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U.S. Visa Applicants Will be Able to Have Interviews Within Two Weeks

U.S. Visa Applicants Will be Able to Have Interviews Within Two Weeks

Posted November. 05, 2004 23:17,   


Currently, the wait for visa interviews that take up to two months to be scheduled after submitting an application will be shortened to two weeks starting in April of next year.

On October 5, after attending a joint seminar with the Federation of Korean Industries and the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM) entitled, “Korean Business Plans In Correspondence to The New U.S. Visa Policy,” Michael Kirby, consul general of the U.S. embassy in Korea, met with reporters to announce this statement.

He said “there will be an increase in the number of consuls in charge of handing out visas from 14 to 22 in the years to come. And thus it will become possible for 15 applicants to be interviewed at the same time in the future.”

Thus, the 1,100 visa applicant processing capacity will increase to approximately 2,200-2,400 applicants before the summer of next year. According to General Consul Kirby, this would return the process rate to the rate before visa issuances underwent extra scrutiny in August this year.

An ordinance after 9/11, extra security measures called for interviews for virtually every visa applicant starting in August this year. These measures not only prolonged the waiting period for applicants, but also stirred much contempt.

Kirby also announced “we are planning to open a separate window for applicants who are over 55 to speed up their visa application interviews.”

Finally, he emphasized the fact that “the main reason why visas for most Koreans are rejected is not because of insufficiencies in their applications. In most cases, they are rejected because their purpose of entry is different on paper and during interviews. To prevent this from happening, applicants should carefully review their applications when signing them before they or their travel agents hand the applications to us for review.”

Joong-Hyun Park sanjuck@donga.com