After the US announced travel restrictions on India, which are set to start on May 4, barring the entry of non-US citizens who traveled to India during the 14-day period preceding their entry into the US, the Biden administration has further announced that certain categories of students, academics, and journalists are exempted from the new set of travel restrictions.
“In keeping with the Department of State’s commitment to facilitate legitimate travel to the United States, Secretary Blinken decided today to apply the same set of National Interest Exceptions to India that he had previously applied to all other regional travel restrictions currently in effect as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the US State Department said.
Students seeking to commence studies in the fall, certain academics, journalists, and individuals who provide critical infrastructure support in countries affected by a geographic COVID-19 restriction may qualify for a National Interest Exception. This includes qualified applicants who have been present in India, Brazil, China, Iran, or South Africa, according to a State Department release.
The new rule will not apply to US citizens, lawful permanent residents and non-citizen nationals of the United States; nor to any non-citizen who is the spouse of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident.
“As the global situation evolves, the department continues to seek ways to process more visa applications, in line with science-based guidance from health authorities, and with the health and safety of staff and applicants as our priority,” the State Department said.