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Monday, July 15, 2024  
08 Muharram 1446  

US reduces visa appointment wait time for Pakistanis

Demand for US visas is highest it has ever been, says embassy
The US Consulate General Karachi would begin accepting new interview waiver applications for some applicants who have previously been issued US visas from September 25. Photo via US Embassy
The US Consulate General Karachi would begin accepting new interview waiver applications for some applicants who have previously been issued US visas from September 25. Photo via US Embassy

The United States embassy has announced that it has reduced visa appointment wait times for the Pakistani people, amid the high demand the visas.

“Demand for US visas is the highest it has ever been,” said the embassy in a press release on Tuesday. “We are processing more visa applications than ever before and are working hard to bring down visa appointment wait times.”

The US Mission to Pakistan has announced that it has brought three ways to meet the “unprecedented demand”.

The mission, firstly, has expedited thousands of non-immigrant visa appointments. Over 10,000 Pakistani visa applicants originally scheduled for 2024 at the US Consulate General in Karachi were receiving notice that their appointments have been rescheduled in 2023, some as early as next week, it added.

“If you have a visa appointment in the next few months at the US Consulate General in Karachi, please check your e-mail and log-in to your account at our website, ustraveldocs.com/pk, to confirm your expedited appointment time,” the statement said.

Visa applicants can rebook appointments at either the Consulate General in Karachi or the US Embassy in Islamabad—a step the mission said was taken to create added flexibility for Pakistani travelers. “Our hope is that this will allow applicants more freedom and flexibility to find a convenient date, time, and location.”

The US Consulate General Karachi would begin accepting new interview waiver applications for some applicants who have previously been issued US visas from September 25. “Applicants can check ustraveldocs.com/pk to determine whether they are eligible, print out a confirmation letter, and submit their application materials to a drop box without the need for an appointment.”

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The press release stated that the US Embassy in Islamabad was already accepting interview waiver applications for qualified applicants.

“Visa appointment times are still too long. We don’t want anyone to wait more than a year for a visa appointment,” Jayne Howell, the head of visa operations in Pakistan, said in a video statement uploaded on X, formerly known as Twitter, by the US Embassy Islamabad.

“Taken together, these steps will help more Pakistanis travel to the United States to see relatives, strengthen business ties, study and forge new cultural connections.”

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