COVID19: USA to Arrange Flights for American Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents Stuck in India

Tens of hundreds of NRIs (including H1B and H4 visa holders) and US citizens of Indian origin, including senior citizens, are stuck in the lockdown across India. Entry restrictions, travel ban, suspension of flights, fears of quarantine, gnawing health concerns, COVID19 misinformation – all that emerged in the aftermath of Novel Coronavirus epidemic – left them stranded in India. Dr. Pulkit Mehta and his 70-year-old father, a US citizen from Newark, who had gone to attend a family wedding in India, could not return to the United States. Currently, about 33,000 US citizens are stranded across the world.
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Picture Credit: AMF|BBC.com

There is good news for American citizens and green card holders stranded in India. The US Mission India is coordinating with the US Department of State to arrange repatriation flights from India to USA for return travel of US citizens stuck amid the COVID19 lockdown in India. Several USA-bound flights are likely to take off from New Delhi and Mumbai this week. The website of US Embassy and Consulates in India states, “We remain ready to assist US citizens with emergency situations resulting from the countrywide lockdown in India.”
Only US citizens, certain legal permanent residents, and their immediate family members will be accommodated on repatriation flights from India to USA depending on available space. US visa holders who are not legal permanent residents (LPRs) are not eligible for repatriation flights.
If you are desperate to leave for the US, you are required to fill out this form furnishing details like current location in India, preferred departure airport in India, full name, nationality, gender, passport number, passport date of issue, passport expiration date, health-related considerations, etc. You might have already provided the information over the phone, but it is mandatory to fill out the form.
It is unambiguously stated that repatriation flights from India to USA are not free. Each adult traveler will have to sign a promissory note for reimbursing the US government for the flight, at the time of boarding. A repatriation flight ticket may cost over $2000 per adult traveler. The final destination of repatriation flights from India to USA may not be revealed until boarding. Passengers will be disembarked wherever the flight will land in the USA. You will be responsible for your onward travel arrangements. No travelers with pets will be allowed to board.
You will not be allowed to check in usually permissible weight of luggage. Your consent to check in limited baggage on the registration form for repatriation flights.
The US Department of State and the US Mission India urge American citizens to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). All STEP members will receive flight updates and other critical information via message. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is a free service for US citizens who travel and live abroad.
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26 thoughts on “COVID19: USA to Arrange Flights for American Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents Stuck in India

  1. Daaman Mittal

    This is a nice mission to get back the US citizens on time. But what for physicians on an H1B visa currently stranded in India, I am one of those who came to visit family on March 3rd but due to these unforeseen circumstances got stranded here leaving me unable to help my flow residents and all the patients who are lying on a death bed. I enrolled in STEP program too but nothing seeks to be helping me right now despite of the fact that I have Hospital attorney’s letter which explains the urgency for a physician like me to be back to US and help people fight this battle. Whereas on the other hand there are US citizens (including senior citizens) who do not even have an urgent/ dire need to be back, thus I strongly encourage to whoever is responsible for boarding people on flights back to US, kindly don’t neglect those ( physicians) who the whole country needs right now more than anyone else.
    I again humbly request if someone can please please get back to me.
    Thanks
    Daaman Mittal, M.D
    Email: mittaldaaman@gmail.com

    Reply
  2. ravina ashar

    My daughter is stuck in India, could you please let us know when you will be flying.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Amit! Only US citizens and certain legal permanent residents can register for the special flight for repatriation.

      Reply
  3. Ramesh Avadhanula

    My parents are us citizens and are stuck in India. My mom uses oxygen, due to pulmonary fibrosis. Can she get oxygen in the flight and come back to USA as part of STEP initiative

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      US citizens with serious health conditions may not be accommodated on special flights. Do make sure to mention the health condition while filling out the form for them. You can find the link to the form in the article.

      Reply
  4. Ramamurty K

    Hi
    Myself and my wife, have booked our return flight on Air India on 12th May 2020. Will the normal fligh resume by then ?. Anything we need to do, to see it happens.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Air India has cancelled all bookings and is not taking new booking requests till April 30, 2020. So, it is assumed that Air India will resume services from May 1. However, nothing is certain in the current volatile situation. Let’s wait for the latest update from the airline.

      Reply
  5. Sagar

    Indian Eagle team – I am a legal permanent resident. And I have filled the form .
    Your information is incorrect. Legal permanent residents who are traveling with US citizens are only allowed on the flights .
    Independent legal permanent residents are not .
    That’s what it says on the US Indian mission website.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Sagar! That particular page of the US Indian mission website is being updated with fresh details every other day.

      Reply
  6. Richa

    I am H1b visa holder and married to a US citizen. I got married early this year and was about to start legal permanent resident work after my current travel. Now I’m stuck here and my husband is in United States. Could you please confirm if my H1b visa and US marriage certificate copy will suffice and if I can take this flight?

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Richa! We are not sure. It is recommended that you reach out to the US embassy in India.

      Reply
      • Krishna

        Hi My husband had gone to India as his mother was not well..Now he is stuck in India and I am in US with my 2 kids..My kids are small and amidst this situation it is very difficult for us..He is on H1B visa..
        Can you please please let him come by any one of these flights back to US..

        Reply
  7. Radha

    I’m US Citizen and trying to go back home from India. Please let me know if we have any travel arrangements from Hyderabad, Telangana state. Thank you

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Please fill out the form, the link of which is given in the article. Given your details, the US embassy in Hyderabad will contact you. If you are found eligible for the repatriation flight, the US embassy/consulate in Hyderabad will arrange a charter flight for you to Mumbai, from where you can board the repatriation flight to the USA.

      Reply
  8. Vijaya

    Iam green card holder and go back usa plese let me know if any travel arrangements iam nearest Chennai air port
    Thank you

    Reply
  9. meghana

    I am married to a US citizen who is currently in the US and i am in India , i do not have permanent resident status and am currently in the process to receive it. I, however have B1/2 visa, am i eligible to travel in these flights?

    Reply
  10. Swapnil ruhella

    My daughter is 5 year old and she is a US citizen but we are on h1b. Can we board these repatriation flights ?

    Reply
    • Karun

      My daughter is a citizen and I am on h-1b. Can we be able to take this flight. Can immediate family members with a valid work visa travel with citizen children of 2 years age? Thank you.

      Reply
  11. Venugopal

    I got my immigrant visa for my green card on 10 Feb 20 with an expiry date of 30 July 20. I did not enter USA on the visa so far as the flights were cancelled. Am I eligible to travel on the evacuation flights out of Mumbai?

    Reply
  12. Karun

    Hello, I have a daughter who is the citizen of USA but I am on H-1b. My daughter is 2 years old. Would a person with visa be able to travel with a citizen family member??would my daughters age being 2 years old be an issue to travel on the repatriation flight?? Thank you very much.

    Reply
    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Karun! We are all going through a hard phase. A minor US citizen may be allowed to be accompanied by an adult traveler. Please fill out the registration form with required details. Good luck!

      Reply
  13. Sonail Kaur

    hi my husband and my mother in law is stuck in India. And would like to come back as soon as possible, we have filled out this application after April 11 and would want to know when is the next flight to usa.

    Reply

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