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Many Indian-American families separated due to US ban on travellers from
India

Many indian families separated due to US ban on travellers from
India


Several families in the US find themselves separated from their loved
ones more than 13,000 kms away across two continents as the Biden
administration’s ban on travellers from India in view of the
unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country has
come into effect.

In some cases, the main earning member of the family has been left
stranded in India, with no way to rejoin their spouses and kids in the
US while in some other instances, mothers have been separated from their
young children as one of the unintended consequences of the travel ban
announced by President Joe Biden last week.

The proclamation signed by Biden on April 30 came into effect on May 4.

Certain categories of students, academics, journalists and individuals
have been exempted from the ban, according to the US State Department.

The travel ban is for an indefinite period given the major outbreak of
the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

Some of these people say that they are now stuck in India for an
indefinite period as the American consulates have also been shut down.

My husband who has been on H-1B since 2008 had to travel to India on
April 17 to be with his dying father and to perform last rites. Since
then, the US embassy in India has been closed. Although he has an
approved H-1B visa, he needs visa stamping on his passport and also to
attend an in-person interview at the US mission in Delhi, Neha Mahajan,
co-founder of Skilled Immigrants in America, told PTI.

I am here with our two daughters who miss their dad during this
extremely hard time for the family in the middle of this pandemic, she said.

Nashville-based Payal Raj said that she has no idea when and how will
she get back from India to be with her nine-year-old child.

The bans are specifically targeted towards non-immigrants and their
families and looking at the history of other country’s bans, this could
go on for months or even a year.

There are thousands of people stuck with heart-breaking stories of
coming here to attend to dying parents and then getting stuck due to the
bans and not able to go back to their kids and spouses, Raj told PTI
from India.

Abhinav Amresh finds himself stranded in Mumbai away from his kids
because the US Consulate in Mumbai has been shut down as a result of
which he cannot get his H-1B visa stamped.

The next available appointment that he is now getting is for September.
Unless his visa is stamped, he cannot return to the US.

The kids have never been away from their father for so long and the
passing of their beloved grandmother and even their dad being away is
already putting them under a lot of stress. Wife and I are primary
caregivers for the kids and share all household responsibilities. Also,
I am the main driver at home to bring groceries, take kids to their
doctor (they have a visit and vaccination due) and all regular things,
Amresh said.

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The whole situation is becoming very stressful, he said.

My only question to the authorities is – despite the exceptions in
travel ban, there are many people like me with young US citizen kids who
had to travel on family emergencies but do not have a valid visa
stamping. How can they come back to the US and unite with their family?
This is a humanitarian crisis and child rights issue and if travel ban
means visa ban then why not say so, he said.

Utkarsha Hazarnis, who has been in the US since 2013 and now stranded in
India as his visa cannot be stamped due to the closure of the US
consulate, urged the Biden administration to take active steps for those
who have jobs in the US and are currently stuck in India.

Active measures and alternatives should be worked on to help such cases,
he said.

He had travelled to India to see his ailing father in Mumbai.

Another Indian-American, who requested anonymity, said that she has no
clue when the consulates would open.

We have no clue when this proclamation will end. We are not able to meet
our families due to the fear of getting stuck over there in India. Of
course, nobody is stopping us now, but we bought a house here. Our kids
are studying here for five years This is not an easy situation for us to
handle, she said.

Hemanth Modadugu was supposed to travel to India for H-1B stamping and
get married in May 2020. However, he had to cancel. He left the US for
India in April.

I left Seattle on April 24. I reached Doha and within the next 10
minutes, I received an email that all visa appointments are cancelled. I
cannot return to the US without stamping. So, I continued my journey to
India. Even if I had a hint of appointment cancellation while in the US,
I would have tried to cancel my trip, he said.

Now, on top of visa appointment cancellation, we received the news of a
travel ban. Why leave H-1B visa holders or those who came to India for
stamping from exemptions? Hemanth asked.

The new travel restrictions have been imposed for an indefinite period
and will require another presidential proclamation to end it.

India is struggling with an unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19
pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being
reported in the past one week.

According to Indian health ministry data on Wednesday, a record 3,780
fresh COVID-19 fatalities were registered in a single day in India,
taking the death toll to 2,26,188, while 3,82,315 new coronavirus
infections were recorded.

With the fresh cases, the total tally of COVID-19 cases in the country
climbed to 2,06,65,148.

Many Indian-American families separated due to US ban on travellers from
India

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Several families in the US find themselves separated from their loved
ones more than 13,000 kms away across two continents as the Biden
administration’s ban on travellers from India in view of the
unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country has
come into effect.

In some cases, the main earning member of the family has been left
stranded in India, with no way to rejoin their spouses and kids in the
US while in some other instances, mothers have been separated from their
young children as one of the unintended consequences of the travel ban
announced by President Joe Biden last week.

See also  MSMEs will need helping hand from govt: Selja

The proclamation signed by Biden on April 30 came into effect on May 4.

Certain categories of students, academics, journalists and individuals
have been exempted from the ban, according to the US State Department.

The travel ban is for an indefinite period given the major outbreak of
the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

Some of these people say that they are now stuck in India for an
indefinite period as the American consulates have also been shut down.

My husband who has been on H-1B since 2008 had to travel to India on
April 17 to be with his dying father and to perform last rites. Since
then, the US embassy in India has been closed. Although he has an
approved H-1B visa, he needs visa stamping on his passport and also to
attend an in-person interview at the US mission in Delhi, Neha Mahajan,
co-founder of Skilled Immigrants in America, told PTI.

I am here with our two daughters who miss their dad during this
extremely hard time for the family in the middle of this pandemic, she said.

Nashville-based Payal Raj said that she has no idea when and how will
she get back from India to be with her nine-year-old child.

The bans are specifically targeted towards non-immigrants and their
families and looking at the history of other country’s bans, this could
go on for months or even a year.

There are thousands of people stuck with heart-breaking stories of
coming here to attend to dying parents and then getting stuck due to the
bans and not able to go back to their kids and spouses, Raj told PTI
from India.

Abhinav Amresh finds himself stranded in Mumbai away from his kids
because the US Consulate in Mumbai has been shut down as a result of
which he cannot get his H-1B visa stamped.

The next available appointment that he is now getting is for September.
Unless his visa is stamped, he cannot return to the US.

The kids have never been away from their father for so long and the
passing of their beloved grandmother and even their dad being away is
already putting them under a lot of stress. Wife and I are primary
caregivers for the kids and share all household responsibilities. Also,
I am the main driver at home to bring groceries, take kids to their
doctor (they have a visit and vaccination due) and all regular things,
Amresh said.

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The whole situation is becoming very stressful, he said.

My only question to the authorities is – despite the exceptions in
travel ban, there are many people like me with young US citizen kids who
had to travel on family emergencies but do not have a valid visa
stamping. How can they come back to the US and unite with their family?
This is a humanitarian crisis and child rights issue and if travel ban
means visa ban then why not say so, he said.

Utkarsha Hazarnis, who has been in the US since 2013 and now stranded in
India as his visa cannot be stamped due to the closure of the US
consulate, urged the Biden administration to take active steps for those
who have jobs in the US and are currently stuck in India.

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Active measures and alternatives should be worked on to help such cases,
he said.

He had travelled to India to see his ailing father in Mumbai.

Another Indian-American, who requested anonymity, said that she has no
clue when the consulates would open.

We have no clue when this proclamation will end. We are not able to meet
our families due to the fear of getting stuck over there in India. Of
course, nobody is stopping us now, but we bought a house here. Our kids
are studying here for five years This is not an easy situation for us to
handle, she said.

Hemanth Modadugu was supposed to travel to India for H-1B stamping and
get married in May 2020. However, he had to cancel. He left the US for
India in April.

I left Seattle on April 24. I reached Doha and within the next 10
minutes, I received an email that all visa appointments are cancelled. I
cannot return to the US without stamping. So, I continued my journey to
India. Even if I had a hint of appointment cancellation while in the US,
I would have tried to cancel my trip, he said.

Now, on top of visa appointment cancellation, we received the news of a
travel ban. Why leave H-1B visa holders or those who came to India for
stamping from exemptions? Hemanth asked.

The new travel restrictions have been imposed for an indefinite period
and will require another presidential proclamation to end it.

India is struggling with an unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19
pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being
reported in the past one week.

According to Indian health ministry data on Wednesday, a record 3,780
fresh COVID-19 fatalities were registered in a single day in India,
taking the death toll to 2,26,188, while 3,82,315 new coronavirus
infections were recorded.

With the fresh cases, the total tally of covid19 cases in the country
climbed to 2,06,65,148.

 

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