Travelling to the US for Indian passport holders is going to get a lot tougher. A new visa rule for USA that kicked in on September 12 this year, says that authorities can now reject an application over missing documents and mistakes, without giving the applicant an opportunity to explain.
The rule is likely to apply to H1B visa holders too.
A Hindustan Times report says that the people who are most likely to be affected by the new changes are the ones looking to procure a Green Card and stay in the country as a citizen, immigrants, non-immigrants who want to stay and work in the country on a temporary basis and people who want a US citizenship.
What comes as slight relief is that applicants who want to go to the US on a tourist visa or for business are not going to be affected by the revised rules.
The new rule is likely to make the process of getting a visa to the US - an already notoriously complex process - even lengthier, more complex and more expensive.
Failing to provide accurate documents or errors in the application may also lead to a person, already residing in the US, being deported to India if he or she falls out of status during the process.
The move has been called a 'major shift' by emigration lawyers, says the report in the daily.
Indians who hold an H1B visa in the US will be impacted by the change, as will people who seek a work-related Green Card and wish to settle down in the US. Every year, about 9,800 Indians acquire Green Cards for work.
"This policy change is part of an ongoing effort to help faithfully execute and protect the integrity of our laws, cut down on frivolous applications, reduce waste, and help ensure legitimate, law abiding petitioners seeking greater safety, security and prosperity aren't undermined by those able to game our system," Michael Bars, spokesperson for US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), said.
In June this year, the USCIS had said about the new rule, "It is not intended to penalise filers for innocent mistakes or misunderstandings of evidentiary requirements."