USA Relax Travel Curbs For Indians; Here’s What It Means

Planning to travel to the US? It has been a tough nut to crack as the US had imposed travel bans on passengers travelling from India in view of the deadly second wave. Plus, immigration rules are constantly changing.  But now the US has lowered down the risk level for travelling to India to ‘level 2: moderate’. US has categorised countries in terms of the risk related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier, India was in ‘level 4: do not travel’ of the list, which refers to the countries with the highest risk. Besides, the United States will re-open to air passengers from India, Britain, China, and many more European nations to everyone who has received the COVID-19 vaccine in early November. 

If you are planning to travel to the US, here’s what you should know! 

Did The US Ease Travel Restrictions For Indian Passengers?

The US had eased travel advisory for India from the highest Level 4 to Level 3, which urged citizens to reconsider travel. And now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 2 Travel Health Notice for India due to dip in cases in the country. The State Department said, “Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorised vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers,”

Can A B-1/B-2 Visa Holder Travel To The U.S From India Via Third Party Country?

Yes, Indian travellers holding a B-1/B-2 visa can travel to the US via a third country. However, Indians will have to stay for 14 days in the third party country prior to arrival in the U.S. But the challenge is finding a third-party country that is currently accepting Indian travellers as visa services for most countries remain suspended in India. Check with your travel agent to determine which countries are open to travellers from India and which of these give visas on arrival to Indian nationals and allow visa-free travel. 

Can You & Your Family Travel To The US If You Hold Valid L Visas?

You can travel to the US without any restrictions if you hold an L visa as nonimmigrant visa holders are not subject to the travel ban. Your family including your spouse and unmarried children can also travel to the US if you hold L visas. However, your family must present proof of the qualifying relationship to airline officials while travelling to the United States.

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Can You Travel To The US If You Need To Join University On M-1 Visa?

Students can travel to the US if the start date of their program is August 1, 2021, or later. Are you looking to apply for new F-1or M-1 visas? You should check the status of visa services at the nearest Embassy. Applicants who qualified for an F-1 or M-1 visa will be considered for an NIE to travel. However, the U.S. Consulates and the Embassy in India are not scheduling visa interviews at present mandatory for most visa applicants. If you already have a valid F-1 or M-1 visa, you may spend 14 days in a third country before arriving in the US.

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Will You Be Subject To Travel Ban From India If You Have Been In India For Emergency Purposes?

You will be subject to travel while returning to the US unless you are travelling for support or executive direction for major economic activity in the United States. You may also qualify for an NIE if you work for public health response or national security. Indian Students Shell Out Whopping ₹2 Lakhs For One-Way Ticket To Canada.

Please note that non-immigrant visa holders (including H-1B), who are not subject to a travel ban do not need an NIE. 


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