US adds India to list of countries with restricted travel

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U.S. President Joe Biden added India to the countries on a travel ban list due to COVID-19. Students from India are currently unable to apply for national interest exemption.

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Amid a second wave of COVID-19 cases in India, U.S. President Joe Biden added the country to the COVID-19 travel ban list in a proclamation effective Tuesday.

The proclamation only allows for immediate family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, according to a press release from the Berkeley International Office, or BIO. Other countries on the ban list include China, Iran, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Brazil, South Africa and the European Schengen area.

Guidelines from the U.S. Department of State also included exceptions for students with valid F-1 student visas, who automatically qualify for national interest exemptions. Students and scholars with J-1 student visas from countries with travel restrictions will still have to apply for an exemption, according to the release.

Students from India are currently unable to apply for national interest exemptions, the release added.

“BIO is saddened by the crisis in India and we’re here to provide support,” said BIO director Ivor Emmanuel in the release. “Please reach out to us if we can be of assistance during this difficult time.”

BIO will provide updates as more information unfolds.

Check back for updates.


Aditya Katewa is the executive news editor. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @adkatewa1.