U.S. Consulate General Chennai

COVID-19 Information (March 31, 2020)

Status of Repatriation Flights for U.S. Citizens:

U.S. Mission India is coordinating closely. This is an update to our message of March 30, 2020. We continue to coordinate closely with the U.S. Department of State and airlines to facilitate flights to the United States.

The Embassy is also working to facilitate transportation to Delhi and Mumbai from other cities in India and will notify potential evacuees of these arrangements via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). We urge U.S. citizens to enroll in STEP at https://step.state.gov/ in order to receive critical information from the U.S. Embassy concerning flight opportunities.

If you are a U.S. citizen interested in returning to the United States on a U.S. government-organized flight, please make sure to complete this form: https://tinyurl.com/uscit-india, if you have not done so already, so that the U.S. Embassy has your specific information.

We also recommend you monitor our social media https://twitter.com/USAndIndia and https://www.facebook.com/India.usembassy/) in addition to our website.

Country-Specific Information: 

  • As of 21:30, March 30, 2020, India reported 1,251 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, across 27 States and Union Territories in India. Of these 1251 cases, 1,117 are considered active.One hundred and one patients have recovered, and there have been 32 deaths.
  • Effective March 22, the Government of India suspended all international flights arriving and departing from India for at least one week.
  • Prime Minister Modi announced a public curfew on March 22 from 7:00am to 9:00pm .On March 24, the curfew was extended until April 15. For the complete guidelines on restrictions, visit the Ministry of Home Affairs webpage, and consult “Guidelines.”  The restrictions include:
  • No public transport services including buses, taxis, and trains.
  • Closure of non-essential shops, commercial establishments, factories, offices.
  • Construction suspended.
  • Arrivals of domestic flights suspended.
  • Instructions to stay at home and leave only for basic services (to acquire consumables or for health care services) within the vicinity of their residencies, while strictly following social distancing guidelines.
  • Following a high level meeting of Indian ministers on March 16, the government proposed extensive social distancing measures, including closure of all schools, museums, and cultural and social centers;prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people;and calling on the public to avoid all non-essential travel. The complete list of measures can be found here.
  • On March 16, 2020 the Government of India expanded compulsory quarantine for passengers coming from or transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. Fourteen-day mandatory quarantine also applies to passengers from China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain, and Germany.
  • On March 16, 2020 the Government of India prohibited the entry of passengers from the European Union, the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), Turkey, and the UK. On March 17, the government also prohibited the entry of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines, and Malaysia.
  • In addition to the restrictions put in place by the central government, on March 16, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced mandatory quarantine for travelers from the United States, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia. Other states have announced disparate restrictions as well, including the prohibition of entry of foreigners.
  • All existing visas [except diplomatic, official, United Nations or International Organizations, employment, and project visas] are suspended until April 15, 2020. This measure went into effect at 12:00 GMT on March 13, 2020 at all ports of entry.
  • The Ministry of Shipping issued extensive Standard Operating Procedures on March 11 to handle COVID-19 for international cruise ships at major ports in India.

COVID-19 Health Alert (March 31, 2020)

Health Alert – U.S. Mission to India

Location:  India

This is an update to our message of March 30, 2020.  We continue to coordinate closely with the U.S. Department of State and airlines to facilitate flights to the United States.

The Embassy is also working to facilitate transportation to Delhi and Mumbai from other cities in India and will notify potential evacuees of these arrangements via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  We urge U.S. citizens to enroll in STEP at https://step.state.gov/ in order to receive critical information from the U.S. Embassy concerning flight opportunities.

If you are a U.S. citizen interested in returning to the United States on a U.S. government-organized flight, and you have not done so already, please make sure to complete this form: https://tinyurl.com/uscit-india so that the U.S. Embassy has your specific information.

We also recommend you monitor our social media https://twitter.com/USAndIndia and https://www.facebook.com/India.usembassy/) in addition to our website.

Actions to Take:

COVID-19 Health Alert (March 25, 2020)

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy New Delhi

Location:  India

Event:  On March 24, Indian Prime Minister Modi announced a nationwide curfew through April 15, 2020 in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.While the exact parameters of the curfew are still unclear, U.S. citizens should cooperate by sheltering in place.  U.S. Citizens are required to comply with Indian law and obey directions from law enforcement officers.We are in contact with the Indian government to emphasize the need for hotels to continue to lodge U.S. citizens.

The U.S. Mission to India continues to work with the U.S. Department of State and airline companies to arrange flights from India to the United States for U.S. citizens.  Once these flights are arranged, we will work with the Indian government to arrange to the greatest extent possible safe passage to airports for U.S. citizens.

We know there is great interest from U.S. citizens in obtaining assistance to depart India, and we are working to support necessary arrangements.We will provide daily updates about our efforts via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) application.We urge U.S. citizens to enroll in STEP at www.step.state.gov in order to receive critical information from the Embassy concerning flight opportunities.  Our Embassy and Consulates continue to take phone calls and emails from U.S. citizens currently in India, but the best way to ensure you are informed, should flights opportunities become available, is to enroll in the STEP application.

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy New Delhi (March 20, 2020)

Location:  India

Event:  Effective March 22, the Government of India will suspend all international flights arriving and departing from India for at least one week.  U.S. citizens currently in India who wish to depart should contact their airline for flight availability at the earliest.  We are reviewing all options and will continue to provide information to U.S. citizens as events progress.

On March 19, the U.S. Department of State upgraded its worldwide travel advisory to Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel due to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.  U.S. citizens should not travel to India in light of both the U.S. global travel advisory, and recent Government of India (Center and State) advisories regarding screening and quarantines, and potential changes in international advisories.

Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel (March 19, 2020)

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.  Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.  Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips.  If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.

Information for Visa Applicants Regarding Novel Coronavirus

As of March 16, 2020, the United States Embassy and Consulates in India are cancelling routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments, and will not process 221gs. As of March 20, interview waiver (‘dropbox’) and biometrics appointments are cancelled. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. The MRV fee is valid and may be used for a visa application in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at www.ustraveldocs.com/in to request an emergency appointment.

American Center Chennai, Closure Notice (March 14, 2020)

Dear Friends of the American Center Chennai,
In accordance with public health recommendations, the American Center Chennai will temporarily pause in-person programming and close public access to the Center as of Monday, March 16, until further notice. We hope to bring virtual programs to you in the coming days, so please keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/chennai.usconsulate/. Please stay safe and healthy, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the American Center Chennai as soon as conditions allow.

பொது சுகாதாரப் பரிந்துரைகளுக்கு ஏற்ப, இந்தியாவிலுள்ள புதுதில்லி, சென்னை, கோல்கத்தா மற்றும் மும்பை ஆகிய நகரங்களிலுள்ள அமெரிக்கத் தூதரகம் சார்ந்த அமெரிக்கன் சென்டர்ஸ் (அமெரிக்க நூலகம்) மார்ச் 16-ம் தேதி முதல் மேற்கொண்டு அறிவிப்பு வரும் வரை, பொதுமக்கள் வருகைக்கு மூடப்படுகிறது. உள்ளரங்க நிகழ்ச்சிகளும் நடைபெறாது. மேலும் விவரங்கள் அறிய, தூதரக இணையத்தைப் பார்க்கவும்: https://www.facebook.com/chennai.usconsulate/ உங்கள் உடல்நலத்தை கவனமாகப் பார்த்துக் கொள்ளுங்கள். விரைவில் நிலவரம் சரியாகும் பட்சத்தில், மீண்டும் உங்கள் வருகையை எதிர்நோக்கியிருக்கிறோம்.

ಅಮೆರಿಕನ್ ಸೆಂಟರ್ ಚೆನ್ನೈನ ಆತ್ಮೀಯರೇ,
ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕ ಆರೋಗ್ಯ ಶಿಫಾರಸುಗಳಿಗೆ ಅನುಸಾರವಾಗಿ, ತಾತ್ಕಾಲಿಕವಾಗಿ ಅಮೆರಿಕನ್ ಸೆಂಟರ್ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮ ಗಳಿಗೆ ತುಸು ಬಿಡುವು ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಮಾರ್ಚ್ 16, ಸೋಮವಾರದಿಂದ ಮುಂದಿನ ಸೂಚನೆವರೆಗೆ ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕರಿಗೆ ಪ್ರವೇಶವಿಲ್ಲ.
ಮುಂದಿನ ದಿನಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ವರ್ಚುವಲ್ ಪ್ರೋಗ್ರಾಂಗಳನ್ನು ನಿಮ್ಮ ಬಳಿಗೆ ತರಲು ನಾವು ಆಶಿಸುತ್ತೇವೆ, ಆದ್ದರಿಂದ ಅಪ್ ಡೇಟ್ಸ್ ಗಳಿಗಾಗಿ ದಯವಿಟ್ಟು ನಮ್ಮ ಫೇಸ್‌ಬುಕ್ ಪುಟದ https://www.facebook.com/chennai.usconsulate/ ಮೇಲೆ ಕಣ್ಣಿಡಿ.
ದಯವಿಟ್ಟು ಸುರಕ್ಷಿತವಾಗಿರಿ, ಆರೋಗ್ಯವಾಗಿರಿ, ಮತ್ತು ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿತಿಗಳು ಅನುಮತಿಸಿದ ಕೂಡಲೇ ನಿಮ್ಮನ್ನು ನಮ್ಮ ಅಮೇರಿಕನ್ ಸೆಂಟರ್ ಗಳಿಗೆ ಸ್ವಾಗತಿಸಲು ಎದುರು ನೋಡುತ್ತೇವೆ.

പ്രിയപ്പെട്ട അമേരിക്കൻ സെന്റർ കൂട്ടുകാരേ,
പൊതു ആരോഗ്യ ശുപാർശകൾ മാനിച്ച് അമേരിക്കൻ സെന്ററിലെ (ലൈബ്രറി) കാര്യപരിപാടികളും പൊതുജന പ്രവേശനവും മാർച്ച് 16 തിങ്കളാഴ്ച മുതൽ ഇനിയൊരറിയിപ്പ് ഉണ്ടാകുന്നത് വരെ നിർത്തിവെക്കുന്നു. വരുംദിവസങ്ങളിൽ ഓൺലൈൻ പ്രോഗ്രാമുകൾ നിങ്ങളിലേക്കെത്തിക്കാമെന്ന് ഞങ്ങൾ പ്രതീക്ഷിക്കുന്നു. കൂടുതൽ വിവരങ്ങൾക്ക് ഞങ്ങളുടെ ഫേസ്ബുക്ക് പേജ് https://www.facebook.com/chennai.usconsulate/ പിന്തുടരൂ.
എല്ലാവരും ആരോഗ്യം പരിപാലിച്ച് സുരക്ഷിതരായിരിക്കുക. സാഹചര്യങ്ങൾ അനുവദിക്കുമ്പോൾ അമേരിക്കൻ സെന്ററിലേക്ക് വീണ്ടും നിങ്ങളെ ക്ഷണിക്കുന്നതിലേക്ക് ഞങ്ങൾ ഉറ്റുനോക്കുന്നു.

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy New Delhi (March 14, 2020)

Location:  India
Event:  The government of India has implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Visit the website of Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for additional information on these new measures.

Effective March 13, the Government of India suspended visas for all incoming foreigners, except diplomatic, U.N. or International Organization, employment, and project visas.

Mission India is moving to a social distancing policy as a protective measure for our staff and customers.

Effective March 16, the U.S. Embassy in India and its Consulates will provide only essential services to U.S. citizens and limited, emergency visa services.  Accordingly, currently scheduled visa appointments will be cancelled immediately.

Similarly, beginning on Monday, March 16, Mission India’s American Centers in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai will close public access until further notice.

Alert: Cancelling of immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments (March 13, 2020)

U.S. Mission India posts, in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, are cancelling immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments from March 16, 2020, onward. Your visa appointment stands as cancelled. Once Mission India resumes regular consular operations, appointments will be made available and you will be able to reschedule. Please see www.ustraveldocs.com/in  and in.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/ for further information.

Health Alert – Ongoing Outbreak of Novel (New) Noronavirus First Identified in Wuhan, China

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy New Delhi, India (February 14, 2020)
Location:  India
Event:  Ongoing outbreak of novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China
On February 7, 2020, the Government of India announced three confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Kerala, India.  These are currently the only confirmed cases of coronavirus reported in India.

Message for U.S. Citizens: Bengaluru Passport Outreach

Date: January 23, 2020
The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai, India, will conduct off-site passport services for U.S. citizens in Bengaluru on February 11, 12 and 13, 2020.

Demonstration Alert for U.S. Citizens:  Demonstrations across Kerala January 3, 2019

Location:  Kerala, India
Event:  Protests and demonstrations concerning the Sabarimala Temple
Media report widespread protests and a call for a general strike throughout the state of Kerala related to the opening of Sabarimala Temple to women of childbearing age.  Despite an Indian Supreme Court decision allowing entry, the entry of two women into the temple on January 2 has led to violent protests throughout Kerala, including in Palakkad, Kasargode, and Kollam.  The protests have, so far, led to the death of one person and caused substantial property damage, including the destruction of 45 public buses.  A general strike could cause work stoppages, shop closures, and transportation delays.

Protect Yourself from Scams Targeting Car Buyers, December 12, 2018

Alert: The U.S. Consulate General Chennai does not put out online advertisements for sale of motor vehicles belonging to U.S. diplomats. Please contact the Consulate if you come across such advertisements and read this link to protect yourself from car scams. Press Release in English (PDF: 271 KB) | Press Release in Tamil (PDF: 513 KB)

Weather Alert for U.S. Citizens: Cyclone Gaja in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (November 14, 2018)

Location:  Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, India
Event:  Cyclone Gaja is predicted to cross the Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore November 15.  High winds are expected along and off the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, with gusts up to 100 kmph.  A storm surge of approximately one meter is forecast to inundate low lying areas of the Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu and the Karaikal district of Puducherry at the time of the cyclone’s landfall.

Demonstration Alert for U.S. Citizens: Demonstration in Chennai, Tamil Nadu (October 17, 2018)

Location:  Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Event:  Protest by former employees of a private company. Please be advised of a protest near Chennai’s Directorate of Medical Services (DMS) office in the Teynampet area of Chennai today by former employees of a private company.  It is recommended for everyone to take reasonable precautions regarding personal security and avoid any large crowds.

Weather Alert for U.S. Citizens: Kerala State August 16, 2018

Location:  Kerala State
Event:  Extreme southwest monsoon rains continue throughout the state of Kerala, and adjacent districts in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, triggering landslides, flash floods and other emergency situations.  As of the morning of Thursday, August 16, media reported more than 60 deaths and large numbers of people stranded due to the weather.  Heavy rains are expected to continue with the ongoing monsoon season.  Given above-average and ongoing precipitation in the past several weeks, many low-lying areas are flooded, and reservoirs have reached full capacity, requiring authorities to open the flood gates of dams.

Weather Alert for U.S. Citizens:  Kerala State August 9, 2018

Location:  Kerala State
Event:  Heavy southwest monsoon rains continue throughout the state of Kerala, triggering landslides and flash floods.  Given above-average and ongoing precipitation in the past several weeks, some low-level areas are flooded and reservoirs have reached full capacity.  Media reports the northern districts of Palakkad, Idukki, Wayanad, Kozhikode, and Malappuram in Kerala are among the most significantly affected, and have reported weather-related deaths.  Kerala’s Idukki dam is opening its floodgates, which could impact the downstream area along the Periyar river in Kerala’s Ernakulam district.  Local media reports flights to Kochi have been suspended.

Limited Operations (August 7, 2018)

Out of respect for the death of former Chief Minister Karunanidhi, many businesses are closed and transportation is disrupted.

Statement by Acting U.S. Consul General Lauren Lovelace on the Death of the Honorable Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Muthuvel Karunanidhi (August 7, 2018)

The Consul General directs the activities of the United States Consulate General in Chennai. The U.S. Consulate in Chennai is one of the top visa adjudication posts in the world, and the number one in processing employment based visas. The Consulate also provides an array of services to Americans residing or traveling to Chennai.

Demonstration Alert for U.S. Citizens: Demonstrations in Tamil Nadu (May 23, 2018)

Location:  Thoothukudi, and throughout Tamil Nadu, India
Event:  Local media report that protests against the expansion of the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi became violent on May 22, with fatalities reported and vehicles set on fire.  Demonstrations are ongoing and may have the potential again to turn violent.  Shops and businesses may be closed on May 24, 2018.

Demonstration Alert for U.S. Citizens: Demonstrations in Chennai, Tamil Nadu (May 17, 2018)

Location:  Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Event:  The relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel on May 14 may spark protests, some of which have the potential to become violent.  There may be a demonstration on Friday, May 18th at 4:00 p.m. near Mannady and Parry’s Corner in Chennai.

Demonstration Alert for U.S. Citizens: Demonstrations in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu (April 3, 2018)

Location:  Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, India
Event:  Some political groups have called for protests and boycotts April 3-5 following a recent Supreme Court decision regarding the sharing of Cauvery River water.  Previous decisions regarding the Cauvery watershed have resulted in sporadic protests and violence.

Demonstration Alert for U.S. Citizens:  Demonstrations and Strike in Karnataka (January 25, 2018)

A general strike has been organized throughout Karnataka for January 25, 2018, regarding a dispute over water resources with the neighboring state of Goa.  Protests have been reported in Bengaluru (Bangalore) and across the state of Karnataka, and some services including public transportation have been suspended.  Many businesses have closed, while hospitals remain open.  Press reports indicate the strike and protests are expected to last one day.

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens:  Protests in Chennai, December 21, 2017

The recent announcement that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and plans to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem may spark protests, some of which have the potential to become violent.   U.S. Consulate Chennai reminds U.S. citizens of the need for caution and awareness of personal security.

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Flooding in Chennai November 3, 2017

Local media report significant flooding of the main roads throughout Chennai, with some media predicting moderate to heavy rains to continue through November 5. Local schools, including the American International School in Chennai, are closed Friday, November 3.  In addition to possible flooding, U.S. citizens may experience traffic delays and limited access to public transportation.

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Flooding in Bengaluru (Bangalore), September 27, 2017

Local media report significant flooding in the Hosur-Sarjapur and Anugraha Layout in the Koramangala area in Bengaluru (Bangalore), with some media predicting heavy rains will continue overnight and into Thursday, September 28.

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Demonstrations and Strike in Kerala, April 5, 2017

Local media sources have reported that a hartal (shut-down) has been called for Thursday, April 6 throughout the state of Kerala. The shut-down is reportedly organized in protest of police actions that occurred on April 5, 2017.

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Protests in Tamil Nadu January 23, 2017

This is an update to the previous emergency message sent on January 19, 2017.  Protests continue across Tamil Nadu, including at Marina Beach in Chennai, regarding the practice of bull taming (jallikattu).  Various sources have reported confrontations between police and protestors in Chennai and in other cities across the state that in some cases have turned violent.  Some schools and businesses have reportedly closed as a precaution. (More)

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Protests in Tamil Nadu January 19, 2017

Local media outlets continue to report protests in Tamil Nadu, including at Marina Beach in Chennai, regarding the practice of bull taming (jallikattu). Protests have thus far been peaceful, although there have been reports of traffic interruptions. Some bus services, taxis, and rickshaws may suspend or reduce services. (More)

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Cyclone Vardah, December 11, 2016

The U.S Consulate General in Chennai cautions U.S. citizens that Cyclone Vardah is expected to make landfall near Chennai, between Mahabalipuram and Nellore, tomorrow afternoon on Monday, December 12 and then weaken.

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: U.S. Consulate General Operations, December 6, 2016

The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai will continue to operate with reduced staffing on December 7, 2016, and has temporarily suspended appointments for routine services to U.S. citizens and visa applicants. Applicants whose appointments are canceled will be notified by e-mail and provided a link to reschedule.  The Consulate plans to resume routine services on Thursday, December 8, 2016.

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Death of Chief Minister Jayaraman Jayalalithaa

Apollo Hospital announced that Chief Minister Jayaraman Jayalalithaa passed away on Monday, December 5, 2016 at 11:30 p.m. Many businesses in Chennai are closed and public transportation is not operating.

Statement by Ambassador Richard R. Verma on the Death of the Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalithaa

On behalf of the United States, I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and the people of Tamil Nadu following her passing yesterday. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa will be remembered for her years of public service to Tamil Nadu and as a supporter of closer ties between the United States and India. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Tamil Nadu during this time of sorrow.

 Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: United States Consulate General Chennai, December 5, 2016

The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai will operate with reduced staffing on December 5, 2016, and has temporarily suspended appointments for routine services to U.S. citizens and visa applicants. Applicants will be informed by email. The Consulate will provide updates when routine services are restored. (More)

Important Message for Chennai Nonimmigrant Visas appointments, December 5, 2016

Due to scheduling changes, the Nonimmigrant Unit of the Chennai Consulate will not be able to honor your appointment today, Dec 5, 2016. As you have already completed your biometric appointment at the Visa Application Center you can just reschedule your interview appointment with the Consulate. There is NO NEED to contact the call center or customer support—simply login to your profile and reschedule both of your appointments.

We regret the inconvenience caused.

About the Region

The Chennai consular district includes the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and the Union Territories of Lakshadweep Islands, Pondicherry, and the Union Territories of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.