“Once I was leaving for India, I knew my dad was sick. I used to be nonetheless debating whether or not I ought to go or not. If I’m going, I knew I’d have visa points, however nonetheless, I had taken that call as a result of that was my dad that we have been enthusiastic about,” Mahajan stated throughout a information convention Monday.
Inside days of Mahajan’s arrival on April 17, his father died.
However earlier than the software program options architect, who lives and works within the US on an H-1B employment visa, may return to his house in Scotch Plains — 12 miles north of Edison, New Jersey, he wanted to get his passport reviewed and stamped from the US Consulate in India.
The issue was that he could not get an appointment till Feb. 2022 due to tightening Covid-19 restrictions that compelled closures of US embassies and consulates in India.
“Whereas he (Mahajan’s dad) was within the hospital, I used to be not even enthusiastic about visa points,” he stated. “After that, it hit me that now I’d be separated from my household for greater than a 12 months.”
With the assistance of New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, Mahajan was reunited together with his household on Monday.
“Having the household separated for therefore lengthy wouldn’t solely be an incredible hardship — it might jeopardize the very job that makes Ashu’s H-1B standing and his household’s life right here in America potential,” Menendez stated throughout Monday’s information convention. “I am extremely happy with my employees in New Jersey and in Washington with the Senate International Relations Committee for working collectively to deliver Mr. Mahajan house.
“They reached out to the State Division,” he stated. “They made clear all that was at stake on this case, they usually efficiently secured an expedited appointment at our embassy in New Delhi in order that he may get that passport stamp and board a aircraft again to America.”
Now that he is house and reunited together with his spouse and two daughters, Sanaa, 15 and Aisha, 9, Mahajan informed CNN’s Brianna Keilar Tuesday that he feels glad and joyful, a sense he cannot fairly clarify.
“Each night time that we spent on two totally different continents, my ladies would ask me when is daddy coming house, and I actually didn’t have a solution for them,” Neha, Mahajan’s spouse, stated throughout Monday’s information convention. “Yesterday was in all probability the primary night time after I noticed him and I used to be capable of sleep in peace.”
When Mahajan went to cremate his dad, he remembers there being an enormous line of ambulances on the cremation floor and stated he was scared as the belief of the fact of the state of affairs started to sink in.
“After seeing that, I acquired myself in the home and I simply locked myself in there, I did not wish to exit, I did not wish to communicate with anybody, in reality even the individuals who wished to return and convey their condolences I informed them ‘let’s do it over the cellphone, let’s not meet’ and that is the way it was.”
Journey ban impacts Indian visa holders specifically
As for journey to India, at first of the pandemic, the nation shortly closed its borders and banned all scheduled worldwide flights in March 2020.
As a result of second wave of infections, many locations are massively lowering, indefinitely suspending or banning journey to and from India. At current, these locations embrace Australia, Canada, China (together with Hong Kong), Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the UK (which added India to its “crimson checklist”), and america.
“He can not journey,” Neha informed WABC in Might. “Why? As a result of the consulates are closed, and there aren’t any in-person appointments obtainable.”
“They will approve us for visas, however we are able to solely get visas after we land in India to get it stamped,” she stated. “Why cannot they do it just about? Or why cannot we do it right here in america of America?”
And Mahajan is not the one Indian American dealing with an identical predicament.
“We’re at the moment working with 10 households, however suspect there are seemingly many extra New Jerseyans dealing with comparable conditions given our state’s massive Indian-American group,” Steven Sandberg, spokesperson for Menendez informed CNN.
In 2020 alone, Indians have been issued 94,558 H-1B visas given to extremely expert staff, which consisted of 76 % of all H-1B visas issued final 12 months.
Though the US has comparable restrictions for different nations, they’re permitting extremely expert employee visa holders in Mexico and Canada to enter the US.