India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has raised the issue of visas with the United States.
The waiting time for a US visa from Delhi is much longer than in China.
The United States Embassy has expressed confidence that by next year everything will be fine.
New Delhi: America has now taken action after India raised the issue of long visa waiting lists. In order to reduce the wait time for visas, the US Embassy will increase the number of its staff. After External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar raised the issue of the long wait for visas with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this week, the US Embassy in Delhi explained the steps being taken to remedy to the situation.
Don Heflin, Minister for Consular Affairs at the US Embassy in New Delhi, said on Thursday that India was going to increase the number of temporary staff and drop boxes at the consulate in India and it would take less than a month. year, according to the Times of India. I expect Corona to return to its previous state. The drop box means no appointment is required for those who already had a US visa and expired within a certain time frame. These measures will reduce the waiting time for visas. He also said that 1 lakh appointments will be opened for H and L work visa category in the coming weeks.
The US Embassy has said that staffing will reach 100% by September 2023. Blaming the COVID-19 pandemic for the pending visa applications from Indian nationals, the US Embassy in Delhi has said it expects the staff complement to return to pre-coronavirus conditions in less than a year. According to the US website, the waiting time for appointments is 833 days for obtaining a US visitor visa from India, while the waiting time for appointments from China is two days.
In fact, earlier this week, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar raised the issue of pending US visa applications from India with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. In this regard, the senior US diplomat said he was sensitive to the issue and had a plan to resolve it. After the United States halted processing of nearly all visa applications worldwide in March 2020 due to the pandemic, US visa services are now trying to process pending applications.
Don Heflin from the US Embassy further said that the good thing is that they are recovering from Covid and the personnel issue is also slowly ending. We had 50% visa staff during and even after Corona and now we have 70%. By next year, our membership will be 100%. After that, we can process visa applications as soon as possible. He added that Washington was sending us temporary personnel. We will also recruit temporary staff from other major embassies.
Acknowledging that B1 (Business) and B2 (Visitor) have the longest wait times for new applicants, he said that we will work to reduce this as well in the coming months. Wait a bit, we’ll fix it soon. Many Indians working in the United States on H1 visas have also been unable to return home as they must have their passports stamped before returning. About them, Heflin said there are people in the United States on H and L visas who have not been able to return home and see their families since the start of Covid. We sympathize with them very much. We are going to open a lakh of appointments for this category of visas in the next few weeks or weeks.
What US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said
After the United States halted processing of nearly all visa applications worldwide in March 2020 due to the pandemic, US visa services are now trying to process pending applications. In response to a question about delays in visa applications, Blinken said, “Be patient with us.” It will be streamlined in the coming months, we are paying a lot of attention to it. He said: “On the issue of visas, I am very sensitive to it.
Blinken said the United States is trying to settle a lot of ongoing cases. Be aware that Indians make up a significant portion of recipients of H-1B visas and other work visas granted to skilled foreign workers. Many of them are related to the technology sector. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to deploy foreign workers for specialized tasks specializing in technology.
Tags: S Jaishankar, US Visa
FIRST POST: September 30, 2022, 06:49 AM HST