The US has waived in-person visa interviews for the majority of the applications till 31st December this year. These beneficiaries of the waiver include students and workers. This was conveyed to the Indian community leaders on Friday by a senior US Diplomat Donal Lu, news agency PTI reported.
“This is much-needed support to visa applicants. This would be very helpful to our friends and immediate family members and remove a lot of their concerns and remove inconveniences… Both India and the US are strong democracies and share democratic values and provide leadership in the Asia Pacific region,” Ajay Jain Bhutoria, President Biden’s advisor for Asian Americans said.
This statement came after Mr. Bhutoria met with Assistant Secretary of State for South Central Asia Donal Lu in the Silicon Valley in California.
The beneficiary includes 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 report further says.
However, there are some conditions which have to be met by the applicants in order to secure the waiver. The applicants in the said classifications must have been issued a visa in any category, they have never been denied a US visa and do not have any evidence of ineligibility or potential ineligibility.
The American embassy in the US and its consulates in Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai will issue over 20,000 waivers appointments for 2022 Spring as per a notice issued by the embassy in New Delhi.
It was released last year that the number of Indian students studying in the US dropped by around 13 percent in 2020-2021 when compared to the previous academic year, as per a report by Institute of International Education.
It was reported last year that the number of immigrants under the H1-B visa program which take high-tech jobs dropped by 9 percent in the US, as per a report by Bloomberg.