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The Visa Problem


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
In this thread we will be updating news related to problems that Indians residing in the diaspora encounter when trying to return to India.

As news items are located they will be posted here. Forum members are also welcome to comment on articles, share experiences, and post news articles that they find to be relevant.



1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Forced to fast for their visas

Houston, December 19
Indian-Americans in major US cities are protesting the delay in receiving visas following the introduction of surrender certificate by the Government of India.

Houston witnessed a 24-hour fast against the delays over the visa last week. The fast was observed by several community members of Indian origin to create awareness across the country and has created “dignity among the people who are suffering due to this issue”, said Ramesh Shah of ‘Ekal Vidyalaya’ and one of the prominent community members taking part in the protest.

“We are against the system which is broken. It must be fixed,” Shah, a long-time leader in the Indo-American community, said during the demonstration outside a Hindu temple in southwest Houston.

“The surrender certificate is slowing down the process for Indian-Americans who are waiting for their visas to go to see their family in India. In addition, the consulate charges as much as $250 to cancel the old passports,” Lalit Chinory, vice-president of the Indian Senior Citizens Association, said. The protesters, frustrated due to the delays, were demanding “immediate” action to be taken for the withdrawal or suspension of the surrender certificate rules required immediately for issuing passports and visas.

“We sent in our passports as requested. While the surrender certificate rule was imposed at your convenience, the consulates were not properly informed or prepared for the onslaught of passports arriving at their door,” he said.

In Houston, hundreds of people have complained that obtaining a surrender certificate required multiple trips to the consulate office (several hours in line each time), and “unpleasant interactions” with overworked consular service staff, Chinory said. — PTI

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