Please correct me on what Stack community this question belongs in. This was the most relevant I could think of.

I am a Fulbright Scholar in the Netherlands.

All Western Europe Fulbrighters have been issued a "voluntary departure." The language of our commission is as follows:

"Please find attached a letter from the U.S. Department of State announcing a global voluntary departure for the Fulbright Program. The State Department is strongly urging the immediate departure of all US grantees in the Netherlands and many other countries in Europe. Please carefully read the attached message. Unfortunately if you depart now, you will not be able to return to complete your grants. This is currently a voluntary departure, so you can choose to remain. This is a rapidly evolving situation, however, so please be advised that this could become a mandatory departure at a later time when you will be required to leave."

The language of the State Department is as follows:

All current U.S. Fulbright grantees who are still in the affected countries are strongly urged make arrangements to return to the United States as soon as possible.

All U.S. participants who have begun their grants will continue to receive their Fulbright grant payments through June 30, 2020, notwithstanding their early departure from the program. All departing participants will immediately assume Fulbright alumni status. Please note that you will not be permitted to resume your Fulbright activities at a later date and should take all of your belongings with you. Given the fluid situation, if you do not leave now, there is no guarantee that the Fulbright Program will be able to assist you to leave later.

I am staying.

My question is, what would the repercussions be for staying in the Netherlands if a Level 4 travel advisory is put in place?

This would mean the "voluntary" becomes a "mandatory."

This is predicted to happen in the next 30 minutes by https://twitter.com/DeItaOne/status/1240651884484067330

Which is in line with a press conference scheduled in a few minutes, https://twitter.com/StateDept

What would occur if we Fulbright Scholars stayed regardless of a Level 4 warning? I highly doubt a private jet of paratroopers is going to come knock on our door. Are there any citizenship repercussions?

Thank you for any input.


  • 1
    Regarding "mandatory," nobody can force you to leave the NL other than NL authorities (though the program could stop paying you, I suppose, or otherwise apply indirect pressure). Advice to return to the US may make sense for tourists and business travelers, but from a health standpoint I would suggest that an expatriate, even a relatively short-term one like someone on a semester abroad, is likely to be safer staying at home in the foreign country than traveling back to the US. (For long-term expatriates who have nowhere to stay in the US, it of course makes no sense whatsoever.) – phoog Mar 19 at 16:51
  • 1
    Exactly the thoughts and concerns of my cohort. Please see our new petition chng.it/RZW6bvSPrY – Lopey Tall Mar 19 at 22:25
  • 1
    The New York times has a relevant story, March 19, 2020 Updated 6:40 p.m. ET. NY Times is making COVIDS-19 stories available for free. The headlline is "As Pandemic Grows, U.S. Warns Americans Not to Travel Abroad" nytimes.com/2020/03/19/us/politics/… – Gerard Ashton Mar 20 at 1:38
  • @GerardAshton just read this morning, thank you! – Lopey Tall Mar 20 at 11:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.