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No objection from US on dual citizenship: Blackwill
January 11, 2003 23:31 IST
The United States has no objection to India granting dual citizenship to its people, American Ambassador Robert Blackwill said in Delhi on Saturday.
The US is one of the seven countries from where people of Indian origin would be eligible to apply for dual citizenship once the requisite amendments to existing laws are passed.
Seeking to allay misgivings that the US has restricted entry of foreign nationals into that country post-September 11, 2001 when terrorists struck in New York and Washington, Blackwill said, "The acceptance rate of visas is the same as before."
India recently overshot China to become the second largest source of legal migrants to the US, behind Mexico, he said.
Secondly, Indian students now number more than 66,000 in the US and India has become the number one source of foreign students for American colleges and universities, overtaking the Chinese, he said.
Although there have been some delays in visa processing after September 11, 2000, Blackwill said, for the vast majority of applicants from India, new security measures should have no effect on either their ability to qualify for a visa, or the time it takes to have it issued.
The delay may be because of stricter monitoring as it was seen that the terrorists behind the September 11 attack had false documents to show they were headed for American universities.
In the past, visas were given to students who had secured admission in American universities and colleges. But now, this is verified, he said. "Otherwise, there is no change," Blackwill said.
The overall visa issuance rate for India 'is the same today as was before September 11. And, there are no more long visa lines at US diplomatic facilities in India', the ambassador said.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas