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Only online US visa applications soon

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BARBADOS (Nation News) – FROM NOVEMBER 1, anyone who wants to get an American immigrant visa will need access to a computer.

There will be a global change in United States visa application procedures where applications must be made online and then printed. The old method of writing out or typing applications will no longer be accepted.{{more}}

The Electronic Visa Application Forms (EVAF) will then have a bar code which will be scanned at the United States’ consulate regional office in Fontabelle, St Michael.

While saying the new procedure would mean less time spent processing and waiting on the part of applicants, United States consul-general to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Clyde Howard, acknowledged the move might cause some problems.

“I think it will make processing more difficult for some people but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages,” Howard said during a media workshop.

He suggested Internet cafés could be an option for people without home computers as well as businesses and

possibly travel agencies, adding a computer would also be available at the consulate.

However, he admitted no staff would be available at the consulate to assist those who chose the latter option.

EVAF forms were introduced three years ago by the United States State Department. Howard said, to date, over 60 per cent of all applicants in Bridgetown already use the EVAF system. He said they had received around 45 000 Barbadian applications last year.