Why There Is a Travel Ban From India?
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), within the Department of Health and Human Services, working in close coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, has determined that the Republic of India is experiencing widespread, ongoing person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19
- The World Health Organization has reported that the Republic of India has had more than 18,375,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19
- The magnitude and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of India is surging; the Republic of India accounts for over one-third of new global cases, and the number of new cases in the Republic of India is accelerating at a rapid rate
What the Presidential Proclamation States:
— “After reviewing the public health situation within the Republic of India, CDC has concluded that proactive measures are required to protect the Nation’s public health from travelers entering the United States from that jurisdiction.
Given the determination of CDC, working in close coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, described above, I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as nonimmigrants, of noncitizens of the United States (“noncitizens”) who were physically present within the Republic of India during the 14‑day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States”
Who is Barred from Entering USA?
“The entry into the United States, as nonimmigrants, of noncitizens who were physically present within the Republic of India during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States is hereby suspended and limited subject to section 2 of this proclamation”.
Who is Exempt From this Travel Ban?
- Any lawful permanent resident of the United States
- Any noncitizen national of the United States
- Any noncitizen who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Any noncitizen who is the parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21
- Any noncitizen who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21
- Any noncitizen who is the child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications
- Any noncitizen traveling at the invitation of the United States Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus
- Any noncitizen traveling as a nonimmigrant pursuant to a C-1, D, or C-1/D nonimmigrant visa as a crewmember or any noncitizen otherwise traveling to the United States as air or sea crew
Some Non-Citizens are also Exempt from This Travel Ban:
- Noncitizen seeking entry into or transiting the United States pursuant to one of the following visas:
- A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (as a foreign government official or immediate family member of an official)
- E-1 (as an employee of TECRO or TECO or the employee’s immediate family members)
- G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4, or NATO-6 (or seeking to enter as a nonimmigrant in one of those NATO categories); or
(B) whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement
- Any noncitizen who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or who is a spouse or child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Any noncitizen whose entry would further important the United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee
- Any noncitizen whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees
List of Non-US Citizens from India Who are Subject to Travel Ban to the US
- H1-B Visa holders and their dependents on H4 Visa
- L1A, L1B visa holder and their dependents on L2 visa
- B1/ B2, B2 Visa Travelers, including parents traveling on B2 visas
- F1, J1, M1 Visa holders, unless their program starts on August 1st or later
- All other non-immigrant visa holders, who travel to India to the US
Exceptions Based on National Interest (NIE) by US Dept of State
- Fiancé(e)s on K-1 Visa
- F1 and M1 Visa students with the academic program starting on August 1st, 2021, or later
(Note: They can enter the US only 30 days before the start of the program. It includes continuing F1 and M1 Visa holders with program continuation starting on August 1st, 2021 or later)
- Anyone entering the US to provide vital support for critical infrastructure sectors
(Note: There is no definite list)
- Pilots and aircrew members, others supporting aircraft maintenance, training, support entering on B1/B2, B1, and M1 Visas, including Visa Waiver programs
- Someone traveling as an au pair (young foreign worker) to support minor US Citizens, Green Card holders, or nonimmigrants with special skills like medical, special education or sign language
- Similar to other exchange visitors who provide childcare services, medical research, others, etc.
- Specialized Teachers with programs under G-5, who are full-time teachers
- Exchange visitors supporting critical foreign policy needs
- Qualified travelers for purpose of humanitarian travel, public health response, national security
Required Documents if you fall under National Interest Exception:
If you are subject to the proclamation, but fall under the exceptions listed above under National Interest Exception (NIE), you need to follow the below process:
- You need to have definitive plans for travel
Email US Consulate/ Embassy The Following Details
(It should be in English)
- Last name: Your family or last name
- First name: Your first name
- Date of birth: Your date of Birth
- Place of birth: Your place of birth as in Passport
- Country of citizenship: Your country of citizenship
- Passport number: Your passport number
- Visa Number* and Category: Your visa number and category of the visa
(The Visa number is the red number on the visa foil, it will appear at the lower right of the visa)
- Travel dates: Your planned and confirmed travel dates with itinerary
- Travel Purpose and National Interest Category that you fall under with clear justification of the same
- You will also need to provide details about the NIE category that you fall under and give details on why you are qualified under NIE and the need for your travel
You Can Find More Details about Different Services Offered by U.S. Embassy here.
US Consulate / Embassy Review – 2 weeks:
- The US Consulate/ Embassy will review your request carefully and give you a decision in approximately two weeks
Travel to the US Within 30 days:
- If you get approval from the Consulate, they will inform you of the same and you need to travel within 30 days
- The NIE is valid for single entry and within 30 days of the approval from the Consulate or Embassy
How Long is the Travel Ban Applicable to Travelers from India?
- There is no end date specified that tells the duration of the travel ban. All it says is until the president cancels it.
- US Secretary of Health and Human Services will review the situation and report in no more than 30 days
Common Questions Answered about the Travel Ban
If I am an F1 student With Summer Term Admission, Can I travel?
- According to the US Embassy in India, they cannot facilitate travel for anyone whose program starts before August 1st, 2021
- So, you may need to talk to the School and get some options to defer your admission
I have a Valid H1-B Visa and I am Presently in India, does the Travel Ban to the US apply to me?
- Yes, it applies to you
- You can only travel if you fall under the NIE as per the support of the Critical infrastructure sectors
- You need to submit proof to the consulate or embassy and get approval before your travel
I Have Urgent Travel Need to the US from India, What Are My Options?
- You need to apply Emergency Appointment, that is the only option
- Check Guide to US Emergency US Visa Appointment Request India
This is a Developing Story about Immigration we will keep you posted on the Travel Ban to India.
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