India once again raised the issue of visa delays with the US administration when the leaders of the two nations, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and India's External Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar, discussed the subject of visa delays.
Washington: India once again raised the issue of visa delays with the US administration when the leaders of the two nations, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar, discussed the subject of visa delays.
In a meeting with the media on Wednesday in Washington, DC, Jaishankar stated that India will offer assistance if necessary to help the US get through the enormous backlog, but he also stated that the US should handle things on its own.
“I suggested to US State Secretary Blinken whether there was anything we could do to assist the US administration in handling this matter more effectively. But in this case, the US should take the lead; all we can do is provide our assistance,” said the External Affairs Minister.
Jaishankar added, “In India, there are families unable to meet; students waiting for a long time… I am confident that with the sincerity US Secretary Blinken has shown, they will be able to address this.” “With any support that we can provide, we hope things will improve.”
The US State Department claimed that the delays in the issue of visas were not limited to India. Since the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic, US embassies and missions have been facing problems with visa processing.
According to data available with the US State Department, the delays in issuing “visitor visas” for countries in the Indian subcontinent are 883 in Delhi, 767 in Kolkata, 545 in Dhaka (Bangladesh), 450 in Islamabad (Pakistan), 398 in Kathmandu (Nepal), and 100.
Blinken gave an explanation for these delays on Tuesday during the joint press conference following the bilateral meetings. “We are dealing with this issue all across the world,” he remarked. The State Department’s self-financing division for visas implies that the payments we get for issuing visas around the world go toward our operating budget and our ability to hire the personnel required to process visas.
Visa demand plummeted as a result of the emergence of deadly COVID, and visa fees vanished. Additionally, the entire system suffered, he said.
It would take some time for the US Visa Processing System to secure funding for the department’s maintenance. Until then, it seems like a delay in issuing visas is inevitable.