US waiving face-to-face interview for many Indian visas through December, says US diplomat: report

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The United States has waived in-person interview requirements for many visa applicants until December this year

Washington:

The United States has waived in-person interview requirements for many visa applicants, including students and workers, at its diplomatic missions in India until December 31 this year, a senior US diplomat has told reporters. Indian community leaders.

Such applicants eligible for the waiver are students (F, M, and academic J visas), workers (H-1, H-2, H-3, and individual L visas), culture and extraordinary ability (O, P, and Q visas), the PTI news agency reported.

“This is much needed support for visa applicants. It would be very helpful for our friends and immediate family members and take away a lot of their concerns and remove the inconvenience,” Community Leader Ajay Jain Bhutoria South Asian national and adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden for Asian Americans, said after meeting with Assistant Secretary of State for South Central Asia Donal Lu.

Mr Bhutoria raised the issue of visas when meeting with Lu in Silicon Valley in the US state of California on Friday.

Donald Lu informed that until December 31 this year, the US Department of State is authorized to waive in-person interview requirements for certain applicants and their eligible derivatives in various non-immigrant visa classifications.

To be eligible for the expanded interview waiver program, applicants for these visa classifications must have previously received any U.S. visa category; has never been denied a U.S. visa and has no indication of visa ineligibility or potential ineligibility.

They must also be residents or nationals of the country in which they are applying; among others, the State Department said.

The U.S. Embassy New Delhi and its Consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai will issue over 20,000 additional waiver appointments (dropbox) for Spring 2022 to enable qualified applicants to utilize the new maintenance waiver authority, according to a notice posted on the website of the US Embassy in New Delhi.

During the meeting, Mr. Bhutoria discussed with Donal Lu to increase people-to-people relations between the United States and India. He stressed the importance for the United States and India to work closely together in South Central Asia.

“India and the United States are strong democracies and share democratic values ​​and provide leadership in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

They also discussed the immense contribution of the Indian-American Diaspora and its influential role in digital economic growth, startups and business and enterprise creation, and contributing to the growth of the American economy. .

Deputy Secretary Lu, Mr. Bhutoria, Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna also met at the afternoon event to discuss with Afghan community leaders and elected officials the resettlement of refugees in Afghanistan.

During the meeting, Donal Lu highlighted recent changes in immigration, acknowledging the tremendous opportunities that work and study in the United States provides and the important contributions international visitors make to communities, campuses, and the world. economy of the United States. The State Department has simplified visa processes for many applicants while continuing to protect national security, according to a press release.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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