COVID-19 travel restrictions

United States restricts travel from India: What to know

The Biden administration announced it was implementing restrictions on travel from India to the United States because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new restrictions suspend entry of foreign nationals who have been physically present in India within the 14-day period preceding arrival to the United States. The new measures do not impact United States citizens or permanent residents.

The restrictions will take effect on Tuesday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m. ET. and include multiple exemptions and exceptions for:

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents
  • Parents or legal guardians of unmarried U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents under the age of 21
  • Siblings of unmarried U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents under the age of 21
  • U.S. armed forces members and their spouses and children
  • Noncitizens traveling at the invitation of the United States government “for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus”
  • Noncitizens whose entry would be in the “national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees”

The Secretary of State announced that the agency intends to apply the same set of National Interest Exceptions (NIE) to India that are currently in effect for all other regional travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information about qualifying for a NIE can be found here.

“After reviewing the public health situation within the Republic of India, CDC has concluded that proactive measures are required to protect the Nation’s public health from travelers entering the United States from that jurisdiction,” President Joe Biden wrote in a proclamation released Friday.

There have been more than 19.9 million total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India as of May 3, according to the World Health Organization, and the country has experienced a dramatic surge of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

A similar ban remains in place suspending entry of foreign nationals who have been physically present in China, the 26 countries in Europe’s “Schengen Area,” the United Kingdom, Iran, Ireland, South Africa and Brazil in the 14-day period prior to traveling to the U.S.

Additionally, an order from the CDC requiring a negative COVID-19 test upon departure to the U.S. also remains in effect.

The attorneys at Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm continue to recommend avoiding non-essential international travel at this time as travel restrictions, executive orders and COVID-19 requirements are changing rapidly and often last minute which may affect appointments at the U.S. Consulates and your ability to return to the U.S.

If you have unavoidable travel, you should contact the attorneys at Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm and, while traveling, you should continually monitor all travel restrictions, border closures, executive orders, COVID-19 requirements, etc., as these may change last-minute and may impact/disrupt your travel.

The attorneys at Garfinkel Immigration continue to monitor the situation closely and will alert clients as circumstances evolve.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm at 704-442-8000 or via email with any questions.

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