A new proclamation has been issued by the White House, which restricts the entry of certain nonimmigrant travels from India into the United States. These restrictions will go into effect on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.
The White House proclamation states that the new measures are being implemented due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in India. Over the past few weeks, coronavirus cases have skyrocketed, and India now accounts for 1/3 of all COVID-19 infections worldwide. The policy states that there will be restrictions on entry into the United States by non-US citizens present in India 14 days before their travel here.
The proclamation signed by President Joe Biden states –
“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.”
The policy further states that the U.S Embassy in India encourages U.S. citizens who wish to depart India to take advantage of currently available commercial flights. Airlines continue to operate multiple direct flights weekly from India to the United States; additional flight options remain available via transfers in Paris, Frankfurt, and Doha.
The policy will not apply to American citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPR), or other people with these specific exceptions:
- Any immigrant who has an unused or unexpired immigrant visa;
- Any non-U.S. citizen spouse of a U.S. citizen or LPR;
- Any non-U.S. citizen who is the parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or LPR, provided that the U.S. citizen or LPR child is unmarried and under the age of 21;
- Any non-U.S. citizen who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or LPR, provided that both the non-U.S. citizen and the U.S. citizen or LPR sibling are unmarried and under the age of 21;
- Any non-U.S. citizen who is the child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or LPR, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
- Any holders of nonimmigrant visas in the following categories: C-1, D, C-1/D air and sea crew, A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3, E-1, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4, or NATO-6; or
- Students who already possess a valid student (F or M) visa and who will begin their studies on or after August 1, 2021. (Note that direct travel to the United States from India with a student visa may begin no more than 30 days prior to the start date of a student’s classes.)
If you currently have a flight booked, or plans to travel to the United States but do not fall into an exception category, contact the embassy or consulate that issued your visa before departing, as you may not be allowed to travel at this time. General travel information between India and the U.S as well as information about COVID-19 within India, is available via the U.S. Embassy here.
This proclamation will remain in effect until terminated by President Biden. Thirty days after the proclamation, and then at the end of every calendar month, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra will recommend whether the president should continue, modify, or terminate this proclamation.