Request to include US Embassies in India as ESSENTIAL services for stranded visa holders.

Dear Representatives,

We are 1000+ legal non-immigrants of the USA who are stranded in India and are desirous to travel back to the US. The US Embassy and consulates are essential services that grant us a valid VISA to board our flights to the US. Unfortunately, due to the country-wide lockdown in India, the US embassy and consulates have stopped routine visa processing since March 16th, 2020, thus jeopardizing our return travel. During these extraordinary times, as legal, law-abiding taxpayers of your state, we request you to approach the appropriate authority to reopen the US embassy in India to process visas. We further request you to consider the embassy and consulates as essential services and establish alternatives to in-person services to enable issuance of visas to eligible stranded individuals who have HOMES, FAMILIES and JOBS in the USA today.

In these unprecedented times, we face one or more of the following situations:

• Our US citizen children who are stranded with us are missing their vaccinations and doctors’ appointments.
• Many families are separated. Many of us traveled for family emergencies or because we required visa stamping and thus chose to travel alone leaving our families in the US
• About 10% of us are separated from our pregnant spouses who are struggling to manage alone during COVID-19 situation in the US. Many of them are expecting their babies in May or June.
• There is an increased risk of losing our jobs as options to work remotely are none/limited, thus leading to significant financial burden. Mounting financial burden of home mortgages, apartment rents, student loans, car loans, etc.
• Daily depression and worry that comes with all of the above afflictions leading to health concerns.

We suggest a few alternate options below, but are open to any solutions you offer which will grant us VISAs to travel back soon:

Option 1. Interviewing ONLINE: Issuance of visa by evaluating and verifying the valid work/study/stay documents or approvals online and delivering stamped passport through courier services which are functional in India during the lockdown.

Option 2. Travel E-visa document: Auto issuance of travel document for those with an approved work/study petition issued by USCIS for single entry into the US, with the requirement to return to India for stamping when the embassy resumes routine services.

Option 3. Temporary modification of existing norms such as the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) or Automatic Revalidation Program to extend those measures to stranded Indian citizens with valid Work/Study/Stay document.

We humbly request you to consider our petition on HUMANITARIAN GROUNDS and take appropriate action to help our voice reach the decision-makers of USA. The health of our children, our spouses, our careers, and our homes are at risk.

Please HELP. Thank you!

USA Legal non-immigrants