Washington. Describing India as an important partner, top US lawmakers have urged President Joe Biden’s administration to address the country’s visa wait times as a priority. Congressman Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Michael Waltz, co-chairman of the House India Caucus, asked senior State Department officials at two separate congressional hearings on the “consular affairs budget to discuss visa requirements in India. do you have to wait 600 days?
Menendez said, “The peoples of America and India share a strong bond. India is now part of the “Quad” (quadrilateral security dialogue group). We permanently include it in our geostrategic interests. A large number of American Indians and their families live in New Jersey. I appreciate the measures taken by the ministry to reduce the waiting time for B1-B2 candidates in India.
He said during the Senate External Relations Committee hearing, “However, despite this, for a year, for the first time in India, all B1-B2 candidates have to wait an average of 450 to 600 days.” This is the longest wait time in the world. Why does it take 600 days?’ Prime Minister Modi will visit America from June 21-24 at the invitation of US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.
Congressman Waltz said at the House Foreign Relations Committee hearing: “I am the co-chairman of the US India Caucus. I think this is one of our most important economic diplomatic security relationships in the 21st century. However, I continue to receive complaints from American Indians and our Indian allies about wait times. Despite the fact that we have the second or third highest number of ‘consular’ affairs officers stationed in India.”
He said, “According to the data I have, the average waiting time in Mumbai India is 587 days. Waltz said the delay in obtaining visas will also affect business relations. Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Rina Bitter told lawmakers in two separate congressional hearings that the State Department was doing its best to deal with it and had taken several steps to resolve it. He said the wait time for visas had been cut by nearly two-thirds.
Tags: Joe Biden, Narendra Modi, UNITED STATES, American Visa
FIRST POST: June 08, 2023