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3 countries relaxing travel measures for Indian students

US-India travel ban
Source: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

The US-India travel ban may still be in place, but travel restrictions have been eased. India has had a Level 3 Travel Health Notice issued for its travellers, meaning you should still limit travel for essential purposes. International study is one of them. Along with the US, other countries are relaxing travel restrictions against India.

US-India travel ban: What’s the situation?

Though US student visa holders are exempted from the US-India travel ban, international flights from India are still banned until August 31 in hopes of curtailing the spread of the Delta variant. Indian students also face delays in obtaining a US student visa. All of this leaves students in a sticky situation, having to devise alternate travel plans to keep their study abroad dreams alive.

Well, the good news is that several countries with fast-vaccinated populations are able to open their borders to more students — even those from India, as long as they follow the set guidelines. Here’s a look at three countries you can consider if you’re looking to get over the US-India travel ban.

US-India travel ban

Indian students may have to quarantine in some countries, but travel measures are being relaxed. Source: Narinder Nanu/AFP

Spain

In line with the US-India travel ban, most European Union (EU) countries have yet to welcome Indian travellers back with open arms. One exception is Spain, which recently reopened consular centres. You can currently apply online for visa processing at the Delhi centre. You will have to meet certain criteria to qualify for a visa to Spain: be fully vaccinated and have a Schengen visa, for example. Bear in mind that the Covishield vaccine is accepted but Covaxin is not.

UK

India has been moved to the amber list, which means its citizens are no longer subject to the stringent demands of the red list. Indian students may return to their UK university as long as they quarantine for 10 days upon arrival, and test negative for COVID-19 twice in this period. Though vaccinated individuals won’t need to quarantine, it’s worth noting that the UK has yet to accept Covishield and Covaxin vaccines widely. So if you are coming in with either, you must revaccinate under the NHS.

UAE

According to the National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority (NCEMA), UAE lifted the ban on Indian travellers in early August. UAE residents, students, and professionals may travel back as long as they are vaccinated. You can catch a transit flight from India, as long as you test negative at the point of transit. You must still follow the country’s health and safety rules, of course.