Advisory for Indian Students Advisory for Indian Students

Embassy of India

Washington D.C.

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9 July 2020

The Embassy of India Student Hub issues the following advisory for Indian students who may have been impacted by the United States’ Student and Visitor Exchange Program (SEVP) broadcast message on 6 July 2020, titled “SEVP modifies temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during fall 2020 semester”:

1. Students are made aware that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been changes to visa policies for the Fall 2020 semester that impact international non-immigrant students in the United States. More information on this is available at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s COVID-19 Resource Center (https://www.ice.gov/coronavirus), in the broadcast message dated July 6, 2020 (https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/bcm2007-01.pdf), and in subsequent SEVP FAQs issued on July 7, 2020 (https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/sevisFall2020_FAQ.pdf). 

2. The Embassy is following developments relating to latest SEVP announcement and is engaging with U.S. Administration, universities and colleges to respond to concerns of the Indian students. At the India-U.S. Foreign Office Consultations held on 7 July, 2020, Foreign Secretary of India, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, conveyed our concerns on this matter to U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale. The Embassy of India continues to engage with relevant US stakeholders to obtain clarity on the issue, keeping in focus the interests and welfare of the Indian students in the U.S.

3. Meanwhile, students are encouraged to remain in contact with their Designated School Officers (DSO) and continue to monitor official University channels. The new rules may have implications based on University/program and your DSO remains the best source of comprehensive information on your University’s response and how this modification in the rules may affect you. Students may also contact the SEVP Response Center at 703-603-3400 or 1-800-892-4829 for general and case-specific questions, or e-mail SEVP@ice.dhs.gov for general questions (https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/sevisFall2020_FAQ.pdf).

4. Travel arrangements: Students should consult their DSOs before making travel arrangements:

Students who wish to depart the United States in the coming weeks under Vande Bharat Mission, can directly book tickets on the Air India website [http://www.airindia.in/]. Please continue to monitor official channels for updated information on future flights.

Students who wish to travel to the United States for the Fall 2020 semester are requested to confirm eligibility with their DSO and receive updated annotated I-20s (https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/bcm2007-01.pdf) prior to undertaking their travel.

5. Students are encouraged to register with the Embassy at https://www.indianembassyusa.gov.in/Indian_Students_Registration to timely receive important advisories and to facilitate the Embassy to render support, as and when the need so arises.

6. Advice for Incoming Students: Incoming students are informed that the Embassy of India Student Hub will host an ‘Advice for Incoming Indian International Students’ series in the coming weeks. Details will be made available in the coming days on the Student Hub website: https://www.ishubus.com/

7. Practical Training Advisory: Students who are seeking practical training opportunities, such as curricular practical training (CPT), optional practical training (OPT), post-completion OPT, and/or the STEM Extension OPT are encouraged to read the Embassy’s advisory at: https://www.ishubus.com/resources/advisories

8. Students are welcome to contact the Student Hub’s Non-Emergency Peer Support Line (https://www.ishubus.com/covid19/peersupport) at (414) 40-INDIA or at covid19@ishubus.com if they need additional support. In the event of a consular emergency, they may contact the Embassy/Consulate as per their jurisdiction, details at: https://www.ishubus.com/resources/emergencies

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