Lengthy delays in US customer visas hit Indian companies, households – Instances of India

Amit Mishra (title modified) is the CEO of his household enterprise in Delhi. The corporate has a subsidiary in New Jersey in America which was arrange eight years again. The supervisor of the US department, an American citizen, now desires to retire. Mishra wants to go to the US department in order that he can rent one other individual for the job and the handover of tasks needs to be carried out in his presence. Nevertheless, Mishra’s US B1-B2 customer visa expired in August 2021 and although he’s eligible for a visa interview waiver; he has obtained a ‘dropbox’ appointment to submit the paperwork required for the renewal solely in November 2022; there are not any dates accessible earlier. His enterprise is being badly hit and he must journey on an pressing foundation; however with the US embassy and consulates in India unable to present dates for visa interviews or dropbox appointments for the following couple of months, there’s nothing that he can do however wait. And like Mishra, there are lots of of Indians – together with mother and father who wish to go to their youngsters learning in US universities, households who wish to go to their kin and executives who wish to journey for enterprise conferences and conferences – who’ve been hit by the lengthy delays in getting US customer visas for the reason that pandemic. “To this point, the US embassy and consulates are giving dates just for renewals of customer visas. There are not any interview dates for many who wish to apply for recent B1-B2 customer visas. Even for renewals of visas, for which no interviews are required, the dates for submitting paperwork can be found solely after a number of months. Our shoppers, who have to journey for pressing enterprise issues, are getting stressed,” says Mumbai-based immigration lawyer Vipul Joshi from the regulation agency Sudhir Shah and Associates. Generally dates are launched by the embassy and consulates on their web site however they get crammed up inside minutes and one needs to be actually fortunate to examine at the moment and be capable of guide slots on these dates. And that provides to the uncertainty, provides Joshi. Even after the submission of paperwork, the processing of US customer visas is, in some circumstances, taking greater than two weeks. “After submission, generally consulates take greater than two weeks to return the passport with the visa stamped. So, there may be uncertainty at each step and nobody can predict sensible timelines,” says Joshi. In the meantime, earlier this week, the processing charges for US visas, have been elevated from Rs 12480 to Rs 12800, on the trade charge set at $1 = INR 80. Final 12 months, the US authorities, had launched interview waiver programmes for a number of classes of visas until December 2023. Nevertheless, regardless of the interview waivers, backlogs for visas in India proceed and journey business specialists are nonetheless not ready to determine by when the timeline for granting of US visas can be again to the pre-pandemic state of affairs. “In view of the probably backlogs for various classes of visas, I really feel it could possibly be one other 6-8 months earlier than the US embassy and consulates can return to the pre-pandemic timeline of granting customer and different classes of visas in India,” says Joshi. He provides that at present, college students who’re planning to go to the US for the Fall session this 12 months are being granted visa interviews in giant numbers and plainly different classes are on maintain. “By September, the coed rush is prone to be over and we hope that extra B1-B2 candidates can be accommodated,” says Joshi. The one circumstances for which recent B1-B2 visas are being issued quick are medical or different emergency conditions. “Even for such conditions, getting a visa can’t be assured and it is dependent upon the discretion of the visa officers,” Joshi provides.