India urges US to speed up issuance of business visas

India has asked the United States to speed up issuance of business visas so that people can go on short trips to pursue their business and trade interests, Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference after attending the 13th India-US Trade Policy Forum in Washington, the minister said, “We have found a very good response to our demand that issuance of business visas, which is taking a long time at home in India, is an area that needs to be expedited, so interested business people from both sides must have faster processing of business visas so that trade and investments do not suffer.”

“India has submitted a request to the US that they can expedite issuance of regular business visas where people come for short trips to pursue their trade and business interests,” he added as quoted by ANI.

Goyal further emphasized that the movement of students, skilled workers, professionals, investors and business travelers is expanding between the two countries.

He also said that India is grateful that the US was able to expedite the processing of student visas so that in a post-covid scenario, Indian students would come to the US to continue their studies in the fall semester of 2022.

Piyush Goyal is on an official visit to New York and Washington DC from January 9-11 to participate in the India-US Trade Policy Forum. His visit included delegation-level talks and a one-on-one meeting with the US Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai.

This request to end business visas comes a week after the State Department said that the US embassy and consulates in India broke their record by issuing nearly 1,25,000 student visas in the 2022 fiscal year.

“Our embassy and consulates in India broke their all-time record for the number of student visas issued in a single fiscal year 2022. We issued nearly 1,25,000 student visas,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a press conference while responding to a query on the slowing down of visa issues for Indian tourists.

The two countries also cooperate under QUAD, I2U2 (India-Israel/UAE-US) and IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework).

Regular exchanges at the leadership level are an integral element of increasing bilateral engagement. The outcomes of these visits were key to further strengthening the multiple ties between the two countries.

The 12th ministerial meeting of the TPF was held on November 23, 2021, after a gap of four years, in New Delhi. The working groups were reactivated after the last ministerial meeting. TPF is a platform for continuous engagement between the two countries in the field of trade and improvement of trade and investment relations between the two countries.

(With ANI inputs)

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