A Muslim woman in northern India says she was denied a visa to visit the United States after being identified as a non-Indian.
“I am ashamed that I was identified as an Indian on the visa application form,” said Zainab Ahmed, 40, a mother of three.
She said she was also barred from entering the United State.
Ahmed said she and her husband, who live in the United Kingdom, were able to travel to the U.S. by way of Turkey in March to visit relatives.
The couple had hoped to visit their brother in the Us.
The visa was denied for two reasons, Ahmed said, citing her religion.
“They said that they couldn’t do it because of the country’s visa system, and that I wasn’t a member of any political party,” she said.
“This visa has been in place for decades.
There is no reason to have it changed.”
In December, Ahmed was arrested and accused of trying to sneak into the United Nations building in New York City.
She was later released on bail.
“The fact that I have a passport from another country is irrelevant to the fact that this country has been discriminating against me for my race, religion, nationality and ethnicity for decades,” she told The Wall St. Journal.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly said that immigrants must be given visas and have their documents verified.
But critics say the process for such verification is often lax and the process can take years.
“It is the duty of the government to verify these documents, and if it takes more than two years for a person to get a visa, why are they doing it?” said Mohammad Khan, a civil rights lawyer and the director of the Indian Americans United for Justice.
“Why are they taking this long to check documents?”
The government also requires that Indians who wish to visit U.N. offices in New Delhi and Washington, D.C., have to apply for special visas that are not valid for foreigners.
Officials have said the visas were issued to ensure that the U-N.
building is not a potential terrorist target.
The U.K. and India have also been at odds over a plan to allow British nationals to visit India, which the government has described as an economic and cultural opportunity.
In June, a British-Indian family visiting New Delhi for a wedding sought a visa for their Indian husband, the couple told the Indian Express newspaper.
The family’s passport was confiscated by Indian authorities and they were denied the visa.
The Indian government has also accused Britain of illegally taking the passport of the family.
“You’re looking at a person who has spent the past five years in India, a year and a half here, living with his wife and child,” Foreign Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi told The New York Times.
“And then he goes back to the United Arab Emirates and then to the UK, and he’s given a visa and then the UK says no.
It’s an injustice.”
The British government has been criticized for its treatment of Muslims.
Last year, the British government said it would begin requiring visas for Muslim visitors to Britain.