May 03, 2021 Immigration Law

Biden Administration Announces India Travel Ban

In response to an alarming spike in Covid cases, the Biden Administration announced a new country-wide travel ban for India beginning on Tuesday, May 4th. The ban is patterned after existing travel restrictions currently in place for China, Iran, South Africa, the UK, the Schengen zone, and Brazil.

All travelers who have been physically present in India within 14 days of travel are subject to the ban – unless they qualify for a travel ban waiver or fall within an exempt category. The exempt categories include: U.S. citizens; lawful permanent residents; spouses and minor children or siblings of US citizens and permanent residents; parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who are under 21; and members of the U.S. armed forces and their spouses and children. All exempt travelers may need to undergo enhanced screening or other precautionary measures upon arrival in the U.S. Travelers whose entry is deemed to be in the U.S. national interest, and travelers whose entry into the U.S. will further important law enforcement objectives, among others, may qualify for travel ban waivers, also referred to as National Interest Exceptions. In addition, university students, academics, and journalists will also be exempt from the travel ban.

 U.S. consular operations in India have been significantly curtailed as a result of the public health situation. Travelers seeking to make visa appointments in India are likely to encounter long delays. National Interest Exceptions are also likely to be very difficult to obtain for the foreseeable future.

If you have any questions about these developments, please contact us.