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Trans Indian’s US visa put on hold

Naith Payton May 6, 2015
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A trans health official from India has had her visa put on hold due to the sex listed on her passport.

Amruta Alpesh Soni is intending to travel to a trans health conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she is to speak on trans people living with HIV in India.

She recently received a new passport with her sex listed as “T”, under Indian laws that recognise transgender people as a third gender.

India gave transgender people, some who are known as hijras, the right to declare themselves a third gender at the end of April this year.

When applying for her US visa, the forms did not have a third sex listed, so Soni chose the “female” option.

She then attended an interview at the US consulate, and was told her application had been put on hold. They said they had no information on the “T” option for sex.

She told The Times of India: “When the Indian government recognises us as the third gender, why is the US government indecisive about it?

“[The conference is] a great opportunity and I hope I don’t miss it out due to my sex.”

Raigarh, in Soni’s home state of Chhattisgarh, elected India’s first trans mayor in January. 

Related topics: Asia, gender, India, Sex, Transgender, travel, US, visa

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