Students waiting, families unable to meet: What Jaishankar says on US visa delay
Jaishankar said India will cooperate with the US to resolve the issue of visa waiting period as it is affecting students and families, but India can do little in this.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday that he hopes the US visa application backlog will be resolved and India is ready to provide necessary cooperation, but the issue is mainly for the US to address,. He has raised the issue with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who assured him that the US was building back on the backlog of visa applications from Indian nationals and that the Biden administration will implement its new plan in a few months. Also Read: Fixing visa blues in India, says US after Jaishankar flags concerns; unveils plan
"In India, I mean, there are families who are not able to meet their relatives there and people who can't keep their business appointments. There are students who are waiting for a long time. So, it's a really it's a genuinely serious problem of some magnitude," Jaishankar said.
"But I'm very confident, with the sincerity that Secretary Blinken showed and the seriousness with which I hope they would address this and with any support that we can provide, we hope that things will improve," Jaishankar added.
The waiting period for Indians looking to secure a visitor visa to the US has gone up to 800 days, according to the website of the US State Department. The waiting period is nearly 400 days for student/exchange visitor visas and other non-immigrant visas.
"I'm extremely sensitive to this," said Blinken as he blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for the backlog. "Our ability to issue visas dropped dramatically during Covid. And the last thing we want to do is make that any more difficult. On the contrary, we want to facilitate it. So bear with us. This will play out over the next few months but we're very focused on it," Blinken said.
(With agency inputs)
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