Student Support

International Education Center


New Presidential Proclamation Prohibits Travel to the U.S. from Certain Countries

November 30, 2021

On November 26, President Biden issued a presidential proclamation restricting entry to the U.S. for non-U.S. citizens who were physically present in any of the following countries in the 14 days prior to their entry: the Republic of Botswana, the Kingdom of Eswatini, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Malawi, the Republic of Mozambique, the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of South Africa, and the Republic of Zimbabwe. At this time, no exceptions have been announced for F-1 students traveling from any of the countries listed. 

New Student F-1 Regulations and Travel to the U.S. Update

November 9, 2021

Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination and Negative Test Result Requirement for Entry to the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a new order for all air passengers traveling to the United States. 

Effective November 8, 2021, all F-1 Visa students  traveling to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated, provide proof of full vaccination and  proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding an airplane to the United States.

PLEASE NOTE:  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed that for purposes of travel to the U.S., vaccines approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or on the World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use listed (EUL) vaccines will be accepted. Click here for a list of approved vaccines.

Exceptions to this policy will be extremely limited and may apply to:

  • Children under 18
  • People medically unable to receive the vaccine
  • Emergency travelers who do not have timely access to a vaccine

National Interest Exemptions (NIEs) will no longer be needed for noncitizens who were physically present in any of the 33 countries (identified in earlier travel restriction proclamations) during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S.

February 16, 2021

Due to an increase in COVID cases in the U.S. and abroad, it is possible that new travel restrictions for F-1 visa students seeking to re-enter the U.S. may be enacted. 

We strongly advise you not to travel outside the United States if you can avoid it.

If you must travel, please be sure to check with your country’s U.S. embassy to find out if there are travel restrictions that apply to F-1 visa students traveling from your country back to the U.S. You may also inquire with the airlines to find out if there are any restrictions or requirements to re-enter the U.S.

If you must travel, be sure to request an updated travel signature for your I-20. Submit the travel signature request form to from your SMC email account at least 2 weeks before your return to the U.S. We will email you an updated I-20 with a travel signature.

Please note, SMC and IEC are closed on the following days:

Thursday, Friday November 26-27, 2021

Friday, December 24, 2021 through Sunday, January 3, 2022

Monday, January 17, 2022

Friday February 11, 2022

Monday February 21, 2022

Monday April 11, 2022

IEC Services

Contact the International Education Center for assistance with:

  • Immigration and F-1 visa issues
  • Travel Signatures
  • Health Insurance questions
  • Department of Motor Vehicles support
  • Housing
  • Verification Letters
  • Package Program support
  • Social Security questions

IEC Counseling

Contact International Counseling for the following:

  • Academic and Transfer Counseling
  • Educational Planning
  • Transcript Evaluations
  • Course Waivers and Substitutions
  • Personal Counseling and Referrals
  • Transfer Application Assistance


About SMC

Welcome to Santa Monica College! SMC is recognized as one of the best community colleges in California and the nation. SMC provides the first two years of American university education to help you get where you want to be. SMC is the #1 school to transfer to the UC system, USC, and Loyola Marymount University. SMC is #2 nationwide to Columbia University and #1 among schools west of the Mississippi River.

Français 日本語 繁體中文 Pусский
ภาษาไทย العربية Português Bahasa Indonesia
한국어 Español Türkçe Tiếng Việt

Google Translate to translate information on this website to other languages.

Additional Information

Click below for addtional information for New Students, Continuing Students, or for information on Special Programs

New Students

SMC offers many programs, like the Intensive English Program and 18​0 degrees and certificates.

Join our community of more than 3,400 international students from 100 countries.​

New Students Information

Current Students

The International Education Center supports students with many services, like orientation, academic advising, activities, immigration assistance and more.

Current Students Information

Special Programs

Go Global with SMC! Travel in a study abroad program and engage in our nationally-recognized Global Citizenship program with various campus events and activities.

Special Programs



Helpful Information


Application Deadlines

Winter 2022
Out of country: November 15
In country:  December 1

Spring 2022
Out of country: January 5
In Country: January 15

Summer 2022
Out of country: May 15
In Country: June 1

Fall 2022
Out of country: July 15
In country: August 1


Hours SSC


International Education Center Office Hours​
Mon-Thurs: 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

International Counseling (Fall 2021)
Mon - Thurs: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.