India flags delay in US visa issuing process for businesses- The New Indian Express

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By PTI

NEW DELHI: India has raised its concerns at the Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meeting over problems being faced by domestic businesses in getting timely visas for the US and sought to fast-track the visa-issuing process for traders and investors, an official has said.

The issue came up for discussion during the 14th TPF meeting here on Friday.

It was co-chaired by the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

During the TPF meeting, the two ministers noted that the movement of professional and skilled workers, students, investors and business visitors between the countries contributes immensely to enhancing bilateral economic and technological partnership.

“Minister Goyal highlighted challenges being faced by business visitors from India due to visa processing time periods and requested the US to augment processing,” a joint statement has said.

The government official said that India has also asked the US to make it a permanent process for Indian H1B visa holders in America to renew those visas in the US itself so that they do not have to come to India for that.

At present, in the US, this state-side facility for this is a pilot programme. State-side facility means the person staying with an H1B visa can get it renewed in the US only.

“Now, we are asking to make it permanent, and we are asking to extend this facility not only to the original visa holder but to his/her family also so that the family does not need to come back to India for renewal of visas,” the official added.

Further, India has requested the US to consider India as an ‘approved treaty country’ for E1 and E2 visas, which are for traders and investors.

At present, India is not an approved treaty country for the US for these visas.

“So, there was a request that India should also be considered to be made a part of the treaty country so that the facility of E1 and E2 visa, which is for investors and traders, is also made available to India,” the official added.

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