The US mission in India is “actively working” to accommodate as many pupil visa candidates as attainable in July and August, and facilitating their legit journey remained a prime precedence for it, a senior American diplomat stated on Sunday.
Don Heflin, the Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs on the US embassy, additionally stated that the US-bound college students is not going to require any proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter the nation. They will want a detrimental report of their COVID-19 take a look at taken inside 72 hours previous to their departure.
There has been rising nervousness amongst a sizeable variety of Indian college students aspiring to fly to the US for increased research in view of sure restrictions in getting visa appointments because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The embassy will begin giving visa interview slots for Indian college students from Monday.
“We recognise the stress and anxiety this has caused to students and their families, and we are actively working to accommodate as many student visa applicants as possible in July and August. Facilitating legitimate student travel to the United States remains a top priority for the US Mission to India,” Heflin informed PTI in an interview.
The official was requested concerning the rising uncertainty among the many Indian college students desirous to journey to the US, which had imposed contemporary journey restrictions in May.
“Students returning to academic programmes that resume on or after August 1 may travel to the United States up to 30 days before the programme resumes. There is no National Interest Exception required in this situation,” he stated.
“We recommend continuing students discuss their specific resumption plans with their respective universities to develop a travel timeline,” Heflin stated.
The National Interest Exceptions (NIE) enable journey to the US for individuals whose entry is taken into account of nationwide curiosity.
“We intend to start an intensive two months of interviewing student visa applicants on July 1. We will plan to open as many appointments as we can safely accommodate, based on local pandemic conditions across India,” Heflin stated.
“Student visa applicants do not need an expedited appointment to schedule their visa interview. On June 14, we will open July and August appointments for students,” he added.
Asked about apprehensions referring to vaccination, the official stated proof of vaccination will not be required to enter the United States.
“Please be aware that proof of a detrimental COVID-19 take a look at outcome, taken inside 72 hours of your flight”s departure, is required to board a flight and for entry into the United States.
“While proof of vaccination will not be required to enter the United States, particular person faculties or establishments could set their very own necessities. The US training system operates independently from the federal authorities, and college students ought to seek the advice of intently with their host establishment to make sure compliance with particular person vaccination necessities,” he added.
Heflin stated there are greater than 4,500 accredited universities within the US that function autonomously, and the coverage adopted by one college for its college students and instructing group will not be the identical as that for one more one.
Asked if an exception shall be thought-about for a father or mother who needs to accompany a pupil headed to the US, the official stated dad and mom travelling to the nation, in that case, shall be categorized as vacationers.
“Tourist journey stays prohibited pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 10199,” he stated.
In view of surging COVID-19 infections in India, President Joe Biden authorised a journey ban for sure nonimmigrants from India beneath a Presidential Proclamation that got here into impact on May 4.
“Presidential Proclamation 10199 solely applies to non-citizens who’ve been bodily current in India inside the 14 days previous their utility for entry to the United States. The US Embassy and US Consulates don’t present recommendation on particular journey planning,” the official stated.
He was requested if a pupil can fly to a different nation to use for a US pupil visa, and keep quarantined there for 14 days earlier than coming into the US.
“Please be aware that F and M-visa holders travelling from India will have the ability to enter the US inside 30 days of a brand new programme begin date or programme resumption date that’s on or after August 1. This implies that some college students shall be eligible to journey as early as July 2. No National Interest Exception is required in these circumstances,” he stated.
Heflin stated pupil visa candidates with a cancelled appointment might want to make a brand new appointment and that new pupil visa appointments shall be made obtainable on a first-come, first-served foundation.
Asked if dependents of somebody having a legitimate H1B visa are thought-about for NIE waiver, he stated such individuals, who’ve particular plans to journey and might exhibit their qualification for an NIE, could contact the embassy or consulate.
He stated nonimmigrant visa holders, together with these having H1-B and who will not be topic to Presidential Proclamation 10199 based mostly on their familial relationship to a US citizen or LPR (Lawful Permanent Resident) partner or single minor youngster don’t want an NIE.
“Such travellers ought to deliver proof of the qualifying relationship to current to airline officers when initiating journey to the United States,” he stated.
To a question on whether or not speedy members of the family of a US citizen can get an expedited visa if the US citizen is planning to journey quickly, Heflin stated expedited visa appointments are adjudicated based mostly on the applicant’s goal of journey.
“Visa candidates with an pressing must journey to the US, for instance, for lifesaving medical therapy, could apply for an expedited visa appointment…
“Applicants requesting an expedited appointment must also submit evidence that they are not subject to Presidential Proclamation 10199 or may otherwise qualify for a national interest exception from these travel restrictions,” he stated.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)