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Advisory for Indian students in the context of Coronavirus pandemic

Following the growing cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), US universities have taken measures to shut down on-campus operations and/or move classes online. The Embassy of India Education Team/India Student Hub (“India Student Hub”) has the following advisory for Indian students who may be impacted by these decisions. Please note that this advisory is based on information available as of 13 March 2020. The WHO, CDC, and your universities are generally the best sources for latest information in this rapidly evolving situation. Further India Student Hub updates will be issued as needed.

Please read this advisory carefully. For further questions, you may use the helpline numbers mentioned below.

1. If you are staying in on-campus housing and are asked to vacate, check with your university if you can petition to continue staying in on-campus housing. If you cannot petition for continued on-campus housing or your petition is not accepted, consult with your university or your network on how to find alternate accommodations.

2. If your university is shutting down on-campus services, check with your university on how to avail your university’s health services, student health insurance, international student services, and any other essential service(s) that may be impacted.

3. Read official campus advisories or contact your Designated Student Official (DSO) for information on how short-term or long-term shifts to online courses will impact your F-1 or J-1 status. If you are graduating in Spring 2020 and travelling internationally, please contact your DSO for advice on how this may impact your graduation and application for OPT.

On this matter, the US government has indicated that this is an evolving situation. At this stage, they expect the closure to be of limited duration (2-4 weeks), which fits within the current regulatory context.  When the school re-opens, the student will resume studies. They are treating this more like a spring or summer break, where a student may remain in the country even though school is not in session. However, if the closure is for several months (5 or more) which exceeds the permissible period between semesters, then the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will provide additional guidance. https://www.ice.gov/sevis/whats-new

4. Please avoid all non-essential domestic or international travel. For official advisories on domestic US and international travel, please consult the CDC website. For international travel, please also contact your DSO for information on any possible impact in the future on your F-1 or J-1 status.

5. As of 13 March 2020, if you are planning travel from USA to India, then you will be subject to medical screening upon arrival and you may be put in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days if required.

All incoming travellers to India, including Indian nationals, from/or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain, and/or Germany after 15 February 2020 will be mandatorily quarantined for a minimum of 14 days. However, if travellers are transiting through any of the above mentioned countries (i.e. no immigration stamp of the transit country/ies on their passports), they will not be subjected to a mandatory quarantine. https://boi.gov.in/sites/default/files/u4/faq-covid-19.pdf

6. For travel from India to the United States, please check the US Department of State website.

7. Overseas travel may compromise your ability to return to the US. Currently, the US has issued travel restrictions for travellers arriving from 26 countries of Europe, China, etc.

8. Please consult the WHO and CDC guidelines for further information about the disease, preventative measures, and what to do if you experience any symptoms.

This is an unprecedented situation, but we can successfully manage it by taking decisions with a calm mind. Please take prudent health precautions and carefully review information and travel advisories.

To receive the latest India Student Hub advisory(s), register here.

For queries/clarifications regarding the recent travel advisory issued by the Government of India for travel to India in view of the spread of COVID-19, please visit: https://indianembassyusa.gov.in/extra?id=60

For any emergency consular services by jurisdiction, please visit:

Residents of Bermuda, Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia


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