The Biden administration has been asked by top US legislators to solve the visa wait time problem in the nation on an urgent basis. The legislator has pointed to India as an essential partner, on which people-to-people ties are a crucial factor.
Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Menendez, and co-chair of the House India Caucus, Congressman Michael Waltz, raised concerns about delayed visa times for Indians. They asked the top State Department authorities during two separate Congressional hearings on the Consular Affairs Budget why Indians are still facing visa wait times of up to 600 days.
Menendez claims that the United States has always been involved in geostrategic objectives. However, New Jersey is home to a large Indian American community. Further, he appreciated the efforts to reduce processing times for Indian citizens applying for their B1 or B2 United States visa.
Even after so much progress in this direction, India continues to have the longest wait periods in the world, with first-time B1/B2 visa applicants waiting between 450 and 600 days for an appointment. Menendez emphasises the significance of India and the US partnership as the most important economic, diplomatic, and security connections in today’s time.
Even Congressman Waltz stated that Indian Americans always complain about the waiting time for visas. The average delay time in Mumbai, India, according to Waltz, was 587 calendar days. In light of PM Modi’s upcoming state banquet in the United States, he questioned what the government is doing to resolve the issue. He indicated that the visa delay would affect the business relationship. During two separate Congressional sessions, Rena Bitter, assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, advised senators that the State Department is working hard and has taken numerous measures to resolve the issue.