Aarti, an Indian citizen with a work visa for the United States, was in the country when the US government announced the ban on May 3, 2021, due to an increase in cases of delta variants of the corona virus.
Since then, the United States has allowed only permanent residents and U.S. citizens to enter India. Although students will be allowed to travel from August 1, the ban will still apply to Indian citizens with non-US immigrant visas such as H1B and L1.
Aarti, who has been working in the US since 2016, is worried that he will not be able to return as he has been living in the country. Like the thousands of Indian-American visa workers stranded in India, he is exploring several options for returning to the United States.
Some Indians have applied for what is known as the “National Interest Exception” (NIE), which allows Indians to enter the United States under certain conditions, such as essential personnel in infrastructure and infrastructure. Things like banking or health care, but accepted. NIE is a long shot.
After exploring all the possibilities for their return, Aarti decided to go to the US after staying in Qatar for 13 days, as per the travel rules, non-immigrant Indians can enter the US if they can prove that they are staying in a third country. Covit-19 has been on the ban list for the past 14 days.
Many Indians with H1B visas like her went to the Maldives, Turkey, Mexico and Serbia, allowing Indian citizens to enter despite the start of the second wave. “I booked flights to Mexico, but changed my mind after Qatar opened its borders to Indians in mid – July.
After Artie changed his travel plans, he canceled his original booking for Mexico, demanded a refund and had to book flights to Doha.
“Traveling in a third country is stressful. When I was stranded in India, everyone told me to be confident and wait until the restrictions were lifted. But the United States has banned flights from Europe for more than a year. I did not expect our travel restrictions to be lifted immediately,” he said. Told the DW location.
To the United States via Mexico
Many Indians traveled to their home country from the United States because they lost their parents or other family members to Govt-19 disease and were not allowed to return due to travel restrictions.
According to Ajay Sharma, head of the Abhinav Immigration Service, a New Delhi-based immigration consultancy, many types of US visas are non-immigrant and are subject to conditions and limited validity.
“If a person has an H-1 or H-4 visa and has been in India for any reason since the onset of the second wave of the corona virus, that person must be in India,” Sharma explained to DW. Some are unable to reassess their visa. For bureaucratic difficulties at the US Embassy
There are some companies in Mexico that offer accommodation to people traveling from India to the United States via Mexico. One of the companies has helped at least 200 families through WhatsApp groups. Some Indians are trying to bring one of their parents to the United States via Mexico after they died of the corona virus.
According to a Chicago-based consultant, he returned to the United States via Mexico in July, and traveling through a third country is an expensive concept for H1B holders. Not everyone can travel through a third country. For example, a one-way flight from Mumbai to Mexico City can cost up to 100,000 rupees (approximately $ 1,300).
The consultant, who wanted to remain anonymous, is thinking of traveling back to India in August due to a medical emergency. “The idea that we have to get back on the Mexican route is restless,” he said.
(cp / ers)
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