“Hope the US visa backlog will be resolved…” : S. Jaishankar

S. Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs, stated on Thursday that he hopes the backlog of US visa applications will be resolved and that India is ready to provide the necessary assistance, but that the US should mainly address the issue. He brought up the matter with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who gave him the assurance that the US was working to reduce the backlog of Indian nationals applying visas and that the Biden administration will soon put its new strategy into action.

“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.

According to the US State Department website, the wait time for Indians seeking a visiting visa to the US has increased to 800 days. For other non-immigrant visas as well as student/exchange visitor visas, the waiting time is close to 400 days.

“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.

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