With the decline of Covid-19 cases in the world and highly boosted process of vaccination to the beneficiaries, many countries are providing laxity in the stringent covid protocols. Don Heflin, the Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs at the U.S. embassy said that the U.S. Mission in India is steadily working to accommodate as many Indian applicants as possible in July and August, and assisting their travel remains a top priority for it.
He also said that the U.S.-bound students will not require any proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter the country. They will need a negative report of their COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to their departure. Indian Students aspiring to fly to the U.S. for higher studies are lining up as they are already 2 academic years late amid the pandemic.
On this, Mr. Heflin said “We recognize the stress and anxiety this has caused to students and their families, and we are actively working to accommodate as many student visa applicants as possible in July and August. Facilitating legitimate student travel to the United States remains a top priority for the U.S. Mission to India,”
“Students returning to academic programme that resume on or after August 1 may travel to the United States up to 30 days before the programme resumes. There is no National Interest Exception required in this situation,” Mr. Heflin said. “We recommend continuing students discuss their specific resumption plans with their respective universities to develop a travel timeline,” Mr. Heflin added further. The embassy will start giving visa interview slots to Indian students from June 14th.
From now on, The person whose entry is considered of national interest may travel US by The National Interest Exceptions (NIE). “We intend to start an intensive two months of interviewing student visa applicants on July 1. We will plan to open as many appointments as we can safely accommodate, based on local pandemic conditions across India,” Mr. Heflin said.
“Student visa applicants do not need an expedited appointment to schedule their visa interview. On June 14, we will open July and August appointments for students,” he added. When asked about the documents regarding vaccination, he said proof of vaccination is not required to enter the United States.
“Please note that proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, taken within 72 hours of your flight’s departure, is required to board a flight and for entry into the United States.
“While proof of vaccination is not required to enter the United States, individual schools or institutions may set their own requirements. The U.S. education system operates independently from the federal government, and students should consult closely with their host institution to ensure compliance with individual vaccination requirements,” Mr. Heflin added.