With immigration rules constantly changing with the pandemic situation, it is difficult to keep up to date with it all.

For our NRI readers, we have started an immigration helpdesk. Write to us at nri.economictimes@gmail.com and our team of experts will address the most pressing issues.

*Please note that questions have been edited and/or clubbed so that we can address similar queries at once and that the answers are clear and relevant to our audience.

My wife and I have been approved an Advance Parole and based on the ability to return to the U.S. with this we traveled to India in February 2021. We now wish to return to the U.S. Please let us know whether Advance Parole holders are exempted from the travel ban placed in U.S. Presidential Proclamation 10199? If they are not exempt, how can we travel back to the US to complete our immigration process, as soon as possible?

No, Advance Parole holders are not exempt from the travel ban. The White House has announced that they are going to modify COVID-related travel bans sometime in November 2021. However, they have not confirmed whether all the bans will be lifted or whether they will be modified, and/or whether they will impose mandatory vaccination or other requirements. For persons in your position, it would be best to wait to hear further on these bans before making any travel plans. Alternately, there is a process to request the USCIS to move your green card files to India for consular processing. Your son would have to make the applications to do so. However, these requests take several months to process and you are most likely to be allowed to travel soon after the travel bans are lifted, which is expected to happen soon.

My son is a U.S. citizen and in the U.S. armed forces. Can I as his mother travel to the U.S. now? I have a B-2 visa.

Any noncitizen who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and any noncitizen who is a spouse or child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces is exempt from the travel ban under Presidential Proclamation 10199. Unfortunately, a parent of a U.S. citizen employed with the armed forces is not exempt from the Presidential Proclamation 10199 banning travel to the U.S. for persons who have been in India within 14 days prior to the date of travel to the U.S. This ban is likely to be lifted or modified soon and you may be able to travel in November when the changes are likely to become effective.

I am a U.S. citizen, currently in India. I want to return to the U.S. Am I subject to the travel ban? Do I need to arrange for any specific documents or take any steps before I travel?

Generally, U.S. citizens can return to the U.S. at any time. Even the current restrictions imposed by Presidential Proclamation 10199 on travel from India do not apply to U.S. citizens. However, it is important to check with your airline to make sure their protocols allow you to travel to the U.S.

We went to the U.S. consulate to stamp our R1 and R2 visas. But the consular officer asked us to wait until the ban on travel from India is lifted and our visas were not issued. When will be the travel ban lifted? What should we do? Any help would be appreciated.
Unfortunately, religious workers are not exempt from the ban on travel from India under U.S. Presidential Proclamation 10199. Consular officers have been refraining from issuing visas based on this travel ban. However, just a few days ago, a U.S. court has ruled that a ban on travel is not a ban on visa issuance. In view of this consulates are likely to issue visas in cases like yours. You should write to the email address provided on the U.S. consulate website and bring this up with them. To present your case effectively it might help to get a U.S.-qualified immigration attorney to help you.

Please note that even if your visa is issued you will not be permitted to travel to the U.S. until the travel ban is lifted.

I have a U.S. tourist visa and I want to go to the U.S. to attend my son’s marriage in November 2021. if I stay in Dubai for 14 days, will I be permitted to travel from Dubai to the U.S.?

Yes, if you spend 14 days in a country that is not subject to a travel ban you could travel to the U.S. provided you have a valid visa. However, it is important to check with your airline to make sure their protocols allow you to take a flight to the U.S.

poorvi

Poorvi Chothani, Managing partner, LawQuest

The author’s views do not necessarily represent the views of ET Online nor do they constitute legal advice or representation. Practice tips provided in the written materials are based on the author’s experiences and the current state of the law and regulations. Please be sure to conduct legal research and analysis, or engage independent counsel for your unique situation as the law and requirements change quickly and the author’s experiences may differ from your own.

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