I am a student on an F1 visa planning to travel from India to the US(Atlanta, Ga) in August 2021. This will be my first visit to the US.

Is it okay to have a layover(2-3hr) in one of the EU countries (probably in Paris-CDG)?

I asked around, few people are suggesting booking a flight via the middle East(Doha). I personally find the Paris option cheaper and safer.

Are there any restrictions currently for flights coming from India to Paris or for flights from the EU to the USA? Also, will I need any additional paperwork other than a negative RTPCR report?

1 Answer 1


There is currently a ban preventing anyone having set foot in the Schengen Area (and other countries) in the last 14 days (and that includes transit) from entering the US, unless they meet a number of exemptions (US citizens and permanent residents and their families, etc.).

So in the general case transit via CDG indeed prevents you from entering the US, while a transit in the Middle-East does not.


  • India is now also such a country, so if you are allowed to enter the US coming from India, you are allowed to transit via Schengen as well;

  • There are exemptions for holders of F-1 visas, however the rules are a bit more specific.

The rules for India for students are currently:

Students and certain academics covered by exchange visitor programs. Students subject to these geographic COVID proclamations due to their presence in India, China, Iran, Brazil, or South Africa may qualify for a National Interest Exception only if their academic program, including optional practical training (OPT), begins August 1, 2021 or later. Students with valid F-1 and M-1 visas intending to begin or continue an academic program, including OPT, beginning August 1, 2021 or later do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual National Interest Exception to travel. They may enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before the start of their academic studies. Students seeking to apply for new F-1 or M-1 visas should check the status of visa services at the nearest embassy or consulate; those applicants who are found to be otherwise qualified for an F-1 or M-1 visa will automatically be considered for a national interest exception to travel.

(from what I understand, F-1 visa holders from other countries subject to the ban but not listed above do not have the August 1, 2021 restriction).

Note that student visas are in a specific category, as they are not directly listed in the exemptions in the various presidential proclamations, but are deemed to be "National Interest Exceptions", so the exact rules are decided by Department of State.

See here for more information.

From what I understand, in your specific case, provided your program starts in August or later, you should be able to transit via CDG.

You may wish to contact your local US embassy or consulate for confirmation.

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