Indians, OCI card holders worried about relatives in the US or planning to travel.
For the Kumar family in Ohio, the Coronavirus panic has brought along another unexpected worry. The family had planned to travel to India this coming weekend long back.
While the family is on a visa in the US and do not require an Indian visa to technically travel, their anxiety is about their toddler who is a US citizen.
The best bet for the family, according to friends and relatives, is to cancel all travel plans at least for now.
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While Kumars would only lose some money in the process, the Shah family in New Jersey is facing another difficulty.
Their visiting elderly parents were to travel back to India soon, but now it’s risky to send the elderly on a transatlantic flight in these times of Coronavirus fear.
The Shahs are puzzled as their parents’ limit of six month stay on the B1/B2 visa is expiring later this month.
They are now worried about whether to get their visas extended. They are consulting attorneys on how to go about it and whether the extension in any way would reflect negatively in their visa record in the future.
There is a widespread anxiety and confusion among hundreds of Indians living and working in the US due to various travel restrictions as well as the Indian government’s decision to suspend all existing visas except diplomatic, official, UN/international organizations, employment, project visas till April 15.
The visa free travel facility for OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card holders has also been suspended until April 15.
The curbs that went into effect March 13 onward at the ports of departure have altered the travel plans for many.
While majority of people are voluntarily cancelling any non- emergency travel plans in order to contain the spread as well as avoiding exposure to the dreaded virus, things are looking a bit trying for those who are also stuck in immigration issues.
New Jersey based Dipti Patel tells the American Bazaar, “I have my cousin in California whose H-1B visa got denied recently.”
“The couple are all set to travel back, but their baby is a US citizen and they do not know what course of action the Indian government would take in such as case,” she said.
“They have been calling the embassy with their case for a day now, but haven’t yet got a conclusive solution to their dilemma.”
With Coronavirus pandemic far from contained as yet, times continue to look trying for travelers.
However, immigration attorneys believe that in these extraordinary times every legitimate consideration will be made by the authorities. People must not panic, they suggest.