U.S. Restricts Travel From India; Students Eligible for Exemptions

President Biden added India to the list of countries affected by coronavirus-related travel restrictions, but students and certain academics participating in exchange programs will be eligible for exemptions.

“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,” the State Department says on its website.

Students with valid F and M student visas who are starting or continuing academic programs that start Aug. 1 or later do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual national interest exception to travel; they can enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days prior before the start of their studies.

Students who are applying for new visas who are found to be otherwise qualified for F and M visas will be automatically considered for a national interest exception to the travel restrictions.

The State Department announced the eligibility for exemptions from coronavirus-related travel restrictions for students and academics present in Brazil, China, Iran and South Africa earlier last week, prior to the addition of India to the travel ban list.

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