Updated April 1st, 2024 at 14:41 IST

'Huge Priority': US Envoy Garcetti on Trimming Visa Wait Time For Indians

US envoy Eric Garcetti on Monday sad President Joe Biden has personally asked the country’s Ambassador in New Delhi to bring down the visa wait time for India.

Reported by: Ronit Singh
'Huge Priority': US Envoy Garcetti on Trimming Visa Wait Time For Indians | Image:ANI
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New Delhi: US envoy Eric Garcetti on Monday sad President Joe Biden has personally asked the country’s Ambassador in New Delhi to bring down the visa wait time for India, adding that this is a “huge priority” for the American government.

“I don’t think presidents even focus on visa wait times. But we all have so many Indian friends who are saying, ‘Why is this taking so long?’ That it even went up to the president. The reality of 250 is that it is an average. And I think the typical person is actually under 200 days already,” Garcetti said in response to the 250-day wait for visa appointments despite the recent reduction in wait time.

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The US envoy added that the country is acting swifty to address the visa concern, including opening new consulates in India. 

“We’ve talked about opening two new consulates in the near future. One in Bangaluru, and another one that will be in Ahmedabad. Two, we’re working with the Ministry of External Affairs to put more bodies in India, and they’ve been very responsive and helpful.” 

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“Third, we are shipping it out,” he said, adding the US councilors, who don’t have enough work in their countries, are working on Indian visas.

US Envoy on Backlog of Green Cards

Responding to long backlog of Green Cards for Indians, the US envoy said, “Part of this is a legislative problem that Congress will have to address on whether it’s the number of legal immigrants, the number of green cards, or the number of people who can become citizens.”

Adding that there are a lot of people who want to come to the US, he said, “We’ve here in not just Delhi, but across India, increased 60 percent in a single year with the same number of people, the number of visas that we adjudicated, and brought down wait times by 75 percent,” he said. 

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“I certainly would love to see the ability for us to welcome more Indian immigrants legally and more Green Card holders,” said Garcetti, adding that the US needs the Indian workforce, which has been beneficial in the American healthcare and tech sectors.

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Published April 1st, 2024 at 14:41 IST