Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Parents charter flights, take detours to drop children to US

Mumbai: If some US-bound students are struggling for visas, parents of some others who are all set to join college this fall (July and August) are leaving no stone unturned to be able to see off their children on campus, even if it means spending a month abroad or travelling round half the world.

On May 1, the US suspended entry by non-immigrants who had been in India in the preceding 14 days. Students wanting to enter or return to the US were exempted. Washington also kept its doors open for ‘persons of national importance’. It wasn’t long before desperate parents started applying for visas under the category.

“A well-known builder, whose child will join the University of Southern California this August, has decided to take a chartered flight to Dubai and after spending a fortnight there, the family will enter the US to drop the student at his university in Los Angeles,” said study abroad counsellor Karan Gupta. “Some parents who have businesses in Dubai are staying put there and heading to the US from there,” said another counsellor Sonal Parekh.

The trend of dropping off their children is very popular, especially among the parents of the thousands of undergraduate teens who head out every year. “There was a lot of heartburn when the US Consulate’s India office clarified that parents, even those holding US visas, could not travel with their children,” said Gupta.

And creative travel plans emerged. If some are chartering flights, the budget-conscious could fly commercial to countries that are allowing Indians in and are simultaneously on the accepted list for the US. Several parents from the UK will route their trip to the US via Egypt. Some are planning to fly to Russia and from there to America. The US Consulate here has advised against booking flights with a stop in Europe as they have strict quarantine policies.

16/06/21 Hemali Chhapia/Times of India

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment