This article will discuss:
How to Avoid US travel Ban from India/Europe?
The travel ban is applicable only if you have been physically present in India or European countries in the last 14 days.
To circumvent the situation, you can plan to stay in a third country like Mexico, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Canada, etc., and then take a flight directly to the US.
You will still need the COVID test result before you board the flight but it can help you bypass the US travel ban.
#1 Mexico (Recommended)
- You can enter Mexico without needing a Mexican visa if you have a stamped valid US visa in your passport.
- The only problem you may face is that there are a very low number of flights that go to Mexico directly from India. You may have to take a three-stop flight to reach Mexico which might prove to be a bit costly.
- Most of the flights from India to Mexico have stopovers in either Japan, China, Amsterdam, or Canada.
- You can get a 30 day Turkey tourist visa online if you have a valid stamped US visa in your passport.
- The approved Turkish visa is sent by email within 24 hours of submitting the request. You can print it on A4 size white paper. You can select the priority service for guaranteed 1-hour processing too.
- There are direct flights from India and Europe to Turkey that you can use easily.
- You will need a Canadian visitor visa or Canada PR to stay there to fulfill the 14-day requirement.
- Getting a Canadian visa itself may be difficult since it needs biometric and Canadian centers may be closed in India.
#4 Sri Lanka
- Some people have suggested Sri Lanka as it allows visas on arrival for Indians but the problem is quickly changing rules due to COVID.
- At this time, we found that Sri Lanka has closed all arrivals. If this changes, you can visit Sri Lanka too for your 14-day stay.
President Biden has issued the travel ban from India due to COVID. The ban stops any non-US citizens from entering the US if they have been in India anytime in the last 14 days.
There is no end date for the ban at this time but it will be reviewed every 30 days. If deemed unnecessary based on India’s COVID situation, Biden may lift the ban.
#1 Currently outside the USA (US visa)
You are banned and most probably the US embassy will not issue a visa to you until the entry ban is active. At this time, most of the US embassy in India is closed and only honoring emergency services.
#2 US citizen Kid parents (H1B, B1/B2, other visas)
US citizens can travel along with their parents who may be on the visa like H4, H1B etc.
The airline that you are boarding will check the travel ban conditions and hence it is important to show them that you are a parent of a US citizen child who is unmarried and below 21 years of age.
- The US citizen child may or may not be traveling with you. Both cases are allowed.
- Carry the US citizen kid’s US passport and birth certificate as proof.
#3 H-1B lottery
(OPT, F1 to H1B and other cases – 2021-22 season starting Oct 1, 2021)
- Currently, Outside USA – You cannot enter the US until the ban is active. A visa stamp will not be issued even if the US embassy reopens. The application will be kept in form 221g admin processing.
- Currently inside the USA – Not affected if you filed as a change of status. If you have applied in consular processing, you can file the H1B amendment with change-of-status after Oct 1.
#4 F1 students
- Currently inside the USA – People currently inside the US are safe. USCIS will approve as usual.
- Currently, outside the USA – the US embassy will issue an F1 visa if your classes are scheduled to start on or after Aug 1, 2021.
- For classes starting before Aug 1, 2021, you will have to talk to your school/college and adjust the class schedule.
- Hybrid (online + in-person) and in-person classes are eligible for F1 visas. Completely online classes courses are not eligible.
#5 i485 AOS, i485 EAD applicants
You cannot return to the US until the ban is active.
The travel ban affects the pending green card applications outside the USA.
- Currently, inside the USA – Green cards will be approved.
- Currently, outside the USA – Green cards may not be approved until the order stays Active. NVC may not schedule an interview appointment until the ban is active.
I-130, i140, PERM, EB-1, EB-2, EB-3 are not affected by travel ban.
#6 US Citizen/Green Card Holders
You can enter the US without any issue even if you were in Indian in last 14 days.
Form 221g Issued after Interview
The US embassy are issuing form 221g admin processing with the reason as ‘president proclamation’ even if you get an appointment for visa interview.
This is a recent case from the US embassy in Mumbai where the H1B applicant appeared for an interview on June 15 but was issued form 221g even with an NIE (National Interest Exception) exception.
The status on CEAC website shows as ‘refused’ but the case is still active as form 221g was issued.