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CORONAVIRUS CASUALTIES (Jan 15):- GLOBAL:- Total Cases: 9,36,03,141; Total Deaths: 20,04,041 Recovered: 6,69,16,468 BELGIUM:- Total Cases: 6,72,886; Total Deaths: 20,294 BRAZIL:- Total Cases: 83,26,115; Total deaths: 2,07,160 CANADA:- Total Cases: 6,88,891; Total Deaths: 17,538 CHINA:- Total Cases: 87,988 ; Total Deaths: 4,635 FRANCE:- Total Cases: 28,51,670; Total Deaths: 69,313 GERMANY:- Total Cases: 20,04,011 Total Deaths: 45,492 INDIA:- Total Cases: 1,05,28,508; Total Deaths: 1,51,954 INDONESIA:- Total Cases: 8,82,418; Total Deaths: 25,484 IRAN:- Total Cases: 13,11,810; Total Deaths: 56,538 ITALY:- Total Cases: 23,36,279; Total Deaths: 80,848 JAPAN:- Total Cases: 3,02,623; Total Deaths: 4,233 MEXICO:-Total Cases: 15,88,369; Total Deaths: 1,37,916 NETHERLANDS:- Total Cases: 8,95,687; Total Deaths: 12,774 PHILIPPINES:- Total Cases: 4,96,646; Total Deaths: 9,876 RUSSIA:- Total Cases: 35,20,531; Total Deaths: 64,495 S KOREA:- Total Cases: 71,241; Total Deaths: 1,217 SPAIN:-Total Cases: 22,11,967; Total Deaths: 53,079 SWEDEN:- Total Cases: 5,18,783 Total Deaths: 10,185 SWITZERLAND:-Total Cases: 4,92,832; Total Deaths: 8,586 UAE:- Total Cases: 2,42,969; Total Deaths: 726 UK:- Total Cases: 32,60,258; Total Deaths: 86,015; US:- Total Cases: 2,38,48,410; Total Deaths: 3,97,994 - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
Indians exempt from new US visa bond rule for visitors
The visa bond pilot programme will apply to nationals of 23 countries, excluding India, and will be in force for six months from Christmas Eve. The B1 and B2 visa applicants are affected. The bond will make up the costs of deporting foreign nationals who overstay, says the Government.

WASHINGTON, Nov 30: The US introduces a visa bond system from Christmas Eve to keep a check on overstay by visitors. Visitors from the listed countries, mainly certain businessmen and tourists, will have to pay a maximum of $15,000 in bond.

Indians have been excluded. The overstay rate for Indians comes to only 1% while the new rule applies to countries with a record of more than 10%. Around 13,000 Indians overstayed in the US last year.

A Government notification said the temporary visa bonds are a new way to "make up the costs to the US Government of deporting foreign nationals who overstay their US visa."

The visa bonds will apply to 23 countries including Iran, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Bhutan and will take effect from Christmas and will be for six months. It will apply mainly to B-1 and B-2 visas meant for short-term business trips and tourism. According to the notice, the overstay rate of nationals from these countries is more than 10%.

The notification issued on November 24 did not undergo the practice of subjecting such immigration rule changes to public comment. The US Statement Department said the issue is "a matter of conducting foreign relation, hence it’s not subject to the usual process."

The notice was published in the Federal Register by the Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch.

The Risch statement said: “The pilot program is being studied as a potential diplomatic tool to encourage foreign Governments to take all appropriate actions to ensure that their nationals depart the United States in a timely manner after making temporary visits.”

"The pilot programme does not aim to assess whether issuing visa bonds will be effective in reducing the number of aliens who overstay their temporary business visitor/tourist (B-1/B-2) visa," it added.

Some of the countries listed in the notice are: Iran, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Laos, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Congo.

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