UPDATE: Due to ongoing uncertainties regarding the travel regulations related to COVID-19, IFR will assess the local conditions closer to the travel date (5-6 weeks prior to the program beginning) and will make Go/No Go decisions then. We urge you to participate in the mandatory orientation meeting when we will discuss the latest travel information and regulations. We also suggest you consider postponing the purchase of your airline ticket until after the program orientation.
This program is based in Jonga, India. Students traveling from the United States should purchase a ticket to New Delhi which is about a one-hour flight (or a 12-hour drive) from Kullu (Bhuntar). On arrival in New Delhi, students are permitted to travel to Kullu via a one-hour direct flight from IGI Domestic Airport, New Delhi, to Bhuntar, Kullu.
Please arrive at the Kullu-Manali airport (KUU) on July 19th, 2021. Program staff will meet arriving students at the airport. Students will then be driven to the housing facilities located at Jong Village, Katrain, approximately a 45-minute drive. Please wait at the airport until a project member comes for you. We will have separate cars and two students per car. The windows will be kept open, and students will wear face masks at all times.
The Indian government has made strict rules due to the mutated UK strain of COVID-19. Please keep visiting the Indian embassy website for updated rules: https://www.indianembassyusa.gov.in/extra?id=77
We expect the current circumstances will change as the vaccination program progresses and travel opens up. We are hopeful that by April the country will open to international travel in all respects. Our field school is in July, so we are very hopeful for a stress-free season.
- Currently, in view of the mutated UK version of COVID-19, foreigners entering the country are subjected to a COVID-19 RT-PCR test on arrival if they arrive without a test. The cost for the test at the airport is about $100 USD.
- All travelers currently permitted to travel to India have to fill a self-declaration form on the online portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours before scheduled travel or physically after arrival at the respective health counters.
- Travelers can request for exemption from institutional quarantine by submitting a negative RT-PCR test. This test should have been conducted 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey and should be uploaded to the portal above for consideration.
- Each passenger has to download “Arogya Setu”, an app for contact tracing when they land in India.
- If a passenger tests positive for COVID-19, they are sent to a self-paid COVID-19 facility (Hotel) for a quarantine period of 7-14 days based on the symptoms.
- It is recommended that the students only come by flight or cab and not by bus where the risk of contracting COVID-19 may be high.
- Students and staff will travel from the field camp to the field site on a daily basis in separate vehicles. We will have 7-seater SUV’s and will have 4 students in each vehicle. Occupants will wear face masks at all times. Staff will be in the vehicle behind.
- If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, call, text or email the project director immediately. A local emergency cell phone number and contact information for the Director and program staff will be shared with all enrolled students during the pre-travel program orientation.
Currently owing to COVID-19 related quarantine measures, tourist visas have been suspended. Please keep visiting the Indian embassy website for updated rules: https://www.indianembassyusa.gov.in/extra?id=77
Non-Indian citizens attending this program are required to enter India on a student visa.
Indian Student Visa may be obtained in the United States through VFS Global Services (VFS Global), the Government of India official visa contractor. The site is challenging, and data is updated as you go through the application process. Please be patient and follow the steps in the order presented on the page, from top to bottom. Please make sure that you apply for a visa less than 180 days. If you get a visa for more than 180 days, you will have to register with the Foreign Registration Office (FRRO).
U.S. citizens of Pakistani or Bangladeshi descent are subject to administrative processing and should expect additional delays when applying for Indian visas.
On reaching the field school site, the student has to register with the local police. The program director will facilitate this office visit.
Citizens of other countries are asked to check the Indian embassy website at their home country for any additional visa requirements.