May 5, 2021
The Indian Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) and the U.S. Embassy have in the past months been working diligently to process cases as expeditiously as possible, while following Indian quarantine protocols to combat COVID-19. With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the situation is changing rapidly and there are multiple cities and states in India under lockdowns. For the latest travel information and health alerts related to COVID-19 in India, please review the information on the U.S. Embassy New Delhi’s website: https://travel.state.
gov/content/travel/en/ international-travel/ International-Travel-Country- Information-Pages/India.html.
On April 30, President Biden signed a presidential proclamation that suspended certain types of travel for non-U.S. citizens present in India. The proclamation does not affect adoptive children, who may continue to travel to the United States and seek entry. Additionally, U.S. Embassy New Delhi continues to process visas for adoptive children. However, CARA has requested that the U.S. Central Authority ask prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) to postpone travel until after the current surge.
There are currently direct flights running from India to the U.S. on United Airlines and Air India. We strongly urge families currently in India to book one of the direct flights back to the United States, as transiting Europe is not an option for Indian citizens (which would include the adopted child(ren)) due to U.S. and European travel restrictions currently in place. We cannot predict whether these or other flight routes will be affected by the pandemic situation in the future. As we do not have a role in travel arrangements, we recommend families stay in touch with ASP representatives.
We all hope this situation eases in the near future so families can continue their plans for adoptions in India without significant further delay.
Office of Children’s Issues
Random testing of passengers arriving from states witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases will be done at the Delhi airport and those found positive will be “mandatorily quarantined”.
“As per the latest government mandate, District Disaster Management Authorities will conduct random COVID-19 testing of passengers coming from the states where the cases are increasing,” Delhi Airport said in a statement on Wednesday.
“After collections of samples, the travellers would be allowed to exit. However, those passengers who are found positive will be mandatorily quarantined as per the protocol of the ministry of health and family welfare,” it added.
The Delhi government had earlier declared that random testing of coronavirus will be held across airports, railway and bus stations.
Over 53,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in India in the last 24 hours, out of which Delhi contributed with 992.
On March 26th, 2021, CARA issued the renewal of International Adoption Net’s license to process inter-country adoption cases from India. IAN has been licensed and working with adoptions from India for 10 years, and we’re pleased to announce this latest reauthorization of our organization.
We look forward to continuing to serve adoptive families and children through our India program!
According to the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, the 7 day quarantine requirement for domestic travel no longer exists. However, travelers are advised to keep monitoring the Government of India information on the website in case the policies change.
Quarantine requirements vary by state in India, travelers will need to research and confirm the quarantine(s) required for any state(s) they plan to visit within the country. Review the U.S. Department of State travel advisories before planning any international travel, and keep in mind that all travel information is subject to change.
The Embassy in New Delhi has advised the U.S. Department of State that visas issued by the Indian Embassy or any Indian Consulate to foreign nationals, including U.S. prospective adoptive parents, prior to India’s implementation of COVID-19 restrictions on March 13, 2020, are no longer valid. All prospective adoptive parents affected by this cancellation of Indian visas must apply for a new visa once India lifts its travel restrictions. At this time, these COVID-19 travel restrictions remain in place. We do not have further information on any pending change.
You can read the full August 21, 2020 notice from the Department of State here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/Intercountry-Adoption-News/india-important-new-guidance-from-ci-for-asps-with-intercountry.html
Adoptive parents who hold current Indian passports or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards are able to travel to India. However, they should be aware of the current Travel Advisory issued by the Department of State on August 6, 2020: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/india-travel-advisory.html
Drastic cuts will impact agency operations for foreseeable future
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that the agency will avert an administrative furlough of more than 13,000 employees, scheduled to begin Aug. 30 as a result of unprecedented spending cuts and a steady increase in daily incoming revenue and receipts.
USCIS expects to be able to maintain operations through the end of fiscal year 2020. Aggressive spending reduction measures will impact all agency operations, including naturalizations, and will drastically impact agency contracts.
USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow says, “However, averting this furlough comes at a severe operational cost that will increase backlogs and wait times across the board, with no guarantee we can avoid future furloughs. A return to normal operating procedures requires congressional intervention to sustain the agency through fiscal year 2021.”Anticipated operational impacts include increased wait times for pending case inquiries, longer case processing times, and increased adjudication time for aliens adjusting status or naturalizing. Naturalization ceremonies will continue. Congress must still act on a long-term solution that will provide USCIS with the necessary financial assistance to sustain the agency throughout 2021 and beyond.You can read the full statement issued by USCIS at: https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-averts-furlough-of-nearly-70-of-workforce
The Department of Homeland Security has announced that they are making adjustments to fees for certain USCIS services, to ensure that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is able to continue covering costs. Unlike most government agencies, USCIS is fee funded, and the collected fees account for nearly 97% of USCIS’ budget.
As required by federal law, USCIS conducted a comprehensive fee review and determined that current fees do not recover the cost of providing adjudication and naturalization services. DHS is adjusting USCIS fees by an average increase of 20% to help recover its operational costs. Current fees would leave the agency underfunded by about $1 billion per year.
“USCIS is required to examine incoming and outgoing expenditures and make adjustments based on that analysis,” said Joseph Edlow, USCIS deputy director for policy. “These overdue adjustments in fees are necessary to efficiently and fairly administer our nation’s lawful immigration system, secure the homeland and protect Americans.”
DHS and USCIS are encouraging online filing by providing a $10 reduction in the fee for applicants who submit forms online that are electronically available from USCIS. Online filing is the most secure, efficient, cost-effective and convenient way to submit a request with USCIS.
Effective October 2nd, 2020, the new filing fees will be:For Hague Convention Countries
Request Form Current Fee
Final Fee Change I-800/I-800A $775 $805 I-800A Supplement 3 $385 $400 Biometrics fingerprints $85 $30
For non-Hague Countries
Request Form Current Fee
Final Fee Change
I-600/I-600A $775 $805 I-600A Supplement 3 N/A $400 Biometrics fingerprints $85 $30
Any application, petition, or request postmarked on or after October 2nd, 2020 must include payment of the new, correct fees, or USCIS will not be able to process the documents.
For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov.
India has established individual bilateral air bubbles with France, Germany and the US that will allow airlines of each country in the pact to operate international flights, said the Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday, July 16.
An air bubble is a bilateral arrangement with a set of regulations and restrictions in which the carriers of the two countries can operate international flights.
American carrier United Airlines will be flying 18 flights between India and the US from July 17 to 31, he added.
“They (United) are flying a daily flight between Delhi and Newark and a thrice-a-week flight between Delhi and San Francisco,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri noted.
From India, Air India will be operating flights to France, Germany and the US under these bubbles.
Scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic. After nearly two months of suspension to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the government resumed scheduled domestic passenger flights on May 25.
Various states like Maharashtra have put restrictions on the number of flights that their airports can handle per day, he said, adding that he expects this would change in coming 2-3 weeks.
He said once the domestic capacity reaches 50-55 percent of its pre-COVID capacity, the government will get the confidence about opening international air travel further.You can read the full article at: https://www.indiatoday.in/
india/story/international- flights-resume-india- establishes-air-travel- bubbles-us-germany-1701324- 2020-07-16Before traveling to India, please review the current information from the U.S. Department of State:https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/India.html
USCIS June 4 Extension of Closure
This notice is linked in the International Adoption section of NCFA’s COVID-19 Resources Hub for your quick reference.
On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS is readying offices to re-open in compliance with local and state orders, on or after June 4. Employees in these offices are continuing to perform mission-essential services that do not require face-to-face contact with the public while the offices are temporarily closed. During this time, individuals may still submit applications and petitions to USCIS. Online filing remains the most convenient and interactive way to submit forms, check the status of your case, and receive notices.
Field Office and ASC Appointments, Naturalization Ceremonies, InfoPass
USCIS field offices will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies impacted by the extended temporary closure. When USCIS again resumes normal operations, USCIS will automatically reschedule ASC appointments due to the temporary office closure. Individuals will receive a new appointment letter in the mail. Those who had InfoPass or other appointments must reschedule through the USCIS Contact Center once field offices are open to the public again.
Asylum Office Interviews
USCIS asylum offices will send interview cancellation notices and automatically reschedule asylum interviews. When the interview is rescheduled, asylum applicants will receive a new interview notice with the new time, date and location of the interview.
Please check to see if the respective office has been reopened before calling the USCIS Contact Center.
In-Person Public Engagements
Additionally, USCIS is postponing all in-person public engagement and outreach events for the duration of the temporary office closure. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an immediate engagement question during this time.
For More Information
USCIS will provide further updates as the situation develops and will continue to follow CDC guidance in response to this situation. Please visit uscis.gov/coronavirus for updates.
Education and precautions are the strongest tools against infection. Get the latest facts by visiting the CDC’s COVID-19 website. Continue to practice good health habits, refrain from handshakes or hugs as greetings, and clean hands and surfaces appropriately.
Public Engagement Division
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
India has shut down travel until mid-April. Please read this release for more information. If this affects you or you have questions about how COVID-19 will change the adoption process, your adoption coordinator would be happy to take your call at 303-691-0808. Thank you in advance for your patience with us. Stay healthy!
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