ABU DHABI: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has received a note from the United States' Embassy in Abu Dhabi about a non-immigration visa service to the UAE nationals to the US which will take effect from January 2013.
Ahmed Saeed Al Dhaheri, director of Consular Services at the Ministry, said the new appointment system for US visas service would be more easier and convenient.
The United States Mission to the UAE is transitioning to a new appointment service for anyone applying for a non-immigrant visa to the United States.
Starting from Jan.6, the applicants will work online or by phone with a service provider to schedule an interview, pay the visa application fee and arrange for the delivery of documents and passports.
This new appointment service will also allow applicants to schedule a visa interview with more flexibility and up to six months in advance of travel plans, according to a press release posted on the mission's website.
Under the new process, applicants can go online and in a few minutes complete the visa application, pay the visa-application fee, schedule an appointment, and arrange to have their passport delivered at the end of the application process to an Empost office anywhere in the UAE.
The entire process can be done 24 hours a day from the comfort of home using the online system. During daytime hours, applicants can also get assistance from a live call centre with services in Arabic, English and Farsi.
The call centre can also assist with scheduling an appointment, provided the applicant has already paid the visa application fee.
After that all the applicant must do is to attend the scheduled interview at the Embassy or Consulate General.
As part of the transition from the current visa-application process, those seeking interviews in December will see that no appointments are available online after Dec.31.
The new appointment system will debut on Jan.6 after which appointments will be available at both the Embassy and Consulate General well into the first six months of 2013.
The United States Mission to the UAE wants to ensure that applicants already in the scheduling process are not negatively impacted by the change. If applicants have not already made an appointment and do not have immediate travel plans, they may choose to wait for the new system to be available on Jan.6.
However, if an applicant has already paid the visa-application fee and made an appointment that appointment will be honoured.