US visa wait to get longer due to COVID, says US embassy

Starting November 8, an estimated three million visa holders from India, with proof of vaccination, will be able to travel to the United States under the new international air travel policy

The US embassy in India" The Covishield has been approved for travel purposes into the US because it has an emergency use listing from the WHO. Pic: PTI

The US Embassy in India expects significant wait for appointments for some non-immigrant visa categories as it gradually builds back from COVID-19-related interruptions.

The US embassy has said that from November 8, an estimated three million visa holders from India, with proof of vaccination, will be able to travel to the United States under the new international air travel policy.

To facilitate legitimate travel to support their strong and growing bilateral ties is their top priority, the embassy said. “As we build back from COVID-19-related interruptions, we expect significant appointment wait times for some non-immigrant visa categories at our Embassy and Consulates,” it added.

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Further, the mission thanked people for their patience while “we work to increase our capacity and maintain the safety of our applicants and staff”. Elaborating on the vaccination requirements to be met by travellers to the US, the embassy pointed out that starting November 8, foreign national air travellers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Foreigners have to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to fly to the US, with only limited exceptions, added the embassy.

Morever, the embassy said that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has determined that for the purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines that will be accepted will include those FDA approved or authorised. And, it has also approved the vaccines with an emergency use listing (EUL) from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Those who have taken Covishield can breathe easy, as the US embassy has said that this vaccine is accepted as well for people wanting to travel to their country because it has an emergency use listing from the WHO.

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