While cases of the coronavirus are showing a promising downward trend in the United States, other parts of the world are grappling with crippling surges, most heartbreakingly in India, where each hour brings even more alarming news about the pandemic’s devastating effects on the country and its people. Infections and deaths are at an all-time high, and it is disheartening to see millions struggling to access medical care and other necessities.
We have been following these developments with deep concern and extend our heartfelt support to all students who are from India. We also are thinking of our alumni in India, many of whom are at the forefront of efforts to combat the pandemic.
Several organizations linked to UVA are raising funds to provide relief and urgently needed supplies for India. They include alumni organizations like Dalmia Foundation, and student organizations like the Bharatiya Council and AID at UVA.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to access University support resources if you need help during this time. Members of our Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) team recognize how these events can have an impact on your daily life, especially at an already-stressful time of the year. You can schedule a virtual appointment with a counselor by calling 434-243-5150. CAPS is also available on an emergency after-hours basis by calling this same number.
Regarding travel, the situation in India has led to new restrictions. Accordingly, non-U.S. citizens/residents who have been in India for two weeks prior to attempted entry into the U.S. may not be admitted, except for those who have national interest exemptions (NIE).
We have recently confirmed that these restrictions will not apply to new students whose programs begin in August 2021 and can secure valid F-1 visas. Likewise, continuing students who are currently in India including students on OPT and those who have valid F-1 visas are covered under the NIE. Continuing students who are in active SEVIS status will be eligible to travel within 30 days of August 1, though all international travelers to the United States regardless of citizenship will still need to demonstrate evidence they are free of COVID infection within 72 hours of departure. We will continue to monitor guidance from the U.S. Department of State. If you are facing unusual circumstances or challenges in connection with these travel restrictions, please contact the International Students and Scholars Office at email@example.com.
As we all deal with the effects of the pandemic in our individual ways, please do not hesitate to reach out to either of our offices with any questions or concerns.
Stephen D. Mull
Vice Provost for Global Affairs
Allen W. Groves
University Dean of Students