Washington, Apr 2, 2014: The nine-year US visa ban on Narendra Modi will automatically be lifted and he would enjoy diplomatic immunity if he becomes the prime minister, a Congressional report said.
“Modi is widely considered to be one of the front-runners as prime ministerial candidate of his Bharatiya Janata Party. If Narendra Modi were to become Prime Minister of India, he would automatically be eligible for an A-1 (diplomatic) visa as head of state, regardless of the purpose of his visit,” the Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in its communication to US lawmakers.
In 2005, the US had denied visa to Modi in the wake of the 2002 Gujarat riots and has since not revoked its decision.The seven-page report ‘Visa Policy: the case of Narendra Modi’ was prepared by the CRS an independent and bipartisan wing of the US Congress at the request of several lawmakers, most who have been opposed to a US visa to Modi.
The views and reports of the CRS are meant to keep the lawmakers informed and is non-binding either on the Congress or the US Government. Led Congressmen Republican Joe Pitts and Democrat Keith Ellison lawmaker had asked a set of five questions on the prospects of US granting a visa to Modi if he is elected as the Prime Minister of India.
The lawmakers had asked ‘What is the process for approval of a US visa if Modi were to apply for one?’ and ‘Were Modi elected Prime Minister of India, how would his ascension likely affect his prospects to receive a US visa? Would the US be required to grant him a diplomatic visa? How might the International Religious Freedom Act be interpreted should he apply for a visa?’