US Lawmakers Push for Immediate Action on Visa Wait Time Issue in India

Immediate action on Visa Wait time issue raised to Biden

Highlighting the significance of the people-to-people relationship between the United States and India, prominent US lawmakers have called upon the Biden Administration to prioritize addressing the visa wait time issue in India.

During separate Congressional hearings on Consular Affairs Budget, Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Congressman Michael Waltz, Co-Chair of the House India Caucus, questioned top State Department officials regarding the prolonged visa wait times of up to 600 days faced by individuals in India.

Senator Menendez acknowledged the strong ties between the United States and India, emphasizing India’s role as a member of the QUAD and the ongoing engagement in shared geostrategic interests. He commended the Department’s efforts to reduce wait times for first-time B1-B2 visa applicants from India, recognizing the significant presence of Indian Americans and their families in states like New Jersey.

During the Congressional hearings, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Rena Bitter, assured the lawmakers that the State Department is diligently addressing the visa wait time problem in India.

She highlighted the department’s efforts, which have led to a considerable reduction in wait times by about two thirds. Additionally, Bitter mentioned that special appointments for Indian applicants have been opened at specific posts to ensure their travel needs are effectively addressed.

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