March 3, 2014, Washington, D.C. – The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) recently met with the Embassy of India to discuss the Indian government’s procedures for issuing visas to U.S. passport holders who were born in Iran. The meeting was in response to a letter PAAIA sent to the Indian Embassy last September concerning delays in visa applications experienced by some Iranian Americans seeking to travel to India.
PAAIA was contacted by a number of Iranian American professionals from the San Francisco Bay Area who work in the high-tech industry and travel to India for business-related purposes. They were informed of potential new procedures for Iranian-born citizens of the United States that could significantly delay the application process.
In its letter to Ambassador Rao of India, PAAIA expressed concern that such new procedures, if accurate, could adversely impact business with India and penalize an entire group of U.S. citizens, placing those born in Iran at a disadvantage relative to their non-Iranian colleagues. In light of these concerns, PAAIA also contacted the Department of State and members of Congress from the San Francisco Bay area to seek their assistance in discussing this matter with the government of India.
PAAIA was assured by the Consular Minister of the Embassy of India that there are no new or special procedures for American citizens of Iranian origin and that delays may have occurred due to outsourcing of support services for issuing Indian visa. The Embassy of India also indicated that they would be happy to review the cases of any specific visa applicants who may be facing delays.
PAAIA would like to thank the Embassy of India for responding to our request and providing clarification on this matter.
Click here to read PAAIA’s letter to the Embassy of India.