Air India issues advisory for US-bound Indian students holding F or M visa
Published on May 9, 2020 | News Source: ANI
New Delhi, May 9 : Air India has issued an advisory for Indian citizens seeking to travel on its outbound flights under F and M US visa category, under which students in certain categories may not be allowed to fly to the United States on the ongoing repatriation flights being operated by the flagship carrier under 'Vande Bharat Mission'.
Students with less than 6 months visa validity and fresh admission case, will not be permitted on the flight to the US. "...you may not be able to go to the USA on the current Air India repatriation flights under Mission Vande Bharat if:- Your F or M category visa has less than 6 months validity from the date of your planned departure. You are a new /fresh admission case and have not yet joined your educational institution before the COVID-19 outbreak," the Air India statement read.
On Monday, India announced had that it will begin phased repatriation of its citizens stranded abroad from May 7. The government said that Air India will operate 64 flights in the first week from May 7 to May 13 to bring back around 15,000 Indian nationals.
For the outbound flights to the US, Air India has now advised the new admittees in the US educational institutions to delay travel to the country until further notice by the US health authorities.
"New admittees for the year 2020 Fall term in the USA educational institutions should defer their travel to a date closer to the date their institutions reopen, subject to local public health conditions at that time," the document further reads.
Only the students "...who are making normal progress in their course of study and may have left the USA to visit India before the commencement of lockdown in India they must check (to obtain guidance) with their School/University authorities."
Students with written confirmation may travel to the US, Air India said.However, it added that some schools/universities may not currently allow students to return to campus for an extended period of time owing to the coronavirus crisis in the US which has claimed over 77,000 lives in the country and affected over 1.2 million people.