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US Visa Rules Hinder Science?

Indian researchers argue that applying for new visas every year is an insult to international scientists.

By | July 25, 2011

Ashwani KumarWORLD ECONOMIC FORUM, NORBERT SCHILLER

The current US visa policy, which requires scientists to get a new visa each year rather than one every 5 to 10 years, is hurting international scientists, India’s junior science minister Ashwani Kumar told US presidential science adviser John Holdren last Tuesday (July 19) during the second annual India-US Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi. Kumar expressed his concerns that the visa rules lead to a “bottleneck” and “a lot of hassle for Indian scientists,” ScienceInsider reports.

Chemist C.N.R. Rao, current science adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is one of those annoyed by the new rules. It is “very insulting to go through this on an annual basis,” said Rao, who is considering not traveling to the US anymore once his current visa expires. “India is getting screwed and roughed up by the Americans,” he told ScienceInsider.

In a bizarre twist, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced at the same meeting the launch of a new program to send more American students to India to study and intern, emphasizing the need for bilateral relations between India and the US in various fields, including research, the Deccan Chronicle reports.

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Comments

July 25, 2011

Two things.
(1) As a postdoc in the US I also had to renew my visa every year. Of course, I would have liked not to, but I was very, very happy to work in the States and this small hassle seemed minor.
(2) In January 1981 I applied for a visa to visit India as a tourist. I also wanted to visit Sikkim, and applied for a separate visa for that privilege. The latter would take "three to six months",  it never came, but I was invited to visit the ministry in New Dehli on my arrival in India. I did, having found and seen the office, I understood that it was highly unlikely anyone could find my visa application there.

Things have changed no doubt, but “a lot of hassle for Indian scientistsâ€쳌, my guess is they are happy to be there.

Avatar of: Tia Ghose

Tia Ghose

Posts: 1457

July 25, 2011

Applying for a Sikkim visa before getting to India is bad idea. Once you're in Kolkata or Darjeeling, you can apply and get something approved a day or two in advance.

Avatar of: Anonymous

Anonymous

July 25, 2011

As an out-of-work, since 2004, U.S. (U.S. Born) Scientist formerly working in CNS pharmacology R&D, I have trouble thinking that here in the U.S need to import more scientists (unless of course the quality of our scientists have fallen so far as to justify this or that we no longer have the specific expertise necessary). This is especially true for the Indian scientists that lost their jobs with the group I was "laid off" (???) with.

Avatar of: Douglas

Anonymous

July 25, 2011

There should be no remorse for tighter rules

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

There should be no remorse for tighter rules

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

Two things.
(1) As a postdoc in the US I also had to renew my visa every year. Of course, I would have liked not to, but I was very, very happy to work in the States and this small hassle seemed minor.
(2) In January 1981 I applied for a visa to visit India as a tourist. I also wanted to visit Sikkim, and applied for a separate visa for that privilege. The latter would take "three to six months",  it never came, but I was invited to visit the ministry in New Dehli on my arrival in India. I did, having found and seen the office, I understood that it was highly unlikely anyone could find my visa application there.

Things have changed no doubt, but “a lot of hassle for Indian scientistsâ€쳌, my guess is they are happy to be there.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

Applying for a Sikkim visa before getting to India is bad idea. Once you're in Kolkata or Darjeeling, you can apply and get something approved a day or two in advance.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

As an out-of-work, since 2004, U.S. (U.S. Born) Scientist formerly working in CNS pharmacology R&D, I have trouble thinking that here in the U.S need to import more scientists (unless of course the quality of our scientists have fallen so far as to justify this or that we no longer have the specific expertise necessary). This is especially true for the Indian scientists that lost their jobs with the group I was "laid off" (???) with.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

Two things.
(1) As a postdoc in the US I also had to renew my visa every year. Of course, I would have liked not to, but I was very, very happy to work in the States and this small hassle seemed minor.
(2) In January 1981 I applied for a visa to visit India as a tourist. I also wanted to visit Sikkim, and applied for a separate visa for that privilege. The latter would take "three to six months",  it never came, but I was invited to visit the ministry in New Dehli on my arrival in India. I did, having found and seen the office, I understood that it was highly unlikely anyone could find my visa application there.

Things have changed no doubt, but “a lot of hassle for Indian scientistsâ€쳌, my guess is they are happy to be there.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

Applying for a Sikkim visa before getting to India is bad idea. Once you're in Kolkata or Darjeeling, you can apply and get something approved a day or two in advance.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

As an out-of-work, since 2004, U.S. (U.S. Born) Scientist formerly working in CNS pharmacology R&D, I have trouble thinking that here in the U.S need to import more scientists (unless of course the quality of our scientists have fallen so far as to justify this or that we no longer have the specific expertise necessary). This is especially true for the Indian scientists that lost their jobs with the group I was "laid off" (???) with.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

There should be no remorse for tighter rules

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 26, 2011

no remorse for tighter rules ?Have you ever applied for an American visa?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 26, 2011

Oh, this is nice! Department of State tempers brain drain to US from India-China, everybody should greet this policy! Those Asian scientists should work hard in their native countries. The problem is that this situation may change, and US domination in science may end. The unprecedented discrimination of scientists is certainly one of the major factors that favour this outcome.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 26, 2011

Oh, this is nice! Department of State tempers brain drain to US from India-China, everybody should greet this policy! Those Asian scientists should work hard in their native countries. The problem is that this situation may change, and US domination in science may end. The unprecedented discrimination of scientists is certainly one of the major factors that favour this outcome.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 26, 2011

no remorse for tighter rules ?Have you ever applied for an American visa?

Avatar of: anonymous

Anonymous

July 26, 2011

no remorse for tighter rules ?Have you ever applied for an American visa?

Avatar of: Korn

Anonymous

July 26, 2011

Oh, this is nice! Department of State tempers brain drain to US from India-China, everybody should greet this policy! Those Asian scientists should work hard in their native countries. The problem is that this situation may change, and US domination in science may end. The unprecedented discrimination of scientists is certainly one of the major factors that favour this outcome.

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