US embassy starts visa facilitation programme

The US embassy in Dhaka launched a new initiative on Sunday exempting ‘certain qualified’ returning foreign visitors from another interview with a consular officer.

According to a media release, the programme was designed to reduce waiting time for ‘qualified’ foreign visitors ‘without compromising security’ which was the ‘highest priority’ of the country.

It said under the new initiative, in select circumstances, qualified foreign visitors who were interviewed and thoroughly screened in an earlier visa application would be eligible to renew their visas without another interview.

It permits consular officers to waive interviews for qualified non-immigrant visa applicants who are renewing their visa within 48 months of the expiration of their previously held visa, and within the same classification as the previous visa.

In Dhaka, tourist (B2) and certain business traveller (B1) visas may be extended without an interview.

“We expect that this will benefit applicants, saving them time and money, and encouraging them to choose to visit the United States again,” the media release said.

It, however, said this facilitation programme ‘does not entitle or guarantee any applicant to a waiver of an interview.’

“Consular officers will retain the authority to interview any applicant who they determine requires an interview,” it said.

Details are available on the US Embassy Dhaka’s webpage, it added.


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