Top lawmakers urges Biden to address visa wait time issue in India

Describing India as an important partner wherein people-to-people relationship plays a significant role, top US lawmakers have urged the Biden Administration to address the visa wait time issue in India on a priority basis.

Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Congressman Michael Waltz, Co-Chair of the House India Caucus, during two separate Congressional hearings on Consular Affairs Budget asked top State Department officials why people in India were facing visa wait time up to 600 days.

“The United States enjoys strong people-to-people ties with India. India is now part of the QUAD. We are constantly engaging it in geostrategic interests that we have. New Jersey is home to a great number of Indian Americans and their families. I appreciate and applaud the department’s heightened focus towards reducing wait times for first time B1-B2 applicants in India,” Menendez said.

“But despite that progress this past year, India continues to face the longest wait times globally with average wait times for an appointment for the first-time B1-B2 applicant ranging between 450 and 600 days. Could you please speak to me as to why that is the case? Why does it take up to 600 days for an adjudication?” Menendez asked during a hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.