Step-By-Step Process: India-US Travel During Travel Ban

The CDC has reduced the travel advisory against India from Level 4 to Level 3. Easing travel restrictions from India to the US is an indication of the reduction in Covid-19 infection rate in India. Level 3 suggests Reconsidering Travel as opposed to Level 4 which was Do Not Travel.

While the travel ban is still in place, there are talks to slowly ease it by August 2021. This will mean resuming the issuance of non-immigrant U.S. visas like B2, visitor visas and H4 dependent visas at the U.S. consulates.

Level 3 Travel Advisory – What Does That Mean For Travelers To India

  • CDC urges you to be fully vaccinated before traveling to India
  • Unvaccinated travelers should avoid non-essential travel to India
  • Be warned, all travelers are at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants, especially the delta variant of the Covid virus prevalent in India
  • CDC also urges travelers to India to get the flu vaccine, although not mandatory.
  • Travelers should follow recommendations or requirements in India, including wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart from others
  • Self-quarantining for 7 days after travel is recommended. If you show any symptoms of acquiring the Covid-19, get tested immediately and seek medical help

Travel Ban: Step-By Step Guide For Travelers From India To U.S.

All travelers entering the U.S. are urged to be fully vaccinated with WHO approved vaccines

  • Self-isolate for 7 days as soon as you enter the U.S.
  • Get tested after 3-5 days after travel
  • Self-monitor and Quarantine if you test positive.
  • Contact a health official for treatment
  • A lot of travelers are choosing to travel via Mexico before entering the United States. They stay there for 14 days prior to entering the U.S.

Related Read: Don’t Take A Chance On Your Trip Plans – Buy Trip Insurance 

What Is National Interest Exception (NIE)? And Who Qualifies For It

After the U.S. State Department issued a travel ban against India on May 4, 2020, many travelers were stranded in India, unable to enter the U.S. The U.S. consulates stopped issuing non-immigrant visas and backlogs just kept increasing.

Are You Just Visiting The U.S. Temporarily? Protect Yourself With Travel Medical Insurance During This Pandemic 

Recently, however, the U.S. State Department has announced certain exceptions to the travel restrictions under the National Interest Waivers. If approved NIE is valid for multiple entries in to the U.S. for 12 months. The following will qualify for an NIE and may enter the U.S. despite the travel ban – 

  • Any non-citizen who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • Those who are seeking to provide vital support or executive direction for critical infrastructure; Those traveling to provide vital support or executive direction for significant economic activity in the United States; 
  • Those in public health and/or supporting the alleviation of Covid-19;
  • Journalists; 
  • International students with valid F1visas and certain academics covered by exchange visitor programs; 
  • Dependent immigrants including those providing care for a U.S. citizen who can be a minor child, lawful permanent resident or other non-immigrant in lawful status close family member;
  • Fiancés on valid K1/K3 visas

Travel Restriction: Step-By Step Guide For Travel From U.S. To India

  • Get yourself tested, maximum 72 hours before your flight. Flights only accept a RT-PCR test result. An alternative test result that is also acceptable is called – SARS-CoV-2 Assay (RNA Detection Test by RT-qPCR). Other test results are not acceptable for boarding these flights.
  • Ensure test results have the name and date of birth of the traveler along with the name & official logo of the doctor and official testing center.
  • Download the Aarogya setu App and upload all results as well as your contact details in India on it.
  • Submit a self-declaration form as well as the Covid negative test result on Air Suvidha portal before your scheduled arrival at an Indian airport.