VISAKHAPATNAM: Lack of awareness on the two-tier system of clearance for entry into the US, has led to the suffering of some students who were sent back to India upon their arrival in the USA, felt US Ambassador to India Richard R Verma. He clarified that the US Visa was just a pass to travel to the port of entry in the US where the US authorities take up a secondary screening to ensure that students are going to the US for the purpose for which they had obtained the visas.
Interacting with the mediapersons during his visit to Visakhapatnam on Friday, Verma explained that there had been a 30 per cent increase in the number of Indian students obtaining student Visas for study in the US last year compared to the previous year. “The surge is continuing. But students need to understand that it is a two-step process. We expect that people are treated fairly and in case of rejection, we expect that it is conveyed professionally,” he added. However, the US Ambassador regretted for the impact that the deportation had caused to certain Indian students and their families but hoped that people understood the visa procedure properly.
On the increasing demand for the visas for education and trade, Richard Verma termed it as a good challenge that the US was trying to meet the demand. Terming 2015 as a year of consequence that witnessed improved Indo-US relations, he wished that 2016 would be a year of implementation of various projects envisaged by both the governments. Both the nations have unlimited possibilities to work together, he felt. Among the areas that the US authorities and companies are looking forward to work with their Indian counterparts are, defence (particularly building fighter jets together), economics and trade (to achieve $500 million mark in the two-way trade), Smart City initiative, clean energy and collaboration for civil nuclear cooperation.
The US Ambassador further felt that though the US had enough consulates to deal with the existing affairs, he would love to have more. “Though we might not establish new ones immediately, we are spreading our services across the country in education, trade and other sectors,” he explained.
Verma who affirmed that the Smart City project is a priority for the US in India, stated that we are on good path for realising the project and expressed confidence that they would overcome obvious challenges like financing and planning in its implementation. Termed the ease of doing business between both the nations as a work in progress, he pointed out that one two per cent of the US economy involves the Indo-US trade. He elaborated on different initiatives taken by the governments of both India and the US in reducing obstacles for doing business.