian students to get revaccinated?
Yes, Indian and Russian students who have received vaccines that have not been approved by WHO (Sputnik V or CoVaxin) are being asked to get revaccinated in the US.
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