A New Jersey man who traveled to his native India to look after his coronavirus-stricken father is now caught overseas whereas awaiting approval to come again to the US — because the nation battles a catastrophic surge in infections, his frightened wife informed The Post Wednesday.
Neha Mahajan, 39, stated her husband, Ashu, 43, left the household’s Union County residence on April 17 to fly to New Delhi to look after his 75-year-old father, Ravi, who contracted COVID-19.
Ashu’s father was already on a ventilator and unconscious by the point his son arrived — and died shortly after on April 21, Neha stated.
But now, Ashu is trapped in India’s capital due to a visa situation — and the US embassy has since canceled all routine visa appointments in mild of the surging instances.
Ashu Mahajan, who works because the director of product improvement for a New York City-based software program firm, has been residing in the US since 2008 on an H-1B work visa, which permits employers to assign overseas employees in specialty occupations.
Mahajan has an accredited visa petition following the expiration of his H-1B work visa through the international pandemic, however Diya Mathews, a New Jersey immigration lawyer working to help get Ashu residence, informed The Post that his accredited visa petition isn’t sufficient to get him again in the nation. He wants a sound visa too.
“So the problem that Ashu has now is that now that he’s outside the United States, he needs a visa to get back into the country,” Mathews stated.
And that can’t occur till the US Consulate in India reopens as a result of it requires an in-person go to, the lawyer stated.
“I’m scared for him,” his wife informed The Post. “I’m scared by the fact that he’s all alone. God forbid something happens, I don’t know what we’ll do.”
Ashu is now left to desperately test the US Embassy New Delhi’s web site for brand new appointments — however the subsequent one isn’t out there till subsequent 12 months because the shutdown causes a large backlog, Neha stated.
“What they’re asking us to do is something that we’re already doing,” she stated. “I’m up until 3 o’clock in the morning to find that spot. But like I said, there are very few spots at all that are available and right now. The calendar shows nothing is available until 2022.”
Meanwhile, India continues to break grim pandemic records in its battle in opposition to the lethal virus. On Wednesday, the nation’s Health Ministry reported 382,315 new instances and three,780 deaths, bringing its complete dying toll to 226,188, the Associated Press reported. Experts consider the true determine is much greater, although.
A State Department spokesman acknowledged in an announcement to The Post Wednesday that every one routine visa appointments on the US Embassy New Delhi and the consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai are cancelled till additional discover.
“Applicants should monitor U.S. Embassy New Delhi’s website for the latest information on its operating status,” the assertion learn.
On Twitter, the embassy only said “emergency services for U.S. citizens will continue.”
“So, what can I do?” Neha requested. “I don’t know what route to go. I’m at a dead end.”
Ashu has fortunately managed to keep away from contracting the virus thus far, but it surely’s unclear for a way lengthy he can keep wholesome as India struggles to comprise the unfold.
He couldn’t be instantly reached for remark Wednesday, however he told WABC Tuesday that he anticipated a headache upon attempting to return to the US.
“Frankly speaking, I knew I that would have a tough time, but I didn’t have any options,” he informed the station. “But I never anticipated it would completely close.”
A State Department official informed The Post in a separate assertion Wednesday that visa data are confidential below US legislation, so particulars of particular person instances can’t be shared.