Everything you need to know about India-US travel during Covid

AircraftWith US barring direct entry from more than a dozen countries, here is guide to travel during Covid times

The Covid-19 times have been exceptionally tough for many. For those seeking to travel during this time, the experience can be called nothing short of confusing with various countries putting differing restrictions on entry, exit and transit.

As a lot of Indian visa holders travel to the US on a regular basis, President Joe Biden’s April 30 proclamation restricting travel from India has caused major anxiety with many undertaking travel to a third country to quarantine for 14 days or seeking a National Interest Exception.

If you too are on a work related visa or would like to travel to the US on a B1/B2 or visitor visa, here is everything you need to know about traveling to the US during Covid times.

Read: Indian travelers to US must get Visitor Insurance with Covid-19 cover (August 13, 2021)

There is no ban on Indians
First up, there is a need to clarify the confusion – there is no ban on Indians, contrary to popular misconceptions.

The US does not restrict any nationality from entering the US, the restriction is on any travelers physically present in the countries which are currently experiencing a high volume of Covid cases.

India is not the only country
For those who think that India or Indians are the only people that are suffering from the travel restrictions then you may like to know that restrictions extend to UK, all the Schengen countries in Europe, China, Brazil, Iran and South Africa amongst some more.

So, for any one traveling from these countries directly in to the US, the restrictions would apply.

The exemptions
All US citizens and green card holders are exempt from this ban and can travel to the US from India freely.

Also parents of kids born in the US can travel to the US regardless of whether they are accompanied by their child or not. The child has to be minor or unmarried.

F-1 visa holders who are traveling just before the start of their fall semester.

Read: Travel to India during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go (August 18, 2021)

No exclusions. What are my options?
Okay so if you do not qualify under any of these categories and your travel cannot wait you can try the option of applying for a NIE or a National Interest Exception.

How to get an NIE
There is no designated form that needs to be filled. You need to send an email to the US missions in India.



  1. Carl Follstad

    “Everything I need to know about India-US travel during Covid…” … Umm, I am an American citizen living in the USA and want to travel to India in a month. The entire topic of Americans traveling to India went unaddressed!

  2. How about calling parents from India (valid B2 visa) ? They have their both shots done with indian covid vaccine.
    Will they be allowed to travel to US in november??

  3. I m Burmese refugee but I was born in India don’t have any thing like residents card or id from of India. I came to United state from India but I m not Indian citizen. Do you think I can go back to India in this time of Covid. I really need to go back to visit I live in the north east part of India.

  4. I see in US Embassy and Consulates in India are currently allowing only Emergency Visa appointments. The current Covid status is far better than the recent past. Why can’t they resume all normal Visa Appointments. In fact some consulates are closed.

  5. Anjali suhas patil

    My sister is in US …She is US citizen but wants to travel to india as our father is terminally I’ll due to metastatic cancer ….Why is she not being considered for emergency travel to meet her father ?


    Any idea when India will be exempted from this proclamation , as covid seems to be under control in india now

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