Visa Session with Mr. Joseph Pomper, Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs, U.S. Embassy
AMCHAM’s Eastern Region organized an interactive session at the Hyatt on December 11th, 2018 in Kolkata, with Mr. Joseph Pomper, Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Mr. Dan Wilson, Vice Counsel, U.S. Consulate Kolkata and the Consular team. Mr. Pomper discussed a wide range of topics from U.S. – India economic cooperation, including U.S. visa updates. Introductions were made by Regional Director – Eastern Region, Ms. Amada Kidwai. Mr. Debdas Sen, Chairman – Eastern Region, AMCHAM, in his welcome address, spoke about the mobility of free trade, people to people cooperation and HR mobility. This he said, helped in expanding business not only from the U.S., but also into the U.S., and that ease of travel was essential. He said that this would help strengthen the Indo – U.S. relationship and have stronger business ties. Mr. Gulshan Sachdev, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM, in his remarks mentioned that the 21st century looked at a boundary-less economy, free flow of transactions, hassle free movement, an environment of cooperation and collaboration. He said that that as we live up to the challenges of the current dynamic world, and the very eco system that we are a part of, we can only hope that such a scenario becomes a reality sooner than later. He said that every platform of such nature will give us the confidence to interact and agree on the common working grounds that we aspire to have in the future.
Mr. Pomper walked the members through the various visa requirements. He mentioned that the purpose of intended travel to the U.S. will determine the type of visa required under U.S. immigration law, and that the applicant will need to establish that all requirements are met to receive the category of visa applied for. He explained that when the applicant applies at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, a consular officer will determine, based on laws on the eligibility of granting the appropriate category of visa. He mentioned that the U.S. government is now giving priority to those applicants with a Master’s degree and this was on a case by case basis. He said that India represents 70% of the H1 B visa and 30% of the L1 visa amongst the workers category worldwide. He requested members to send in their queries or concerns on the Consulate/Embassy websites/Facebook and to check these sites for latest trends and updates. The session concluded after a very interactive Q&A session and a vote of thanks by the Chairman, Mr. Sen.