US Relaxes Visa Requirements for Indian Students

A senior American diplomat told Indian community leaders that the US has waived in-person interview requirements for many visa applicants, including students and workers, at its diplomatic missions in India until December 31.

Students (F, M, and academic J visas), workers (H-1, H-2, H-3, and individual L visas), culture, and extraordinary ability are all eligible for the waiver (O, P, and Q visas).

“This is much-needed support to visa applicants. This would be very helpful to our friends and immediate family members and remove a lot of their concerns and remove inconveniences,” After meeting with Donal Lu, assistant secretary of state for South Central Asia, Ajay Jain Bhutoria, a South Asian community leader and US President Joe Biden’s Asian American advisor, said.

During his meeting with Lu on February 25th in Silicon Valley, California, Bhutoria brought up the issue of visas. According to Lu, the US Department of State is authorised to waive in-person interview requirements for certain applicants and their qualifying derivatives in various non-immigrant visa classifications until December 31, this year.

Applicants for these visa classifications must have previously been denied a US visa and have no indication of ineligibility or potential visa ineligibility to be eligible for the expanded interview waiver program.

They must also be citizens or residents of the country in which they are applying, according to the State Department.

According to a notice posted on the US Embassy in New Delhi’s website, the US embassy in New Delhi and its consultants in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai will release more than 20,000 additional waivers (dropbox) appointments for Spring 2022 to allow qualified applicants to take advantage of the new interview waiver authority.

During the meeting, Bhutoria and Lu discussed ways to strengthen people-to-people ties between the United States and India. “Both India and the United States are strong democracies that share democratic values and lead in the Asia Pacific,” he said.

They also discussed the Indian American diaspora’s significant contribution to digital economic growth, startups, and the establishment of businesses and companies, as well as contributing to the US economy’s growth. At the afternoon event, Assistant Secretary Lu, Bhutoria, and Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna met with Afghan community leaders and elected officials to discuss the Afghanistan refugee resettlement.

“During the meeting, Lu discussed recent immigration changes, emphasising the tremendous opportunities that working and studying in the United States provides, as well as the other significant contributions that international visitors make to US communities, campuses, and the economy,” according to a press release.

Source: The Indian Express


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