Traveling to the US? What Green Card holders, students, and visitors must know – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/migrate/nri-helpdesk-traveling-to-the-us-what-green-card-holders-students-and-visitors-must-know/articleshow/83869761.cms?utm_source=ETTopNews&utm_medium=HPTN&utm_campaign=AL1&utm_content=23Synopsis

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.

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.

If I just turned 50 years of age and my passport is valid for five more years do I need to take any steps regarding my OCI card? The OCI website does not have a link to upload the recent passport for those who completed 50 years – any idea of what the issue is?
An OCI Card must be reissued each time a new passport is issued for an individual up to the completion of 20 years of age and once upon completing 50 years of age (and obtaining a new passport). Re-issuance is not required between the ages of 21-50. As you have not renewed your passport since turning 50 years of age, at this time there is no requirement for you to re-issue the OCI card. However, you must be sure to re-issue the OCI card once you renew your passport.

The OCI Miscellaneous Services portal to upload the recent passport and photograph has not yet been launched. It is expected to be launched by the end of June 2021.

I am a USA citizen and so are my son and my husband. We came to India 5 months ago as my father was sick. I am a U.S. citizen, and my mother has a U.S. visa. We are all currently in India but wish to return to the U.S. Can my mother accompany us to the U.S. She did hold a green card in the past.
Travelers who wish to travel to the U.S. and have a valid B-2 (visitor) visa will still need to obtain approval from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in India for a National Interest Exception to travel to the U.S. directly from India. However, if a traveler were to spend 14 days in a third country that is not subject to the ban, the individual may travel to the U.S. It is important to consider other challenges like third-country requirements or airline restrictions that may apply to travelers from India with regard to the second option. The fact that your mother held a green card in the past does not change the situation though current green card holders are exempt from the travel ban from India.

I need to return to the U.S. to continue my education and apply for my CPT. Am I eligible to fly on July 1, 2021?
This depends on the start date of your education/CPT program. If an education program does not start on August 1, 2021 or later, each student will need to apply for a National Interest Exception (NIE) as a returning student unless the travel ban applicable to travelers from India is lifted. If your education program is due to start on or after August 1, 2021, students are eligible to travel to the U.S. 30 days prior to the start of the program without obtaining an NIE. Students who are not automatically qualified for an NIE, but have a valid student visa may also consider the third country option described in our response to question 2 above.

I was in the U.S. when the COVID pandemic hit and flights to India were cancelled. As I could not travel, I filed an application to extend my stay on a tourist visa and requested a 6-month extension. I subsequently left the country before the application was processed and well within the period of extension requested in my application. This application was later denied. Will I face any difficulties if I were to travel to the U.S. next year on my existing 10-year tourist visa?
As long as a non-frivolous extension application before your status expired in the U.S. you are generally considered to be in status and any stay in the U.S. while your extension application is pending is not considered unlawful presence. If an applicant leaves the U.S. before an extension application has been adjudicated the application is considered to be abandoned and this could result in a denial notice. If an applicant has not accrued unlawful presence he or she is not considered inadmissible into the U.S. on this ground. However, the officer at the port of entry may question you about the extension application which you should be prepared to answer.

I am currently in a part-time job in the U.S. and will transition to a full-time job in the third week of July. If I travel to India now, where I will continue working at the part-time job, will I be able to return to the U.S. to start my full-time job in the U.S.?
You have not indicated what visa you are on and what visa you seek to reenter the U.S. In any event, to return to the U.S. in the time frame you describe you will need a specific National Interest Exception approval from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in India, unless you are covered by one of the blanket exceptions or can spend 14 days in a third country that is not subject to travel restrictions prior to arriving in the U.S. Please refer to other responses in this section for concerns regarding the third country option.

When will the appointment be available for U.S. B-2 visa biometrics and visa interviews?
Although the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India have resumed limited visa services, they have not yet announced resumption of services for B-1 or B-2 visas. At present they are prioritizing F-1 student visas and have opened up thousands of appointment slots for them on June 14, 2021. We anticipate that it may be a while before B-1 and B-2 visas are processed. However, it is important to check the applicable website frequently for updates on visa services.

poorvi

Poorvi Chothani, Managing partner, LawQuestThe 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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