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The Trouble with Visas

Officials from the government of India are complaining that US visa policy is getting in the way of Indian scientists who want to work here, says ScienceInsider's Pallava Bagla. At a diplomatic meeting in the US last week on technological cooperation between the two countries, Indian junior science minister Ashwani Kumar told US presidential science advisor John Holdren that a new US visa policy — which requires all foreign scientists renew their visas to the US every year, instead of every five or 10 years, as in the past — is making things difficult for Indian researchers. Kumar asked that the procedure be streamlined for Indian scientists, Bagla says. CNR Rao, the science advisor to the prime minister of India, says it's "insulting" to have to repeat the visa procedure each year and adds he's concerned about students who wish to attend conferences in the US but can't because they don't have time to renew their visas. Holdren tells ScienceInsider that he hopes the government will soon improve the visa situation. But Rao says, "India is getting screwed," and that he's not very hopeful that the situation will change.

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