|US Embassy in Barbados announces change in visa processing|
|Published on Thursday, May 24, 2007||Email To Friend Print Version|
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: The US Embassy in Barbados has announced a change in the way visas for temporary visits to the United States (nonimmigrant visas, or NIVs) are processed. Effective June 18, the Embassy will no longer provide same-day visa issuance to applicants not residing in Barbados.
Instead, successful applicants will return home with their passport, then send the passport back to the Consulate via courier service or mail. The Consulate will insert the visa in the passport and return it by the same means. The applicant will pay for the delivery of the passport. Exceptions to this process will be made only in genuine emergencies.
Until now, the Embassy has provided same-day service for NIV applicants who reside outside Barbados, so that they pick up their passports and return home on the same day they apply for their visa. (For many years now, Barbados residents have returned to the Embassy after two business days to pick up their passports.)
Increasingly, however, the Embassy finds it impossible to obtain the required clearances in time to complete visa processing on the day of the application, especially when interviews are later in the day. In fact, the Embassy has frequently had to inform applicants returning for their passports that their visas were not ready. Then the applicant has either had to return the following day for the passport, or go home and send the passport back to the Consulate for the visa.
“This not only disappoints our clients,” says Consul General Clyde Howard, “it disrupts their travel arrangements and can be a serious expense. Since we can’t control the time the process takes, we’ll at least try to simplify the process as much as possible.”
Beginning June 18, passports will be returned to all NIV applicants residing outside of Barbados after their interviews. Once they arrive at home, successful applicants will send the passport back to the Embassy, along with a prepaid courier service air waybill or stamped self-addressed envelope for the return delivery of the passport.
Applicants may choose the delivery service they prefer; however, the Embassy has arranged with DHL that applicants will be able to send one or more passports round trip to the Consulate and back from anywhere in the Embassy’s consular district for US$38. For customer convenience, DHL will have a desk in the consular section lobby where applicants can pay for the service and obtain a two-way air waybill.
Barbados applicants will receive their passports by mail or courier service. They may bring a stamped self-addressed envelope or prepaid courier air waybill to the interview, or arrange their passport return at the DHL desk in the consular lobby. DHL’s cost for Barbados deliveries will be US$9.
The Embassy recognizes that this change will make the NIV process costlier and more time-consuming for applicants who used to pick up their passport with visa the day of their interview.
“We regret this inconvenience,” says Howard, “but have tried to make the process more predictable for applicants. Our aim is to process visa applications in a manner as convenient as possible for the greatest number of applicants.”