Madhya Pradesh: With the change in US travel policy, hope floats among students
Representational pic. -- PTI

Indore: With Biden administration announcing that certain categories of students, academics, and journalists are exempted from the new set of travel restrictions announced by the United States for those coming from India, many students who have secured admissions in various universities in US from Indore are hopeful and positive about starting their academic year in US.

"In keeping with the Department of State's commitment to facilitate legitimate travel to the United States, Secretary Blinken decided today to apply the same set of National Interest Exceptions to India that he had previously applied to all other regional travel restrictions currently in effect as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic," the US State Department announced.

Students seeking to commence studies in the fall, certain academics, journalists, and individuals who provide critical infrastructure support in countries affected by a geographic COVID-19 restriction may qualify for a National Interest Exception. This includes qualified applicants who have been present in India, Brazil, China, Iran, or South Africa, according to a State Department release.

"As the global situation evolves, the Department continues to seek ways to process more visa applications, in line with science-based guidance from health authorities, and with the health and safety of staff and applicants as our priority," the State Department said.

"The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in India," she added. "The policy will take effect on Tuesday, May 4."

The move comes on top of international travel restrictions already in place requiring people to have a negative test result before coming to the United States. The move is not expected to apply to U.S. citizens.

School principal of Emerald Heights International School Siddharth Singh said, “A lot of students from our school go to US for their further studies, and many had secured admissions amid coronavirus outbreak.” He added that online studies continued, but some university students could not enjoy the much-awaited college life.

“Now that the US will open the doors again, the admitted students are excited to move to US and learn about the culture along with their chosen subject,” Singh said.

A student admitted to Jacksonville University Alabama, US, Anshika Mittal said, “College life is not just about learning a particular subject, and it is an overall development, exposure and practical experience to become skilled, so it is essential that all the admitted students can learn this.”

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