April 30, 2021

U.S. will suspend entry for certain individuals who have been physically present in India

This alert applies only to individuals currently in India, or who are considering travel to India. If this does not describe your situation, you may disregard the message.

On April 30, 2021, President Biden issued a Proclamation suspending entry to the United States of certain nonimmigrants physically present in India. An earlier White House press release stated, “On the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Administration will restrict travel from India starting immediately.” The policy will take effect at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

In the Proclamation, U.S. governmental agencies are ordered to take measures to prevent entry to the U.S. of individuals who have been physically present in India during the prior 14 days, unless an exemption or exception applies.

The following groups are exempted from the restrictions:

  • U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to the U.S.,
  • Spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents,
  • Parents or legal guardians of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents if the citizen or permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21,
  • Siblings of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents as long as both individuals are unmarried and under the age of 21,
  • Children, foster children, or wards of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident,
  • Certain diplomatic visa holders,
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children,
  • Individuals traveling at the invitation of the U.S. Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus.

The policy will prevent issuance of a nonimmigrant visa to individuals present in India during the 14 days before their visa application, unless the applicant demonstrates that he or she meets the criteria for a “National Interest Exception.”

If you are currently in India and have a valid U.S. visa or travel document, it is advisable to return to the U.S. before Tuesday, May 4th. Elective travel to India should be avoided if possible. If travel to India cannot be avoided, then please be advised that this Proclamation will remain in place until rescinded by President Biden, and return travel from India to the U.S. will be significantly delayed. Another option would be to depart India, quarantine for 14 days in a non-restricted country, and then apply for a visa or travel to the U.S. with a valid visa or other valid travel document. We will continue to provide updated information as soon as it is available.

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