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Onus on US to honor its Visa: Bon Voyage visitors!

Thu, Dec 31, 2015, 01:18 PM
The US Visa may no longer be a direct passport for visiting America, it appears. Going by scores of students' experience, despite having a valid visa, the flight to the US is not a smooth one. One maybe stopped right at the home airport or any airport midway or even after landing. This is because strange are the ways of the US Immigration and Border Protection and stranger still are their questions! You should be well versed in English to answer all their queries.

The recent spate of deportations of Indian students has heightened the anxieties of those going to the US. The deportations have occurred despite the Indian demands to the US to honour its own visas obtained by people after spending lakhs of rupees for the air ticket, tour preparations etc. After all the monetary and other efforts, if the people are turned back and barred from entering the US, the whole exercise would be meaningless.

The Indian demand is post-visa grant, it is the responsibility of the US to honour its Visa. It's ain't `That's that!' that the US Immigration lads are wont to say.

The general feeling in India is that the US Immigration and Border Protection staff act somewhat indifferently, ask trivial questions and turn what a happy visit to the US should be into a dreadful trip.

It maybe true that the students in particular may not be able to give appropriate answers to queries put by Border Protection. The students may just mumble when queried, Where are you studying? Where are you going to stay? Do you have international health insurance? Clear finance status and so on.

The students may suddenly be finding themselves amid strange interrogators, strange queries, which maybe off-putting them in the first place. But should they cause such aversion to the Immigration that they are turned back at the home airport or en route or even after landing?

The argument that America is facing terrorism also does not wash, because that is a global phenomenon, and Indian students are rather tame and safe.

In any case, the students are well advised to improve their English, get to have an idea of the mores of the Immigration officials.

The Indian visitors need, therefore, need to give proper answers from the home airport to the point of landing in the US. Only then they have bon voyage.
Agency: Ap7am Desk

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