A New Jersey man who was stranded in India after touring to look after his coronavirus-stricken father has been reunited along with his household, his relieved spouse informed The Post.
Ashu Mahajan, 43, landed 4 a.m. Sunday at Newark Liberty International Airport. His spouse, Neha, mentioned she set free an enormous “sigh of relief” upon seeing him for the primary time since he left the household’s Scotch Plains home on April 17 to look after his 75-year-old father in New Delhi.
“Unbelievable,” Neha mentioned of the jolt she received throughout the reunion. “I had to pinch myself to believe that he was here. With all the uncertainty going around, it’s nothing short of a miracle.”
Ashu, the director of product growth for a New York City-based software program firm, has been residing in the US along with his spouse since 2008 on an H1-B work visa, which permits employers to assign international employees in specialty occupations.
But after flying to India to assist along with his dad, Ashu wanted to get a stamp on his paperwork on the US Consulate in India to return home.
Then a virus surge in the nation killed his father on April 21, and prompted the US Embassy there to cancel all routine visa appointments.
“I knew it was going to be an issue, but all of a sudden, the pandemic really hit India hard and I didn’t imagine it was going to be this difficult,” Ashu mentioned Tuesday. “I was seeing everything go downhill. I lost my dad, I was away from my family.”
A reporter then alerted Sen. Bob Menendez’s workplace to Ashu’s plight and staffers started expediting his secure return home, the New Jersey lawmaker said Monday at a press conference with the household.
The couple’s youngest daughter, 9-year-old Aisha, is an American citizen, which factored into the State Department’s consideration of expediting Ashu’s case, Menendez mentioned.
“Having the family separated for so long would not only be a tremendous hardship – it would jeopardize the very job that makes Ashu’s H1-B status and his family’s life here in America possible,” Menendez mentioned.
“[My staff] reached out to the State Department. They made clear all that was at stake in this case, and they successfully secured an expedited appointment at our embassy in New Delhi so that he could get that passport stamp and board a plane back to America.”
Ashu’s visa is now legitimate by early subsequent yr, however he would want to undergo the method once more if he leaves the nation afterward, his spouse mentioned.
“Sadly, that’s how it goes with the indefinite backlog, we have to get stamped until we become permanent legal residents,” Neha Mahajan mentioned. “It’s a never-ending loop until we get our legal permanent residency. It can happen again.”
Four years after legally immigrating to the US, the couple certified to use for inexperienced playing cards, however they’re nonetheless awaiting the everlasting authorized residency standing almost a decade later.
“I’ve been in this limbo for the past 13 years and I don’t know how much longer it will be,” Ashu Mahajan informed The Post. “But I believe in the US democratic system. Even though I’m an immigrant my problems were heard and that’s what makes America great. This is why America is America.”
A State Department spokesman informed The Post earlier this month that every one routine visa appointments on the US Embassy in New Delhi and the consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai have been canceled till additional discover.
A spokesperson mentioned emergency providers for US residents in India are persevering with, NorthJersey.com reported Monday.