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Relief for Indian travellers & H1B visa holders in the US

In a big relief to Indian travellers stuck in the US in the wake of the COVID-19 travel restrictions, the US dept of state has announced that in view of numerous international flights that have been cancelled, travellers can apply to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for extensions to those visas.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2020, 10.37 AM IST
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In a big relief to Indian travellers stuck in the US in the wake of the COVID-19 travel restrictions, the US department of state has announced that in view of numerous international flights that have been cancelled and ports of entry shut in the US, travellers can apply to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for extensions to those visas.

"USCIS is taking what I would characterize as a very appropriate view of the circumstances in deciding those. So visas, for instance, where an extension is being requested today and you’re going to a country where the flights have been taken down, can readily be expected to be favorably received by USCIS, whereas say two months ago that would not have been the case. If flights are available and your visa’s coming to an end, you’d have been expected to get on one of those flights and return home," a department of homeland security official said in response to a question from ANI during a call with international media persons.

"USCIS is accounting for the challenges that travel restrictions all over the world, not just in the United States, are placing on individuals' abilities to sincerely abide by the terms of their visas. So we do understand that and USCIS I think you’ll find to be very accommodating," the official added. On the issue of H1B visa holders who face challenges to the terms of their existing visas because they are being forced to do teleworking, the DHS official said that 'very reasonable consideration' could be expected in view of coronavirus crisis.
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