The travel warning issued by the German Federal Foreign Office is primarily aimed at tourists. However, early departure may also be recommended in the event of a long-term stay in the United States. Those who decide to stay have to accept the possibility of having to stay in the USA for a prolonged period of time.
Especially in the case of underage exchange students, we therefore advise you to weigh the possible risks of a further stay in the United States very carefully:
- The situation regarding the spread of the coronavirus is very serious in the United States. Some states have already imposed quarantines and travel restrictions; public life is severely restricted; schools and other educational institutions are widely closed. These measures are likely to be further extended in the coming weeks; a further increase in the number of cases is expected.
- Transatlantic air traffic is already severely restricted and further restrictions are to be expected. It cannot be ruled out that flights to Europe will be further reduced and that return travel will only be possible from very few places in the United States.
- The healthcare system in some U.S. states is already overstrained with the combat of the epidemic. It is likely that many hospitals will reach their capacity limits in the coming weeks. Opportunities for other health treatments, such as dental care, could also be limited as a result.
- It is urgent to review one's own overseas health insurance coverage to determine whether treatment of Covid-19 would be covered abroad or whether the insurance even contains an exclusion clause in the event of a pandemic.
- In the event that the educational institution is closed, either completely or to a high extent, for the rest of the intended stay, it must be considered whether the further stay under these serious circumstances is still worthwhile and reasonable.
- If exchange students in the United States fall ill, it is generally not possible for relatives from Germany to visit them under the entry regulations of the United States which are currently in force.
For questions concerning their visa in case of school closures or ended exchange programs, student (F, M) and Exchange (J) visa holders in the U.S. should be informed of and follow specific guidance from student offices and/or sponsor organizations. Student and Exchange visa holders in the U.S. and their guardians should also be informed of useful information on the following U.S. government websites: