U.S. Will Restrict Nonimmigrant Travelers from India Beginning May 4, 2021
Updated: May 4
Because of the widespread, person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 in India, President Biden has issued a proclamation suspending the entry into the United States, as nonimmigrants, of certain individuals who were physically present in India during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry. This proclamation is effective at 12:01 am (ET) on May 4, 2021.
The proclamation does not apply to:
1) lawful permanent residents;
2) noncitizen nationals;
3) noncitizen who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
4) noncitizen who is the parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21; and
5) noncitizen who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21;
There are other exceptions to the Proclamation that are included in the Proclamation text. To read the entirety of the proclamation, click here.
Further, the following individuals may continue to travel in the national interest for purposes of approving exceptions under the geographic COVID Presidential Proclamations, including those subject to restrictions under this Proclamation:
Immigrants (not applicable to the restrictions under the April 30, India Proclamation, which only covers nonimmigrant travel)
Students and certain academics covered by exchange visitor programs. Students subject to these geographic COVID proclamations due to their presence in India, China, Iran, Brazil, or South Africa, may qualify for a National Interest Exception only if their academic program begins August 1, 2021 or later. Students with valid F-1 and M-1 visas intending to begin or continue an academic program commencing August 1, 2021 or later do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual National Interest Exception to travel. They may enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before the start of their academic studies. Students seeking to apply for new F-1 or M-1 visas should check the status of visa services at the nearest embassy or consulate; those applicants who are found to be otherwise qualified for an F-1 or M-1 visa will automatically be considered for a national interest exception to travel.
Travelers who are seeking to provide vital support for critical infrastructure sectors
Pilots and aircrew traveling to the United States for training or aircraft pickup, delivery, or maintenance, including individuals who are traveling to the United States on B-1/B-2, B-1, or M-1 visas, or Visa Waiver Program authorizations. This also include certain M-2 dependents when the principal’s necessary training is four weeks or more.
Certain exchange visitors, including:
Travel by an au pair to provide care for a minor U.S. citizen, LPR, or nonimmigrant in lawful status when the au pair possesses special skills required for a child with particular needs (e.g., medical, special education, or sign language).
Travel by an au pair that prevents a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or other nonimmigrant in lawful status from becoming a public health charge or ward of the state or of a medical or other public funded institution.
Travel by an au pair to provide childcare services for a child whose parents are involved with the provision of medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 or medical research at United States facilities to help the United States combat COVID-19.
Travel for an exchange program conducted pursuant to an MOU, Statement of Intent, or other valid agreement or arrangement between a foreign government and any federal, state, or local government entity in the United States that is designed to promote U.S. national interests if the agreement or arrangement with the foreign government was in effect prior to June 24, 2020.
Travel by Interns and Trainees on U.S. government agency-sponsored programs (those with a program number beginning with "G-3" on Form DS-2019): An exchange visitor participating in an exchange visitor program in which he or she will be hosted by a U.S. government agency and the program supports the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States.
Travel by Specialized Teachers in Accredited Educational Institutions with a program number beginning with "G-5" on Form DS-2019: An exchange visitor participating in an exchange program in which he or she will teach full-time, including a substantial portion that is in person, in a publicly or privately operated primary or secondary accredited educational institution where the applicant demonstrates ability to make a specialized contribution to the education of students in the United States. A “specialized teacher” applicant must demonstrate native or near-native foreign language proficiency and the ability to teach his/her assigned subject(s) in that language.
Travel in support of critical foreign policy objectives: This only includes exchange visitors participating in a small number of exchange programs that fulfill critical and time sensitive foreign policy objectives.
Derivative family members accompanying a noncitizen who is excepted from or otherwise not subject to the Proclamation and who is engaging in certain types of long-term employment, studies, or research of four weeks or longer.
National Interest Exceptions will also continue to be granted by the Department of State for qualified travelers seeking to enter the United States for purposes related to humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security.
If you have a valid visa and wish to visit the U.S., or you are seeking to apply for a visa and you believe you may qualify for a national interest except, please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling.