The second wave of COVID-19 has forced several countries to ban the entry of travelers from India, including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Australia, China and the countries of the European Union.
Although special restrictions have been issued for travelers from India, there appears to be some confusion among those who wish to travel abroad after being vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, they are not sure about vaccine passports, which vaccine to choose and quarantine standards.
The United States is one of the top destinations for Indian students and around 2 lakh of them enter the country on student visas, followed by China.
The U.S. government began processing visas for Indian students from June 14 and given the anxiety among potential applicants, Parikshit Luthra of CNBC-TV18 spoke with Don Heflin, consular affairs adviser at the United States Embassy in India, to discuss visa protocols, guidelines to follow. and what categories of visa holders can travel to the United States.
Asked about the possibility of allowing Indians to enter the country, Heflin said. “The US government has no vaccination policy. Our CDC has mandated a RTPCR within three days of travel and no vaccination requirements. Schools and universities each have their own requirements and you should check what they are. Some schools require people to isolate themselves first and if you haven’t been vaccinated the first thing they want to do is take you to a vaccination center and get you vaccinated. “
Speaking about the students, he explained, “It’s been a tough year for everyone. One of our favorite things is issuing student visas. Last year it didn’t happen to anyone because the pandemic was so strong. This year is better, but we got a late start. We usually like interviewing some people in May and a lot of people in June, but a lot of our consular towns have been on lockdown. We are starting but we will really start the July 1. More of our dates will be in August than we wanted. Lots of people had technical difficulties but thousands got their appointments and we will post more appointments next week.
“If the students can’t get to the US before the program start date, the universities usually work with you. You can talk to them and ask them to send you a letter that you can show up a bit late. are pretty sure you can work with your university and be late, ”he added.
He also spoke about allowing journalists to travel to the United States and said, “Journalists must apply for a national interest exception. Generally speaking, they will be eligible because of the strong press freedom we have in the United States. some difference. We didn’t have a lot of applications from journalists, but whoever came in general will be qualified. “
To learn more, watch the video.