In the wake of shutting down on-campus operations and moving to online classes by many Universities and Colleges across the U.S. due to the scare and spread of COVID-19, the Indian Embassy has advised students to avoid travel, both international and domestic.
The Consulate General of India in New York in its advisory asked the Indian International students to remain in On-Campus housing or move-in with friends and families.
The Embassy of India Education Team/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 18 March 2020. The WHO, CDC, Government of India Ministry of Health and Welfare (for India-specific updates), and your universities are generally the best sources for the latest information in this rapidly evolving situation. Further Embassy of 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 to see 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 regarding how to find alternate accommodations.
2. If your university is shutting down on-campus services, check with your university for 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 traveling internationally, please contact your DSO for advice on how this may impact your graduation and application for OPT.
The Embassy of India is in touch with the US government on the issues being faced by Indian students. The US government has indicated that it is closely monitoring the implications that this evolving situation may have for international students. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will continue to provide guidance on distance-learning for international students. SEVP recently confirmed that international students can temporarily engage in distance learning, either from within the U.S. or outside the country, in light of COVID-19, without affecting their visa status. Please continue to monitor the Department of Homeland Services (DHS) at https://www.ice.gov/covid19 including this Guidance for SEVP Stakeholders for future updates on visa status, OPT applications/extensions, and related matters.
4. Please avoid all non-essential domestic or international travel. For official advisories on the 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 18 March 2020, if you are planning travel from the US to India, then you will be subject to medical screening upon arrival and you may be put in quarantine at a government-earmarked facility for a minimum of 14 days if required. No travel OR transit is allowed through the restricted countries mentioned on the Government of India Bureau of Immigration FAQs. https://boi.gov.in/sites/default/files/u4/faq-covid19.pdf.
6. For travel from India to the United States, please check the US Department of State and US Embassy in New Delhi websites.
For admitted students to US universities concerned about summer and fall 2020 admissions /visas, please contact your designated university admissions officer and/or the educationUSA advising centers https://educationusa.state.gov/f